Advanced Search:

Regular Search
❮ Go Back to Listings
RALPH SOTOLOV Obituary pic


Born: May 14, 1924

Date of Passing: Dec 19, 2019

Send Flowers to the Family Offer Condolences or Memory

Adjust Text Size: A+ A-

May 14, 1924 - December 19, 2019

Passed away peacefully, at the age of 95, at the Concordia Hospital.
Ralph was preceded in death by his parents, Isadore and Dora Sotolov, Dr. Louis Sotolov, his first wife Dorothy and second wife Barbara.
He is survived by his loving son Dr. Howard Love, loving wife Gita Glass, sister Betty Riskin, stepsons, Butch, Ken and Steven Atnikov, stepdaughter Marlene Ackman, and many nieces and nephews.
Ralph was born in Winnipeg and served in the R.C.A.F. during the Second World War. After the war he remained in the R.C.A.F. as an education officer until the late 1950s when he returned to university to obtain a diploma in Education and B.Ed degrees. He taught science at Viscount Alexander Junior High and then high school biology at Vincent Massey Collegiate (VMC) in Ft. Garry in the early 1960s. He became vice principal of VMC in 1965 and then principal in 1967. He served as principal for 20 years until his retirement in 1987. Ralph was a dedicated, compassionate and understanding administrator who commanded the utmost respect and admiration of all teachers and students during his years as principal. He was a great orator and always received the complete attention of all staff and students during the many assemblies at VMC. During his years as principal many positive changes occurred in the areas of phys. ed, drama club, and administration. VMC was mentioned in the Chatelaine magazine as one of the top 10 high schools in Canada during Ralph's years as principal. He obtained his M.Ed. degree in the late 1960s. Ralph initiated one of the first Grade 12 optional attendance programs for students in Canada at VMC in 1969. He also ran a private summer school at VMC for many years while he was principal and after he retired in 1987. Ralph always attempted to recruit the best teachers possible in order that the students obtain a sound education to prepare them for their future endeavours after high school. He always made the welfare of teachers and students his main priority.
After retirement in 1987 Ralph enjoyed his three month winter vacations to Palm Springs, CA for 25 years. His final trip was to Medellin, Colombia at age 94 with Gita and son Howard.
Funeral services were held at Chesed Shel Emes and interment at Shaarey Zedek Cemetery.
Donations may be made to the Alzheimer Society of Manitoba.

As published in Winnipeg Free Press on Dec 28, 2019

Condolences & Memories (16 entries)

  • It's never too late to remember such a remarkable man and outstanding teacher. I had the privilege of being in his biology class and at the end of the year he called me into his room after class. I couldn't understand why I would be singled out and reported as requested. To my surprise he wanted to know if he could have my notebooks because they were well written and all the important facts were underlined in red. He said if a student comes from out of province that he would have something to give them so they could pick up very quickly. That of course was very flattering. Our next encounter was when my parents purchased a condo in Tuxedo Estates and to my surprise he was their neighbor. Suffice to say our friendship continued for many many years and we would stop frequently and have long and very reminiscent chats. Such a remarkable man who has left many students with the best education and encouragement possible. - Posted by: Joy Buettner (Mahon) (Former Student ) on: Mar 11, 2023

  • Hello I was a student at Vincent Massey while Mr. Sotolov taught there. I remember him as kind. My condolences to his family. - Posted by: Claudia Crosier (student) on: Dec 12, 2020

  • Farewell safely and thanks. - Posted by: Paul Bevis (Student) on: Nov 08, 2020

  • I had the privilege to be a student in Ralph's biology class during my high school years at VMC and i actually got to decode his handwriting which served me well in my later years at VMC when I returned as his VMC Physical Education and Performing Arts Teacher. He always treated me with much care and respect and it was a privilege to be able to work beside him for so many years. Ralph actually served in the RCAF with my Dad in WW2. Maybe that's why he always made me feel very special and appreciated as both a student, teacher and friend. - Posted by: Joanne Parker Gibson (Graduate and Teacher - Vincent Massey Collgiate) on: Jan 22, 2020

