We are deeply saddened to announce that Ray Oksanen passed away on March 31, 2014, after a two-year battle with leukemia.
Born in St. Paul’s Hospital, Vancouver on Feb. 3, 1938, Ray was raised in Sointula, B.C. where his father Vilho and mother Maria settled in 1935 after emigrating from Finland. While attending Malcolm Island High School, Ray excelled academically and worked as a commercial fisherman on his own gill-netter, the V.O. At the age of 14, Ray was already a competent seaman when he made a solo trip across Queen Charlotte Sound. After graduating from high school, Ray trained to be a heavy-duty diesel mechanic at VIU in Nanaimo. In 1959 he married his high school sweetheart, Beverly Jean Graham, and his career took them first to Campbell River and then Powell River before finally settling in North Vancouver in 1963. In 1976 Ray began teaching Diesel Engineering at Vancouver Community College, where he worked, beloved by his students and colleagues, until his retirement in 2003. Together with Bev, Ray enjoyed many trips to Europe and loved to explore B.C. & the USA. Ray was a kind hearted, talented craftsman, with a brilliant mechanical mind and a love of learning. He was always willing to help friends and family and was the most loving, intelligent, steadfast and caring son, husband, father grandfather and friend that one could ever hope to meet. “Super Ray” is survived by his loving wife Bev, his children Gregory and Shannon, Grandchildren Cate, Oona, Ivy Ray and Honor, and by Jane Wareing, Scott Livingstone and Rodney Graham. Ray will be mourned by Bev’s mother, Jean Graham, sister Wendy Tossavainen (Mark), and many friends and relatives.
The family sincerely thanks Dr. Wendy Lam and Dr. James
Hayward for their unwavering support and care over the last two years, as well as Bev and Ray’s friends and relations who helped them greatly through the last several months.
If you wish, donations may be made in Ray’s memory to
A celebration of Ray’s well-lived life will be held in North
Vancouver at St. Agnes Anglican Church, 530 East 12th at 2:30 on September 13th. With Rev. Lizz Lindsay Officiating.
Reception to follow in the Church Hall.