Ray was born June 12, 1926 at the Miami Cottage Hospital, the ninth child of Nettie and David Irwin. He is survived by his loving wife, Heather; daughter, Judith of Whitehorse Yukon; son, James (Debbie) of Pritchard B.C.; daughter, Joanne (Claude) France; daughter, Shelley (Don) Burnham of Brentwood Bay, BC; grandchildren, Claire, Daniel, Britt (Ryan) and David; as well as great grandchildren, Ryder and Grayson. He is also survived by his brother, Raymond; sister-in-law, Fran of Dawson Creek, BC; as well as numerous nieces and nephews.
Ray attended a one room school in Bottenville and High School at Thornhill, while living with his eldest sister Rieta and John Stevens, riding to school every day from the farm. Ray enlisted January 12, 1944 CIC and underwent chemical DM testing at Suffield, Alberta. Transferring to RCN at the end of the war, he served in the Korean Conflict 1951-1952 HMCS Cayuga. Ray earned commission from ranks and was extremely proud of Navy Rank “Mr. Irwin”. Ray served as Navigator and Cadet Training Officer. He retired after 27 years service and his last posting was Director of Athletics, Royal Rhodes Military College. Ray then entered the University of Victoria and earned his Bachelor of Education (Honours). He taught Junior and Senior High School at 100 Mile House, BC until retirement again at age 60. His third career was breeding and training thoroughbred race horses at the Assiniboia Downs.
Thank you to Dr. Bailes and on call physicians, nurses and staff of ICU and Medical at Portage General Hospital for their special care of Ray. In lieu of flowers, donations to Children’s Wish Foundation of Manitoba, PAWS, or to the Winnipeg Humane Society.
Sounds of the seas grow fainter,
Sounds of the sands have sped;
The sweep of gales
The far white sails,
Are silent, spent and dead.
Sounds of the days of summer
Murmur and die away,
And distance hides
The long, low tides,
As night shuts out the day.
~ E. Pauline Johnson
Doyle’s Funeral Home, Carman, MB in care of arrangements.