It is with heavy hearts that we announce that Earl Ratke passed away surrounded by family on November 10, 2015, at the age of 68 years.
Earl was born on April 12, 1947, in Roblin, Manitoba to proud parents Florence and Fred Ratke. Along with his three siblings, he was raised to appreciate the rewards of hard work, responsibility and laughter.
Earl grew up on a farm at Chestermere Lake, Alberta where he learned his love for boating, hunting, fishing and animals. At age 12, he met the love of his life Suzy, they pledged their love in marriage on September 24, 1969 in Calgary, Alberta. They were further blessed with a family of their own and though times were often challenging, Earl was an inspiration and strength that allowed them to persevere.
Earl had many talents and abilities: he especially loved hunting, fishing and cooking. He served in the Canadian Armed Forces from 1963 – 1969, stationed in Germany. Upon returning to Canada he worked at various jobs in Calgary including at Federated Co-op and in construction. He moved his family to Castlegar, BC in 1976 where he went on to work at the Celgar Pulp Mill until retirement.
His positive attitude and charismatic humour will never be forgotten and he will remain in our hearts and minds forever.
“You only live once, but if you live right, once is enough.”
Left to mourn his passing and celebrate his life include his loving wife Suzy; his children, Michelle (Chad) Nearing of Sparwood, Gavin Ratke of Castlegar; his sisters Elaine (Doug Bewski) Mackenzie, Shirley Ratke; his brothers-in-law, Ted (Sharon) Switzer and Daniel (Margaret) Dyck; his sisters-in-law Laine Dyck and Gwen (George) Pruissen; his many cherished nieces and nephews, extended family and friends. Earl is predeceased by his brother Elmer.
A celebration of Earl’s life will be held on Friday, November 20, 2015, at 11:00 am at Kinnaird Church of God (2404 Columbia Avenue, Castlegar, B.C.). Bill Clark of Alternatives Funeral and Cremation Services™ has been entrusted with arrangements.
As an expression of sympathy, donations in memory of the late Earl Ratke may be directed to The Tom Baker Cancer Center, 1331 – 29 Street, Calgary, Alberta, T4N 4N2.
You are invited to leave a personal message of condolence at the family’s online register at