CURRAN, Raymond Joseph - It is with heavy hearts, that our family announces the death of Raymond Joseph Curran on January 02, 2022. This date marks the passing of our dearly loved father, grandfather, and great-grandfather. Though Ray will be forever missed, our family is feeling grateful for the many years we were able to share with him. Ray was a devoted husband to his late wife, Stephanie, (2002) and loved her throughout their fifty years of marriage and beyond.
Ray was the cornerstone in his family’s lives and was deeply loved and greatly admired by his children, Lesley Desotti (John), Heather, Scott (Mary), Guy (Kathy) and Brian (2021). Guided by his strong faith, our father held the principle of The Golden Rule very close to his heart and he lived his life accordingly. Taking every opportunity to show kindness and compassion for others, our wonderful dad always made his family so very proud of him.
Ray was also a treasured grandfather and exemplary role model to his eight grandchildren - Stephen Desotti (Hailey), Lea McAuslan (Shawn), Michael Desotti (Lisa), and Adam Desotti (Elle), Ray Curran (Vanessa), Jillian Curran (Jason), Hilary Curran (Jameson) and Taylor Curran (Chanel). As well as creating such fun and everlasting childhood memories, grandpa listened to his grandchildren’s individual hopes for their futures while offering some valuable life lessons along their way. Grandpa’s generous and loving contributions to the lives of his grandchildren will remain legendary, which in itself will be a lasting gift to each of them. Ray was also a very proud and loving great-grandfather to Chloe and Olivia, Kylie and Logan, Evangeline and Valentina, Theia and Spencer, Max and Luke, and Harrison and Caroline.
Ray was predeceased by his parents, Harry and Gladys Curran, his son Brian (April-2021) and his brother Edward (January-2021). He is survived by his brothers, John (Donna), Lyle (Christine), sisters, Joyce Colucci (John-2009) and Marilyn Sandrin (Lucio) and sister-in-law Pat Curran. Ray was also a loving and caring brother-in-law to Barbara Kilby (Michael-1970), Bob and Wanda Durand, and Paul Durand (2017).
Born on the family farm in Brigden in 1930, Ray’s family moved to Corunna when he was twelve years old. Ray formed lifelong friendships as a young boy living in Corunna and held on to the many fun-loving memories surrounding his teenage years - swimming, boating, and skating on the St. Clair River, organizing pick-up hockey games on Hagan’s Pond, and dancing under the stars at Kenwick on the Lake, were just a few of the many stories dad loved to share with us. While Ray enjoyed playing competitive hockey and football, his true athletic passion always shone through best when he was playing baseball for the Corunna Giants, and later for the Sarnia Braves and Sarnia Red Sox. Ray’s interest in baseball never wavered. A loyal Detroit Tigers fan for over seventy five years, Dad enjoyed countless memorable afternoons on the sun-drenched bleachers of Tiger Stadium and Comerica Park, in the company of his family and dear friends. Ray graduated from St. Patrick’s High School in 1949 and subsequently attended university. After graduating from Assumption (UWO), Ray returned to his home town of Corunna and married the love of his life, Stephanie (Durand), and together they raised their family there.
In 1952, Ray and his brother Edward took on active roles in their father’s company, (Curran and Herridge Construction), to help build and maintain the infrastructure of Sarnia’s Chemical Valley. Presently known as Curran Contractors, the company has continued to proudly serve the Sarnia-Lambton industrial community for over seventy years.
Actively and passionately involved in Labour Relations since 1953, Ray was a founding member of the Sarnia Construction Association and sat as Chairman for the Labour Relations Council. Ray took great pride in the Sarnia Construction Association and worked diligently with the SCA General Manager Andy Pilat, the local contractors, the managers of the union building trades and the industrial leaders in the community. Ray upheld great admiration and respect for his colleagues on both sides of the negotiation table and remained deeply grateful for the close friendships and working relationships he made through his involvement with the Sarnia Construction Association. Ray was also involved as Chairman with the Labour Relations Bureau of the Ontario General Contractors Association and Chairman of the Construction Employers Coordinating Council of Ontario. A Board Member of the Ontario General Contractors Association, Ray was also the Director of the Sarnia-Lambton Economic Development Commission and the Chamber of Commerce Energy Committee and sat on the Board of Directors for BlueWater Power (2000-2019).
As a key supporter of the Lambton College Foundation, Ray remained invested in the growth and development of Lambton College and served as a member of the Board of Governors (2005-2013). Ray worked to bring local political parties and government representatives together to expand the skilled trades training program at Lambton College, while offering his guidance and insight to the delivery of program excellence at the new Skilled Trades Training Centre.
Actively invested in local politics, Ray appreciated the long standing friendships he made throughout the years as he offered his continuous support to various candidates throughout numerous federal, provincial and municipal campaigns.
Whether through his work or his personal life, Ray was always eager to reach out to help others and did so through gentle expressions of kindness and generosity. Ray also offered his time and support to numerous charitable organizations and participated in various community events throughout his life and had tremendous respect and admiration for the many volunteers and special friends he met along his way.
Ray was blessed with success and happiness on many levels throughout his life yet it was always the simple everyday pleasures that our dad enjoyed and appreciated the most. Ray felt extremely grateful for the full life he lived. Ray loved his work at Curran Contractors and with the Sarnia Construction Association; he loved his family and his friends and appreciated living in his comfortable home and never really wanted for too much more.
Ray was such a loving force in his family’s lives. In recent years our family further admired our father for his unwavering stoicism as he managed many challenges that greatly impacted his daily life and the independence he had always valued so much. Through all the necessary changes and transitioning, our wonderful dad and grandpa continued to be the finest example of a true gentleman; he continued to inspire our family every day with his internal fortitude, his calm acceptance, and his gentle grace. Ray’s strength of character, his kind heart and his quiet courage will be his legacy. Our family will remember and cherish so many memories with our father and grandfather and great grandfather; those memories will be kept in a special place in our hearts over the rest of our lives.
Our family wishes to acknowledge and extend our deepest gratitude to the exceptional caregivers from ‘Shine At Home’ who became in so many ways, like a part of our family. From the bottom of our hearts, we thank you Delores, April, Kelly, Isabell, Brittany, and Hailee and Kailey for caring for our father with such tremendous respect and kind-hearted tenderness; your thoughtful compassion and nurturing attentiveness was such a wonderful blessing for our father and for our family as we all worked together every day to provide the best life possible for our very special dad.
Our family also wishes to extend our most heartfelt gratitude to Andy Pilat, Dave Brown, Ron Gordon, Dave Kerwin, John Huybers, Ron Laplante and the Lennan family. It is difficult to express just how much your friendships meant to dad and how grateful he felt to know such very special people throughout his life. Thank you for continuing to reach out and for touching our dad’s life with your very thoughtful gestures of inclusiveness and kindness.
To the compassionate EMS attendants and the Bluewater Health Palliative Care doctors and nurses, our family will never forget your personal touches of tenderness and kindness. Thank you for your care and support.
Cremation has taken place. A private family Mass will be held to commemorate Ray’s life at St. Joseph’s Church, Corunna, with interment to follow at St. Joseph’s Cemetery, Corunna.
For those who wish, sympathy may be expressed in Ray’s memory through a chosen personal charity or through the Salvation Army (Sarnia Lambton), an organization that always remained very close to Ray’s heart. (cheques may be mailed to 970 Confederation St., Sarnia, N7S 1A1).
Arrangements are entrusted to McKenzie & Blundy Funeral Home & Cremation Centre, (519-344-3131) 431 Christina St. N., Sarnia, N7T5V8. Messages of condolence and memories may be sent through www.mckenzieblundy.com