A Love of Learning

Marian (née Norman) and Ralph Segreto moved to Salmon Arm because they fell in love with the area and its four seasons. They were so convinced this was the place for them, they moved here before they had jobs. But then, they each came from an adventurous immigrant heritage that meant taking risks for a better life. They did not wait long before continuing their rewarding careers—Marian in teaching and Ralph with TD Bank.

Marian’s grandfather was from a logging background and homesteaded in Alberta, where Marian grew up on a mixed small farm growing vegetables and keeping animals. The family eventually ended up in Malakwa where they created hand split cedar shakes.

In 1954 Ralph’s father came from Italy to work in the aluminum plant in Kitimat while his mother with two small children followed in 1957. Ralph’s first introduction to Canada was the long train ride from Halifax to Prince George. Kitimat was a veritable European United Nations with immigrants who came to make a better life for themselves and their families. Soccer was the glue that bound the children together. Ralph’s love of the ‘beautiful game’ continues to this day and he has been active in soccer in Salmon Arm and wherever they have lived.

Ralph and Marian met at University in Nelson where their journey of lifelong learning began. Ralph’s first job was in small town radio in Quesnel, but he found better paying work with the TD Bank, and was transferred to Fort St. John where he worked his way up through various positions. He constantly studied in the financial field and upgraded his credentials with professional designations. Ralph was manager of the Salmon Arm TD Bank from 1988 until his retirement in 2015.

Marian complemented her first degree in English and History with one in Teaching and started a career in elementary education specializing in Primary and Reading Instruction. While teaching, she earned a University of Calgary Masters in Education, and was continually involved in various aspects of education, especially professional development.  Marian officially retired in 2010, and continues as a teacher on call, but now has more time for her garden, their cat, quilting, crafts and volunteer work when help is needed with specific projects.

One of the couple’s special goals was to build their dream home in Salmon Arm. It includes geothermal heating and environmentally friendly gardens featuring native plants nestled in a creative landscape that complements the local habitat. 

Ralph and Marian are Foundation Founders, and Ralph has served on the Foundation Board in various capacities since 1998. His financial knowledge and love of working with people is also being put to use with the Shuswap Recreation Society which oversees sports and recreation facilities in Salmon Arm.

Ralph and Marian have established an endowment fund to be administered at the discretion of the Foundation. They both like being involved in causes where everyone wins, and agree there is no better example of this than the Shuswap Community Foundation.

The fund is open to contributions at any time.