Iva Eileen Ralston
June 5, 1921 – June 9, 2023
Iva was born at home to John Thomas and Mary Melvina [Tremaine] Riddolls on June 5, 1921, at 267 London Road, Guelph, the fifth of their six children (Cora, Rita, Gladys, Ralph, and Verna). Her life focused on the Salvation Army Guelph Corps music and ministries that saturated her life and in its Sunday School where she met a boy named Henry Ralston. They played their first piano duet together when they were 13 years old, the same year she admits to sharing their first kiss. She always thought Henry was the smarter one, yet Henry copied her homework for school and Corps Cadets.
She left Guelph Collegiate Vocational Institute early with a secretarial diploma, imagining marriage and a future with the Salvation Army in Europe or India. But when war broke out in 1939, Henry enlisted. A year later they married. When Henry was transferred overseas, Iva returned to live with her parents on London Road. By the time Henry returned, their first child, Margaret Ann, was already 17 months old. They traveled to billets until he again went overseas after D-Day. After the war’s end a second child, Mary Lynn, came and a decade later a son, Timothy John.
Iva’s world had been filled with regular days and life-long friends. But with Henry she embarked on a perpetual adventure as they moved from Guelph through Toronto, Montreal, Kitchener, Kingston, Waterloo, and finally home to Guelph where they bought and renovated the house in which Iva was born.
Iva and Henry sustained an active leadership ministry in churches wherever they went. Along the way they lost Margaret Anne’s husband, Phil, and their second daughter, Mary Lynn. After Henry died in 2008 she moved to Green Valley, Ontario, to live with her oldest daughter and her second husband, Ernie. After Ernie passed away, in 2020 Iva and Margaret Anne moved to apartments in Pointe-Claire, Quebec at Le Cambridge. She passed away peacefully surrounded by family at the Teresa Deller Palliative Care Residence in Kirkland, QC.
Every morning Iva reserved the hour after breakfast to pray by name for her friends and for each of her 60 living descendants along with their spouses – all active in local churches, several as full-time church and parachurch staff. Her greatest pleasure was supporting those around her by listening, encouraging, and directing them to Jesus, the only One she knew who could meet every need in any circumstance and in whose arms she now awaits her resurrection and reunion with them all.
Her Memorial service will be held at 1:00 PM on Wednesday, June 21, 2023 at the Guelph Bible Chapel, 216 Silvercreek Pkwy S, Guelph, Ontario, N1H 3S7
Wednesday, June 21, 2023
Guelph Bible Chapel
June 21, 2023
Woodlawn Memorial Park
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