April 28, 1947 – November 21, 2021
All things must pass and so did the life of Raymond Richard Gaudart on November 21, 2021.
Born in Toronto on April 28, 1947 Raymond lived in Bermuda before his family moved to Port Arthur (Thunder Bay) Ontario. It was there he completed high school at Port Arthur Collegiate Institute, made good friends and set the stage for a life of close relationships and appreciation for the great outdoors.
Continuing his education Raymond went to Queen’s University in Kingston Ontario and received a Bachelor of Arts degree. His study of languages would serve him well in future travels.
Raymond worked in gold and iron mines, a pulp mill and in administration before settling into a Park Ranger position with BC Parks and finding his home in Rossland BC. Quickly becoming known as Ranger Ray he worked many years in the Kootenay – Rocky Mountains region including Mount Assiniboine Provincial Park.
Additional years of employment with the Regional District of Kootenay Boundary saw Raymond managing solid waste and developing the district recycling program.
Having a decisive and tenacious manner Raymond earned respect and got things done.
Significant accomplishments include providing blue box recycling collection for homes in the West Kootenay and Boundary regions, founding the union at Red Mountain, being an instrumental member of the Kootenay Columbia Trails Society to create the epic Seven Summits Trail and bringing the Olaus Jeldness statue to life in downtown Rossland.
With sensitivity, intellectual curiosity, strength and a spirit of adventure Raymond pursued his journey.
His mischievous sense of humour and willingness to tell it like it is were ever present. He appreciated the finesse of fine food and wine, the joy of music, the majesty of the mountains and the diversity of travel through six continents. He had an amazing ability to remember facts and detail.
He stood on top of Mount Kilimanjaro, cycled up and over Mount Ventoux and skied powder on Red Mountain. At home in his stately pleasure dome or in his ranger’s cabin he generously welcomed everyone with a big smile and a bear hug. Then the party began. Music, dancing, free flowing opinionated discussions, fun. Laissez le bon temps rouler.
Raymond was a connector who brought people together and by doing so changed the course of many lives. Lifelong friendships and relationships were formed and a large network ensued. While not having children of his own younger people called him uncle and others than his siblings called him brother.
During his illness Raymond received tireless and loving care from his sister Janine Ireland (Rick). This enabled him to remain at home. Raymond married Laura Bruckner and although separated they remained very close for the rest of his years.
His father Francois Gaudart and mother Rosa Hegglin predeceased him and brothers David (Mary) and Allan (Alice) live on Vancouver Island.
Raymond also leaves behind nephews Joshua, Justin, Steve and Martin.
A full life well lived. A wonderful man well loved. A memorable man to be celebrated. Thank-you Ranger Ray.
Ashes will be spread in the Kootenay mountains. A website “rangerray.ca” has been set up where you can interact and submit comments, stories, photos and music suggestions.Obituary
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