  • We were so saddened to hear about Ralph’s passing. We have such fond memories at family gatherings. We will always remember his kind, fun loving soul. Jill, Ron and Family - Posted by: Jill and Ron Stier (Smordin) (Cousins) on: Jan 04, 2020

  • What a wonderfully long life Mr. Sotolov had. I remember him fondly as my teacher almost 60 years ago. What a young man he must have been! Having left Winnipeg in 1961, I did not know of his legacy in Fort Garry. How fortunate those students were and what good memories many of us have! - Posted by: Caroline (Roy) Brown (Student) on: Dec 29, 2019

  • I have many fond memories of my time at VMC as one of the secretaries. Ralph Sotolov was a great Principal and I liked how he provided good leadership for all the staff and the students. My sincere condolences to all his family. Myrna Poetker Gierek - Posted by: Myrna Poetker - Gierek (Secretary at VMC) on: Dec 29, 2019

  • A fair, wonderful and caring man who positively helped shape my teen years. I have fond memories of all he did for me and many others at the school. Blessings to his family. - Posted by: Lorna Robb (Former student at VMC) on: Dec 29, 2019

  • What a wonderful biology teacher! "Zot" kept his classes enthralled, and could match wits with any student. I kept in touch with him periodically, and we met for coffee a couple of years ago - and he hadn't changed one bit! He was an excellent teacher, and many of the pupils who passed through his classroom doors respected him. - Posted by: Lorraine Merryl (Linford) Koenen (former student) on: Dec 28, 2019

  • Wonderful man, enjoyed my high school days with him as principal. He was very kind and I saw him at the last reunion and he said hello! You will be missed, esp. in May at the next reunion. RIP Mr. Sotolov - Posted by: Kathy St. Germain (former student) on: Dec 28, 2019

  • So fondly remembered.. How many nineteen year olds invite their former Biology teacher to their wedding? I did. Mr. Sotolov (aka "Zot") was a very special person and so loved for his respect of all.. Thank You for sharing your life with us all.. - Posted by: Maree. Zeemel Sigurdson (Former student) on: Dec 28, 2019

  • I was a student in Mr Sotolov's classes and always found him to be a straight forward, interesting, and humorous teacher. He was also very fair as a Principal, as I sometimes got into a bit of trouble and found him to be understanding. With our reunion coming up I know that his sense of humour and his dedication to students will be well remembered. It will certainly be remembered by me. He was a good man who will be in my memories of those years. Rest in Peace - Posted by: Wayne Yack (Student) on: Dec 28, 2019

  • my condolences. He was a very fair and honest man. - Posted by: Greg Shettler (student) on: Dec 28, 2019

  • Mr. Sotolov was one of my favourite teachers. He and I had a huge chuckle at the last VMC Reunion. He said he knew me before he saw me because of my constant talking. He said, “Some things never change”. A wonderful man who lived a wonderful life. RIP - Posted by: Chicki Jacques née Stringer (Student at VMC) on: Dec 28, 2019

  • My sincere condolences to the Sotolov family and friends. As a '67 graduate of Vincent Massey, I was hoping to see Mr. Sotolov and other former administrators and teachers from our era at the VMCl reunion this coming May. He was a fair and compassionate man who truly related to all students and encouraged us all to do, and be, our best. He will be missed. - Posted by: Cheryl Norton (Thould) (former student) on: Dec 28, 2019

  • In high school, I had the opportunity to visit the Principal's office more than most of my fellow students and, behind closed doors, the stern Mr. Sotolov turned out to be a very understanding man with a great sense of humor. The teachers that sent me to "The Principal's Office" had no idea how pleasant that actually was for me. Glad to know that he enjoyed a long and active life. - Posted by: Rob McInnes (Former student.) on: Dec 28, 2019

❮ Go Back to Listings