On March 5th, 2010, Ray Martin Sr. lost his courageous battle with lung cancer. He passed away at St. Joseph’s Hospital with family by his side.
Ray was born in Pontiex, Saskatchewan in 1934 but moved soon afterwards with his family and resided in Swift Current, Alberta and later in Edmonton. He is predeceased by his parents, Ralph and Elizabeth Martin (nee LaTour), brothers, Dona, Ronald, Marcel, and Fern and sisters, Terry Meuler and Rita Cam.
Ray is survived by his life partner, Barbara Martin (nee Bach) and his children; Laura Heron, Tammy Fillion, Ray Martin, Dean Martin and Michelle Roe. He also leaves behind their spouses who he warmly accepted as his own children, Robert Heron, Mark Fillion and Richard Roe as well as a long line of equally cherished grandchildren, M’Darla Loiselle, Cindy Heron, David Heron, Brittania Martin, Justin Martin, Tamara Martin, Josh Martin, Kyle Fillion, Madison Fillion, Cassidy Roe, Sydney Martin, and Montana Roe. He was expecting his first great grandchild in the summer of this year. Ray also leaves behind his brother and friend, Leon Martin, sisters, Paula Whan, Lucille Hyman, and Margaret Lacouier as well as many nieces and nephews. He also leaves behind his miniature dachshund who was a very special companion and best friend for over 10 years, Mr. Bo Jangles.
Ray and Barbara moved to the Comox Valley with their young family in 1975 where they opened the Comox Valley Roller Drome. Ray’s charismatic charm and whimsical humor made him a favorite by all the youth who frequented the facility. His dream of creating a safe and fun environment for the young at heart soon ended as the popularity of the Roller Drome faded but was not enough to prevent Ray from becoming a successful businessman. He returned to his heartland in the prairies, this time in Red Deer, Alberta and opened J & J Tarps where he continued to work until his retirement.
When he retired he returned to the Comox Valley to be closer with his children and grandchildren. He was known to all the kids as “Papa with the boots” because his cowboy boots followed him throughout his life, both on the farm and off. We all believe that he wore this title with pride as he treasured all his grandchildren.
Ray was a brother, a father, a grandfather and friend and will carry a special place in our hearts forever. Even in this time of great sadness a smile is brought to our faces when we remember a man who humor kept him young at heart until his last day. We would like to thank his daughters who cared for him night and day and supported him until his death, his brother and sisters for their reassuring phone calls and many visits throughout his battle. We would also like to acknowledge his many caretakers, especially his “Mary” for showing him love in his time of need. There will be a celebration of life at a later date for all of Ray’s family.