Posted: February 7th, 2013

At home, surrounded by family and with his little dog “J” by his side, Richard passed away on Monday, February 4, 2013 after an unrelenting and courageous battle with lymphoma. He leaves to cherish his memory his wife, Carol and his 2 children, Jenny (Dave) and Matthew (Ashley).
Richard grew up in Northern Ontario in a large family. He was proud of his Finnish heritage and strived to embody the valued trait of “Sisu”—courage in the face of adversity. Exploring the woods and lakes around his home he developed a strong affinity for the outdoors. He was a quiet boy nicknamed “Shadow” and during weekly trips to the local library he developed a lifelong love of reading and the pursuit of knowledge.
He became intensely interested in the field of psychology during his high school years. He pursued university degrees in this field at both Waterloo University and Wilfred Laurier University in Ontario. He combined a keen intellect with a deep compassion for others in his work as a psychologist.
Richard had a strong work ethic and was happiest when he was busy.
He was an avid outdoorsman, passionate about fishing and hunting. We have many happy memories of salmon fishing on the west coast with Al, and long conversations around campfires. Always an extremely active man, Richard spent many hours on walks with a long line of well loved canine companions. Richard enjoyed the quiet companionship of his dogs and cats; and in turn they were intensely devoted to him. We know many of his former four legged companions greeted him as he crossed into the peace that passes all understanding.
He took enormous pleasure in gardening and was a voracious reader. He served proudly for several years on the Redcliff Library Board. Throughout his lifetime, visiting the library and browsing the stacks was a favourite activity.
We would like to thank the many caregivers who looked after Richard during his illness. They were always kind, caring, cheerful and helpful. You know who you are. God Bless You!
Richard will be remembered by his family and friends for his gentle spirit and wise counsel. He was greatly loved and will be terribly missed.
Richard’s life will be celebrated at a memorial service on Monday, February 11, 2013 at 1:00 p.m. at St. Ambrose Anglican Church, Redcliff, Alberta with Reverend David Carter officiating. Condolescences may be directed to
In memory of Richard, donations to the following organizations are gratefully appreciated: Redcliff Public Library, P.O. Box 280, Redcliff, Alta., T0J 2P0 and St. Ambrose Anglican Church Memorial Fund, P.O. Box 403, Redcliff, Alta, T0J 2P0.

7 Condolences for “RICHARD RAJALA”

  1. Peggy Davis says:

    What can I say about Richard as a colleague and a friend in a few words, wow. He had the kindest face ever. He had the gentlest manner that must have made all of his clients put all of their problems a thousand km away. I know that when I was in his in his presence, I was in the presence of a warm human being, and I know HEAVEN has a warm and wonderful psychologist and healer up there! xooo Your friend always, Peggy

  2. Pat Woodcock says:

    I met Richard and his large family when we were quite young and my family made a stop at the family campgrounds. The friendship continued throughout the years he spent at home before going off to university. So much fun was had in those years and will be lasting memories for me. May his family now have rest knowing he is at peace and no longer suffering. RIP Richard.
    Your Toronto friend, Pat

  3. Merri Drouillard says:

    When I was a young girl, Uncle Richard seemed so worldly, a rock star to us,playing songs on his guitar, he was often away, and yet still when he came back,he found time for his younger siblings and nieces (like me) who gathered at the family home on weekends and in summertime. He married a sweet lady, and they had 2 adorable kids, and I feel sad that I saw so little of them over the years. But, family is always family, and so, my condolences to you here, and please know that
    my thoughts are with you.

  4. Ilona Lanteigne says:

    I am so glad, my dear Richard, that I was able be with you November 6,7,8,/2012. Carol and Ashley welcomed me into your home; Jenni’s Dave and brother Andrew drove me from Calgary, and were most kind. Richard,our morning coffees will always be my treasure, a quiet time with just the two of us,sharing times gone by. Resting in each others presence. I lit a candle for you at our church for Valentine’s. A mass has been offered in Red Rock Feb.17/13. I was honoured to proclaim the Word, and we had a most excellent choir. Much love from Mike and I, and from Jody, Jeremy, Anna LisaMarie.

  5. Ilona Lanteigne says:

    I grew up in this large family, the Rajalas. My place was number 5, and in 1951 one in five children born was Chinese, so I close to this Nation. My 2 oldest sisters were Marjorie (Landry) and Judy (Bill), then there were Hector and Richard.
    Richard was born June 29/49, I was born July 7/51. Growing up we were very close together. We went to the same Lutheran church, confirmed members. We went the same high school buses, especially he was right behind me coming off the bus after a high school bus at 11pm!!! Because he was the first to go off to university, in the family (Waterloo), I was brave and went to University in Kingston. Richard was my strength and encouraged me to be more of a person, and not settle for minimum wage in a small town, at least see the world and how other people, churches, ethic backgrounds lived. I love him for helping me to live up to some of my potential. He also advised on my mental illness when bipolar surfaced in my late teens and early twenties.

  6. Bonnie Anderson says:

    Dear Carol & family:
    Heartfelt condolences to you and the family on Richard’s passing.
    Richard was the calming effect for the office. Anything needing an explanation was done with the gentlest manner, and he had an infectious laugh and smile. I felt honoured to be able to transcribe for him.
    Be proud Carol, and let the memories help carry all of you. People like him are far and few between.

  7. Bob Kitcher says:

    I met Richard at WLU when we were doing our MA in Psych and we lived together in a Kitchener apartment for that 1975 year. He was driving his very old light blue VW van at the time which he had custom outfitted to travel and live in for the between times. I believe he might have used it during the summers when he was planting 3000 trees a day with his indigenous tree planting team. Or between the times he was driving a transport to Florida and back, oranges on the way back.

    Richard was always focused and always worked hard, between poker games and 6 card hand cribbage. But I will admit to quite a few good times together, Octoberfest for example.

    By the way, the van was intermittent in the very cold and snowy winter. Despite Richard’s exceptional mechanical skills we ended up taking the bus a lot after trying to start it for an hour

    Richard introduced me to Red River Cereal among other northern delicacies which became an important staple.

    After enduring the torture of Psych 604 and our graduate level strike, Richard was the first to get his MA thesis completed, making it short, always being focused and exceptionally efficient.

    I managed to get Richard a job at CAS and a place in Belleville Ontario, jobs at that time being scarce, but he only stayed for a year and then he headed to Alberta for greener/whiter pastures and we lost touch.

    My loss. Our loss.

    My condolences.

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