Raymond Graff

Obituary of Raymond Lewis Graff

Raymond Lewis Graff, resident of Sunset Prairie, passed away on January 2, 2008 at the age of 74. A funeral service was held on Monday, January 7th, at 1:00 pm from Reynars Funeral Chapel, Pastor Lee Stephenson officiated. Interment followed in the Willow Valley Cemetery. Ray was the first of ten children born to Edwin and Florence Graff at Pouce Coupe Red Cross Hospital on October 27, 1933. His first years were spent in the Pouce Coupe area until the family moved to New Westminster in 1941. While his dad worked in sawmills, he took violin lessons, becoming quite the accomplished player. In 1946, the family moved back to the Sunset Prairie area and he never played violin again. Leaving school after completing Grade 8, he worked briefly with his dad at the sawmill, then onto other logging related jobs. Ray worked for Boyle Brothers Diamond Drilling Company doing exploratory mineral drilling in the Pine Pass area and underground mining at Britania Mines north of Vancouver. After working at these jobs, he returned to Sunset Prairie where he worked on the farm with Aunt Vera and Uncle Elliot. He then worked for Fort. St. John Lumber, building bush roads with "the company D7E" in Chetwynd, Hudson Hope and Stuart Lake areas. In 1960 Ray married Margaret Odden. They had 3 children, Lynn, Evan and Colin. In 1965, together with brother Gordie, they bought one of the first rubber tired skidders and logged on the Halfway River. Later they worked for John Koenig in the Hudson Hope area. It was here the skidder was worked in the bush and used weekends and break-up to establish the grain farm in Sunset Prairie and to do custom work for other farmers. Ray continued working out most winters. In later years the farm was transformed into a cattle operation. Ray also established a woodlot a short distance away. In the early 90's Ray purchased his pride and joy - a John Deere 450 cat. Along with other equipment supplied by Evan and Colin, Ray reforested and harvested his woodlot for years. Ray sold his woodlot 2 years ago and even after the sale he would still enjoy inspecting it on horseback with granddaughter Taylor. Ray kept his John Deere Cat which he used around the farm, even teaching grandson Neil how to operate it. Ray never lived his life sitting still. Even with the decline in the cattle industry, Ray wanted to hang in there, saying that he needed something to keep him busy. Winter feeding and summer haying was the answer. Ray was predeceased by his parents Edwin and Florence Graff and his sister Eunice Leisle. Ray is survived by his wife Margaret, children Lynn (Bruce), Evan (Ann), Colin (Nicki) and grandchildren Jenn, Laura, Neil, Taylor, Colin, Haley, Theran and Olivia. Ray is also survived by numerous brothers, sisters, nieces, nephews and their respective families. Eulogy presented by Earl Linsley Very Respectfully Reynars Funeral Home & Crematorium, Dawson Creek, B.C.
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