I, Raymond Clarence Donald, 2nd son of Harriet (Turner) and John Milton Donald, brother to Norman (Laura) and Grace (Mike Borys), started my journey August 25, 1924 by safely arriving in the Yorkton, Saskatchewan hospital. Shortly after my birth, my parents and I journeyed to our home in Fonehill, just 10 miles away.
I have fond memories of growing up enjoying the farm life, working in the field, working with cattle, gardening, and our family trips.
I completed my grade 10 education at the Fonehill school.
Grace, Mary and I visited my school about 10 years ago. I felt like time stood still as I wandered around my school yard, pumped water from the well and sat on the steps like I did as a child.
We also visited our family homestead 1 mile north of Fonehill, where our nephew Wesley continued living in his parents home.
As we arrived at our family’s resting place in the Yorkton cemetery.
We talked about our journeys through our childhood and spoke of the passing of our Mother Harriet and the arrival of our Step Mom, Doris and her passing.
We fondly spoke of our siblings Lorna, Glen (Wendy), and Neil (Heather).
In the Spring of 1949, I arrived in Alsask, Saskatchewan, via train.
My new neighbour, Mr McNabb, gave me a ride in his automobile to Uncle Charlie Turner’s homestead.
My 1st crop was 70 acres of wheat, unfortunately, it was a poor crop. So off to work I went. Throughout the years I worked for Charlie and Ruth Westenberger, George Hertz, Jake Fry, the Benson’s, the Van Sickle’s, CNR, the phone company, the Alberta Wheat Pool, worked on articles for the western producer, just to name a few.
I purchased my groceries and received my mail at Jake Fry’s store by the railway which used to be the town of Arneson.
I was truly blessed to have had two wonderful wives, Edna Porter, who passed away with cancer (1960 -1991) Mary Wenzel (1996 - )
Mary and I met following the passing of her husband Mel and my wife Edna. We have been inseparable ever since. I became a husband, father, grandfather and great-grandfather in a blink of an eye.
Mary and I shared a strong faith and attended the Acadia Valley United Church.
I will always cherish my memories of inventing things in my shop ie: self watering system for the cattle and making tools and equipment instead of buying them. I liked plowing through the deep snow covered roads with the plow, enjoyed trips like going to Alaska, the agricultural field trips, square dancing with the Acadia Valley Dryland Swingers, attending Oyen Legion meetings, volunteering with the Oyen Grievance Society, Volunteering for Heart & Stroke, volunteering with Rural Crime Patrol, playing cards, hunting, fishing, shooting gophers, finding owls in the haystack, attending family events, including the grand kids sporting events, graduations, wedding & the births of our great grand children. I enjoyed attending all the community events in Acadia Valley, Oyen & surrounding area.
My favourite tractor was my 7110 Case.
I don’t miss picking rocks, eating broccoli or being alone.
As all good stories go, Ray’s journey through life has been honoured. April 11, 2022, as Ray received the Alberta Century Farm and Ranch award (1917 - 2017).
Ray continues to proudly own the family homestead where Uncle Charlie’s 20x18 homestead house continues to stand.
On April 13, 2022, Papa Ray completed his journey with his wife Mary, friends & family at his side.
With dignity & grace Ray took a deep breath, and in the blink of an eye he was off on the golden combine, through the golden fields ...
If you listen carefully you can hear Ray calling out his favourite saying to Mary .. he would gently hold her hand and say“I love my wife” he would smile & bow his head.
Ray was predeceased by his: 1st Wife - Edna Porter, Father - John Milton Donald, Mother - Harriet Turner, Step Mother - Doris, Sister- Grace Loretta Pearl Donald, Brother - Norman Donald, Sister - Lorna Andersen , Nephew - Denis Borys, Stepson In-Law - Ronald Bergen.
Ray is survived by his Wife Mary Wenzel, Step Children: Lorraine (Dave) Grover, Rick Wenzel, Lynn (Bart) Findlay, Gwen Bergen,
Step Grandchildren & Step Great grandchildren: Bradley Grover - Zachary, Dannica, Sidney, Bradley & Austin, Jolene (Neil) Heck - Cole, Gabby & Roan, Bobbi-Jo (Mark) Emes - Tristan, Katarina, Tatum, Taryn, Uriajan, Jamie (Dwayne) Kneller -Brayden & Caleb, Raylene (Matthew) Yip - Ava & Emma, Troy Wenzel McDonald—Xaviour, Dr. Michael Voralia (Jane Cassidy) - Aiden & Mira, Brothers: Glen and Wendy Donald, Neil Donald, Ray, niece's and nephew’s: Doug & Lynda Borys, Carol & Murray Silzer, Marie & Allen Miller, Ray’s Dog Rascal’s adoptive family: Jason & Leanne Miller & family (Great nephew), Ray and Edna’s Niece's and Nephew’s: John & Pauli Hamilton, Audrey & Darrell Bonenfant, Irene & John Powell, Betty Ann Kjartanson
Recording of the service is uploaded. Due to poor cell coverage, it is in 2 videos, as we lost connection. Video 1 does buffer, video 2 is ok.
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Oyen and District Health Care Foundation
Box 1, Oyen AB T0J 2J0
Royal Canadian Legion Acadia Branch #208
Box 184, Oyen AB T0J2J0
Acadia Valley Community Club
Acadia Valley, Acadia Valley AB T0J 0A0
Acadia Valley United Church
14 2 Ave East, Acadia Valley AB T0J0A0