MARTIN, Ray Stewart

January 30, 1919 – December 17, 2020

Ray Stewart Martin left us on Thursday, December 17, 2020 at 101 years of age.  A life truly well-lived. 

Ray was born on January 30, 1919 at Cabri, Saskatchewan. He was the middle child of Bruce William Martin and Milesa Pearl Walker, having an older brother Les (Lila) and a younger sister Norma (Earl Watson). Ray’s parents were settlors: breaking land, farming and raising livestock and horses.  Ray grew up knowing the value of a hard day’s work, spending lots time helping build the family farm. 

Ray went to school up to the age of 16, continuing to work on the family farm and saving until he could buy his own land.  He also enjoyed playing hockey in the winters and his favorite position was goalie.

When the war came, Ray decided to do his part and enlisted in the Canadian Army in the spring of 1942.  He spent many months training recruits at various army bases in British Columbia and Nova Scotia and eventually was part of the Allied occupying forces in England, Holland and Belgium at the end of the war.  He rose to the rank of Sergeant and was released from active service in March of 1946.

After a few years working on the family farm, Ray visited George Duguid near Cremona, Alberta and it didn’t take him long to notice the lovely young lady, Eleanor Luft who lived a mile up the road.  While he spent time at the Duguid farm, he wore out a saddlehorse visiting Eleanor every chance he could.  His persistence paid off and they married in Didsbury, Alberta on June 27, 1951.  After a short stint back in Saskatchewan, the couple sold their land in Saskatchewan and moved to Big Prairie, northwest of Cremona.

Ray and Eleanor worked hard together every day of their life – growing feed and cereal crops, raising livestock, milking up to 30 cows, shipping cream and milk daily to Calgary and building a successful home and farm between them.  When the sun went down or the weather was bad, they loved to play cards with family and neighbors and Eleanor would cook amazing meals leaving everyone stuffed and rolling with laughter.  Ray loved to fish and they both loved travelling in their motorhome, camping and visiting across Canada, Alaska and flying to Hawaii.  Ray captured many of these trips on his movie camera and they loved to share their experiences and the beauty that they witnessed.

In 2001 they decided it was time to move off the farm and they had a new house built in Cochrane – a real treat for Eleanor as she loved to cook and entertain and took such great pride in her spotless house.  Ray found a hobby in hooking mats and they both continued to plant a garden in the yard and enjoying its bounty.

In 2012 they moved into the Bethany Care Centre where they have enjoyed 8 and a half wonderful years together sharing the fellowship of other neighbors and residents.  Ray enjoyed doing puzzles, playing cards and playing bingo.  In fact, Ray seemed to have the pulse of the Bethany Centre, knowing all the daily activities and events, and being an active participant and “character” with his colleagues and staff.  Ray was ‘up’ for every tour, visit to the Casino, swimming, ranch visits, shopping, you name it!

Ray is survived by his wife Eleanor, his sister Norma Watson (Saskatchewan), and numerous nieces and nephews. He was predeceased by his brother Les Martin in 2005.

Our deepest thanks to the dedicated and amazing staff at the Bethany Care Centre in Cochrane. They not only cared for, but enriched the lives, of Ray and Eleanor for many years.  Ray truly enjoyed his time and sunset years at the Centre.

Due to provincial Covid restrictions a private service will take place at a later date.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Cochrane Bethany Care Centre.

Arrangements entrusted to Flo Simpson, Funeral Director

Cochrane Country Funeral Home – Ph: 403-932-1039

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  1. On December 28, 2020 at 9:51 am Jean Jackson Said:

    My deepest sympathies to all. You all have taken such good care of Uncle Ray and Auntie Elinor! I will always remember that sparkle in his eyes when he was joking around, which was a normal day for him! My gratitude for his stories of wisdom will never be forgotten. Jean

  2. On December 31, 2020 at 4:11 pm Kathy Martin Said:

    To Ray’s Family…I had the pleasure of getting to know Ray, as I volunteered at The Bethany, up until COVID put a stop to me doing so. I would volunteer there 2 or 3 times a week, and always looked forward to seeing Ray and Eleanor. Ray was a “ray” of sunshine, and he was always upbeat, and ready to partake in any, and all, activities. He was such an easy going, friendly, gentleman whose love for his wife, Eleanor, was so wonderful to see. I will miss seeing him at The Bethany, and hearing all the wonderful stories about his life, but I will always treasure the time I got to spend, getting to know him – he was definitely a very special person. My condolences to Eleanor, and Family.

    Kathy Martin

  3. On January 2, 2021 at 10:01 am Rick and Nathene Arthur Said:

    Our deepest condolences, Ray and Eleanor were our wonderful neighbours for 10 years. Loved chatting with them and hearing of Ray’s experiences thru life. A life well lived.
    Rick and Nathene

  4. On January 13, 2021 at 3:04 pm Corrine Leask Said:

    My deepest sympathy to Eleanor & all Rays family
    With love & prayers ,Corrine Leask