Dennis Raymond Ward
January 7, 1931 – March 28, 2016
If there ever was a Maverick in the family, it was Raymond. He was the first to attempt the unusual with his all or nothing approach. Raymond passed away on Monday, March 28, 2016 at the age of 85 in his usual Maverick style while crossing the train tracks at the Pat Road Crossing East of Kamloops.
He was the first to try waterskiing on the Okanagan Lake, the first in town to have a new 1964 black Mustang Convertible and the first to own a Honda motorcycle in the Okanagan in the 1950’s. Raymond started the Okanagan Skydiving Club in the early 60s and later when transferred to Kamloops started the Kamloops Parachute Club in the late 1960s. He made over 700 parachute jumps himself while teaching a multitude of students the fun of skydiving.
Raymond was born on a farm in Saltcoats, Saskatchewan in 1931 to parents Alvery and Maud (nee Brimacombe) and later moved with his family to Naramata. He often talked about the wonderful young life he had while growing up along with his brother Don and all their buddies, playing baseball, sailing, swimming across the Okanagan Lake to Summerland and working in the family orchard.
He owned an orchard in the 1950s and during the winter months he could be found adventuring in Mexico. In the 1960s, Raymond became a Field Accountant with Interior Contracting Company and then in the l980s, started his own tax accounting business. He sold the business in 2000 when he retired to spend many years acting as Park Host and Maintenance Guy for the Kettle Valley Railway and the Canada Trail. You could find him handing out water, helping lost strangers, rebuilding rock ovens and hosting hot dog parties at this campsite for anyone to enjoy.
Raymond was a wonderful father to his only child Natasha and he gave her a fantasy childhood with a life-size kickwillie, a full size swinging boat between two pine trees, a larger than large tree house, horses skidoos and more. Many good times were had at his home at Pinantan Lake spending time with Natasha along with all the neighbourhood children joining in on the fun. As Natasha got older he introduced her to adventure travelling and took her to Bolivia, Peru and Mexico.
Raymond was an unforgettable man who was very generous with both his time and money. He would often give to people on the street and wish them his best. During the Christmas season, he was a supporter of the Salvation Army and manned the Christmas kettle while smiling, handing out candy canes and wishing a Merry Christmas to all.
Raymond leaves his wonderful memories to his daughter, Natasha (Andy), grandchildren, Ava and Mark, his brother Don (Sula), nephews Colin (Mona), Roger (Gail) and their children. He also leaves behind his former wife and life-long friend, Eileen (Charlie). His many friends, cousins and business acquaintances will truly remember Raymond as a straight shooter, kind, generous and caring to anyone who needed a hand up: a one-of-a-kind man who added much to our lives.
Memorial services will be held on Thursday, April 7 at 2:00 PM at the Salvation Army Church, 344 Poplar Street, North Kamloops.
Condolences for Raymond may be sent to DrakeCremation.com
Donations may be made to the Salvation Army on Raymond’s behalfPrint This Obituary & Condolences