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Ralph Booden

Image by Nick Andréka


March 19, 1931 – July 1, 2024

It is with deep sadness that we announce the passing of Ralph Booden, age 93. He was predeceased by his wife of 64 years, Mae Lillian; and is survived by his daughter, Cynthia Booden Firth (Robert Firth); his son Mark Booden (Thea Ferrari); and his grandson Daman Booden, the light of his life.

Ralph was born in East St. Paul Manitoba to Rolf and Gezijna (Jean) Booden. Growing up in the depression as the youngest of three children, his Dutch immigrant parents taught him the value of family, hard work and service.  Ralph carried those lessons as guideposts throughout his life. 

Ralph met his soul mate, Mae, in 1949, after returning from a year in Holland with his mother.  They were engaged in 1951, just before he left for Esquimalt, B.C. to do a stint in the Navy Reserve. They married in 1952, and Ralph secured a position with Weston Bakery, selling cookies and pastries door to door while he waited to be accepted into the Winnipeg Police Force – his lifelong dream.  

He became a Winnipeg Police Constable, District 1 in 1953. He had a distinguished career, rising through the ranks, ending his career in 1989 as Superintendent, District 5. 

Buying an island on Rush Bay, Lake of the Woods in 1961, Dad built a cottage and then subdivided the island, building and selling two more cottages. Ralph loved the outdoors and when he wasn’t puttering, he was out on the lake fishing.

A dedicated Master Mason and Shriner, Dad become Potentate of the Khartum Temple in 1990.  He “retired” again in 1991 and began his next adventure of making and selling clowns. In 2009 he was hired on to drive school bus for the Pembina Trails School Division. Dad didn’t actually stop working until he turned 83.

Dad loved to travel and he travelled the world with Mom – from all over Canada and the United States, to Mexico, the Caribbean, the Orient and Europe.  He especially loved Holland, having found and been reunited with his cousin Jan (Ineke) and family in 2001.  

Dad had an unending zest for life and viewed every challenge as an opportunity. His optimism, stories, passion and love of desserts will be sorely missed. 

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Khartum Temple Shrine Transportation Fund or to the charity of your choice.

A celebration of Ralph’s life will be held at 2:00pm on Friday, July 19 at the Caboto Centre, 1055 Wilkes Ave, Winnipeg, MB R3P 2L7. 

Ralph’s family kindly requests that all of his friends and relatives take a few minutes to honour his memory by watching the photo-biography above. Please, also consider sharing your own photos, memories, and stories by making use of the comment section on this page.


Cremation & Life Celebrations

530 St. Mary Avenue - Winnipeg

204-421-5501 -

Memories, Stories and Condolences


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Ingrid Desmond

July 11, 2024 at 4:59 PM

I also knew him as Superintendent Booden in 1978 when I was the Divisional Clerk in Division 11 and worked for him. I enjoyed working for him as he was always happy and full of life! He often spoke of Mae and his children! I recall him dashing out at the end of the workday to work at the Chicken Chef they owned! The time I worked for him wasn't long but it brings back good memories! Condolences to his family.

Katherine Dane

July 8, 2024 at 12:38 PM

I knew him as Superintendent Booden when I was his Divisional Clerk in District 2 Police at the beginning of my career. I remember fondly the life lessons he taught me. The love he had for Mae eminated from him. He always invited me to join him on his lunchtime walk. I've thought of him often throughout my life and now remember him in prayer. Enjoy eternity with the love of your life.

Jennifer Willems

July 8, 2024 at 2:27 AM

So many great family memories I was lucky enough to share! Your parents had a love like no other and now they are reunited.


My condolences Cynthia and Mark.

Herb Stephen

July 6, 2024 at 10:24 PM

Ralph was always a very busy Gentlemen and participated in many different business Ventures, too many to mention. I was Chief of Police for the last 5 years of his Police career. He was a proud member (piper) of the Winnipeg Police Pipes and Drums. He provided great service to the Winnipeg community. R.I.P. Ralph

Noble Keith Phillips

July 6, 2024 at 9:07 PM

A giant of a man but first and foremost a friend and gentleman.

RIP Ralph

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