For the majority of his life, Ralph Katzman had been actively involved in his community. He was always ready to build a rink, promote a pancake breakfast, chair a Quarterhouse Association meeting, or organize an event for the Saskatoon Blades.
His personal and professional endeavours led him to be the MLA for Rosthern as well as a constant fixture in the maintenance of the Agudas Israel cemetery. No task was either too big or too small for Ralph. He would just roll up his sleeves and do the best job he could.
It’s not surprising then that his soul-mate, Lucille Mantler, would complement and encourage his passion. While Ralph ran the family’s mixed farm, Lucille ran the Dalmeny Shop-Rite store, until Sharon (a.k.a. Cricket) and Gwen (a.k.a. Pixie) were born.
Lucille found time to become involved with his daughters’ school and athletics, teach figure skating, lead Brownies, and sew costumes for all that asked. She earned the designation of Certified Management Accountant and conducted audits for half the non-profits in the Dalmeny region.
Both Lucille and Ralph were raised by parents who actively volunteered their time. Ralph recalls his father, Labe Katzman often saying, “Either shut up or put up,” when it came to doing things in the community. Neither Labe nor his wife Ethel was often idle. Lucille’s parents Jake and Hilda Mantler were active in education and their church.
With Lucille’s passing in 2002, Ralph’s values crystallized further. Ralph, a practicing Jew, believes in the responsibility of each person to do for others what they cannot do for themselves (mitzvah). Often as not, Ralph can be found making purchases for needy persons or tidying the Agudas Israel graveyard.
The Ralph and Lucille Katzman Fund was established at Saskatoon Community Foundation as a means of sustaining the Agudas Israel cemetery. “After doing some research, I found that endowing the donation then using the income for charitable uses really appealed to me,” says Ralph.