Cover photo for Erich Rast's Obituary
1950 Erich 2023

Erich Rast

October 18, 1950 — August 29, 2023

On Tuesday, August 29,2023, Mr. Erich Rast, beloved husband of Venera Rast (Ismailova) of Calgary, Alberta passed away at the age of 72 years. Born in Salmunster, Germany, immigrated into Canada in April 1951.

As a young man, Erich joined the Canadian Armed Forces for 5 years becoming a Medic and obtained his Corporal Hooks. He then left the army and applied to the SAIT Paramedic Program in 1973. Hearing High River wanted to set up a Paramedic Ambulance Service, he applied and was hired September 1974 to set up the first rural Paramedic Ambulance Service in Alberta (January 1975). In September 1975, he was approached by Grande Prairie Hospital to set up their Ambulance Service (starting March 1976). During this time, Erich worked on formalizing the training to help the ambulance staff deal with large emergencies. In 1977, SAIT was interested in his program and hired Erich to develop the program to allow for more people in small towns to be trained (they didn’t have to travel to take the course). Then he was hired by Ambucraft out of Innisfail, Alberta to sell Ambulances as they wanted to start manufacturing ambulances in Canada instead of buying them from the USA. Next, Albert Gold Oil Well Services hired him to set up a safety program and train the workers in safety and first aid for the industry. At the same time, Erich upgraded his EMT program for people who loved the outdoors and taught the Wilderness EMT program through University of Calgary and Parks Canada. 1985-1989 Erich was hired by Cominco Mines to set up a safety program at their Polaris Mine on Little Cornwallis Island in the Northwest Territories. 1989-1995 he worked for Shell Canada at the Waterton Gas Plant outside of Pincher Creek, Alberta, to set up their Safety Program. In 1995 Erich started to explore the world with jobs in Kyrgyzstan (a Gold Mine at 14,000 ft), Western Australia, Algeria, Senegal and South Africa.

Erich loved nature. His biggest passion was the mountains. The mountains were the strongest draw for him, including the 1982 Canadian Everest Expedition. Erich’s other passions included physics and astronomy.

Erich is survived by his wife, Venera; stepson, Urmat Asanbaev; ex-wife, Sandra Rast, the mother of his children, Kyle Rast (Kathy) of Lundbreck, Alberta, Heidi Rast (Leland Ferguson) of Halifax, Nova Scotia; grandchildren, Brady, Paige and Mary Rast of Lundbreck Alberta; siblings, Alwin Rast of Calgary, Alberta, Ericka Esselink (Bert) of Three Hills, Alberta, Elizabeth Hertzsprung, and George Rast (Evelyn) of Calgary, Alberta; sisters-in-law, Wilma Rast, Elli Rast of Calgary, Alberta, and many nieces and nephews.

Erich was predeceased by his father, Oskar Rast (2001) and his mother Wanda Rast (nee Segert 1978); brothers, Leo Rast (2018), Eugene Rast (2016) of Calgary, Alberta, and Richard Rast (2013) of Warsaw, Poland.

There will be a private remembrance at a later date. Cremation to take place at the Foothills Crematorium.
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