May 11, 1934 – July 30, 2019
With heavy hearts we announce Ray’s passing on July 30, 2019 after a brief but valiant battle with cancer. He went peacefully, filled with love and surrounded by family. Ray is survived by his loving wife of 63 years Jean, daughters Cheryl (Al Watson), Rosanne, grandchildren Nicholas DeBoeck, Kyle, Nash & Tiana Watson & Isabella & Gabriel Tomashewsky and many neices and nephews. Ray is predeceased by father Ira, mother Sophie, sister Ruby & brother Roy. Ray was born May 11, 1934 in a community
known as “Eagle Valley” in the foothills of Alberta.
Ray grew up helping on the family farm, trapping & hunting with his older brother and attending school. Ray went on to acquire several journeymen’s certificates and moved to Banff, where he worked as mechanic for Sunshine Village Ski Resort and the local Shell service station. While living in Banff, Ray and Jean were married, on June 2, 1956. Shortly thereafter, they moved to Grand Forks to manage the newly constructed Shell gas
station (now known as Canco).
Ray went on to work with Interior Mill Equipment as a welder/millwright, which he became manager of and then part owner for over thirty five years. During this time, he and Jean also operated a big game guiding business for 14 years, opened and ran the “Kool Treat” restaurant at Christina Lake, was involved in land development and owned and flew several small aircraft which was an asset in helping farmers look for their cattle, fire crews on fire watch, business trips as well as search and rescue missions. After selling IME, Ray & Jean formed a consulting company which they ran for 14 years.
In his spare time, Ray loved being in the outdoors, hunting, fishing, berry picking, snowmobiling, ATVing and being one with nature. He volunteered his time to the local Search and Rescue and was a long standing member of the Grand Forks ATV club, involved in enhancing the betterment of trails and offload locations in the surrounding areas. As an avid outdoors enthusiast and entrepreneur, Ray taught his daughters and grandchildren a vast array of skills, ethics and respect for mother earth and life.
A Celebration of Life will be held for Ray on Saturday, September 28th at 11 am at the Gospel Chapel. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in Ray’s memory to the BC Children’s Hospital Foundation.
I am sending a dove to heaven, with a parcel upon it’s wings, be careful when you open it, it’s full of beautiful things. Inside are a million kisses, wrapped up in a million hugs, to say how much I miss you and to send you all my love. I hold you close inside my heart, and there you will remain, to walk with me throughout my life until we meet again.
– Author Unknown
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