It is with broken hearts the family of Raymond Eugene Cunningham announce his passing at the Points West Hospice on September 13, 2018, with his family by his side.
Ray was born in St. Front, SK the fifth child of nine to Berl and Ella (Perron). He was the last remaining sibling of his family.
He attended school at Egg Lake, St. Albert and the Lefebvre School. He completed his schooling at the College St. Jean in Edmonton.
Ray’s life included a multitude of experiences.
His homestead years began in 1946 with land at S ½ 12-77-23-5. From there he continued to purchase additional farm land, growing it into a thriving farming operation before retiring. He built his own brush cutter and piler. Over the years he cleared hundreds of acres of land for himself and neighbours. The last land he cleared near Culp was when he was a young 72 years of age. He worked in sawmills in every capacity for many winters. He especially loved being canter and sawyer. He purchased his own sawmill with family. It was this sawmill that helped log and saw the lumber for the Girouxville church. When this mill was sold in 1964 he continued to work in the logging industry as the manager of a mill in Fort McMurray. He often talked about the wonderful memories he had of all the work and the people over the years. He took great pride in breaking goals/quotas that had been set for him and his crew.
His community involvement was long and varied. Some of the projects he was so proud of were helping with the building of the Girouxville church. He was Chairman of the Guy Rural Electrification Association, Chairman of the local branch of UGG, was a local school trustee for the Lefebvre School District and was a divisional trustee for High Prairie School District. He was instrumental in the creation of the East Peace Gas Co-op. He was also involved with the McLennan Legion, an organization dear to his heart.
As a young man he played baseball for many local teams as well as the College St. Jean and Alcomdale. First base was his favorite position. He transitioned from player to umpire. He umpired both softball and baseball and was very proud to say he was a ticketed umpire having passed the exam with a score of 97 per cent. He was an umpire for many years. Also, while living in Edmonton he joined the Edmonton Fusiliers where he attained the rank of Corporal.
Ray loved to travel and play crib. He will be remembered for his generosity especially sharing his jelly bellies, flowers and “Jim Dandy” treasures. He loved to make people smile. His family was his greatest joy!
Ray will remain forever in the hearts of his love, Romola Powell from Lincoln, California and his children, Brenda (Don) Seely, Debbie (Paul) Paradis, Joan (Greg Clemens) Wayne (Janice), Nicole (Les Cook) and Gary Hebert (Sarah Piche). As well as nine grandchildren, 10 great-grandchildren and one great-great granddaughter.
A beautiful funeral service was held on Friday, September 21, 2018 at 2 p.m. at the Notre Dame De Lourdes Church in Girouxville, with Monseignor Charles Lavoie officiating.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the McLennan Legion Branch #153.