Mr. Raymond Oksanen
With heavy hearts we announce the passing of Raymond Oksanen on Thursday, September 6, 2018, at the age of 76 after a brief but aggressive battle with cancer.
Ray was born in Fort William on October 26, 1941 to Aina and John Oksanen and was raised on the family farm in South Gillies with his 7 sisters, twin brother and 4 other brothers. Ray started his trucking career with 7UP (Doran’s) where he worked for 17 years and during this time he met the love of his life Phyllis Brady. They were married on September 24, 1966 and would have celebrated 52 years of marriage this month. Soon after son Darryl and twins, son Stacey and daughter Tracey were born and he moved his family out to Cloud Bay where he lived for 35 years which was when Ray pursued his dream and became an owner/operator of his gravel truck/business “Ray Oksanen Trucking” for over 25 years. He was later employed with B.J Halow until 2008 when he decided to retire and pick up the game of golf again.
Ray enjoyed being outdoors and would often take his wife and family ice fishing, snowmobiling, camping and fishing. Ray and Phyllis spent many Saturday nights at the Kakabeka Legion dancing the night away and they could really jive! Ray was always active at home maintaining and keeping their grass and the rest of their Cloud Bay acreage in immaculate condition, chopping wood on the property to keep the fire stoked in his garage which was one of his favourite places to spend his time.
Ray had a big heart and was always willing to help others especially his family. After moving to the city he started going out to his son Darryl’s property on Candy Mountain on a regular basis and became the groundskeeper, carpenter, plumber, lumber jack – you name it, he did it and he did it well. Ray often helped his sisters and families with maintaining some of their properties or driving them to medical appointments and doing odd jobs when needed.
Mostly Ray enjoyed having his family around, the more the merrier. He spent quality time with his grandchildren, teaching them country living and passing on his love for the outdoors.
Ray is survived by his wife Phyllis, sons Darryl and Stacey (Tammy Youmans), daughter Tracey Tait (Jeff), grandchildren Lindsay and Kelly Tait, Kaija Oksanen, Gary and Jacquelyn Youmans, sisters Elsie Kallio (Arnold), Irene Enders, Diane Atwood, Maimie Matson (Alfred), Helmi Morris, twin brother Ron, brothers Bill (Monica), Bob (Betty), brother in law Ivan Brady (Donna), sister in laws Iris Luke (Gord) and Lois Todd along with numerous cousins, nieces and nephews.
Ray is predeceased by his father John, mother Aina, brothers Ilmar and Leo, sisters Lily and Verna along with several in-laws, nieces and nephews over the years.
As per Ray’s wishes cremation has taken place and a celebration of his life will be held on Thursday, September 13, 2018 at the West Arthur Community Centre 1914 Arthur St W from 5-7 pm. Donations in memory of Ray can be made to the Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Centre, the Canadian Cancer Society or the Heart and Stroke Foundation if friends so desire.
Our family would like to express special thanks to Dr. Addison (as well as her assistant Debbie who was a great support) for caring for our Dad over the years and checking in on him and our Mom at the hospital each day, as well as Dr. Kevin Bezanson for helping us through Dad’s last days with such compassion and kindness. To the wonderful nursing staff on the oncology floor who took such great care of Dad, making sure he was comfortable for the past three weeks and treating him with kindness and dignity. And lastly to all the other hospital staff; housekeeping, food servers and cleaning staff, thank you for all you did every day to contribute to helping our Dad while he was there, your efforts did not go unnoticed.
Arrangements have been entrusted to Simpler Times Cremation Centre, 332 North May Street, Thunder Bay.