Raymond Beggs

Obituary of Raymond Beggs

Born January 26, 1923 in Fort William, Ontario (now Thunder Bay), Ray passed away in the early hours of July 7, 2013 with his loving wife of 63 years, Gladys Evelyn (nee Bain), by his side. Ray was the son of Robert Henry Beggs and Ida Louise Merz and was predeceased by his parents and his older brother James Louison Beggs of Barrie, Ont. Ray started his life in the small community of Heron Bay in Northern Ontario where his father was a storekeeper serving the needs of the nearby Indian reservation, who sold their beaver, fox and mink skins to him. In 1928 the family moved to Thunder Bay where the fox and mink farm they had started in Heron Bay was re-established. Ray attended elementary school in Port Arthur graduating with honours at the age of 16 years from the Port Arthur Collegiate Institute. Ray volunteered and joined the Royal Canadian Air Force in 1942 hoping to become a fighter pilot but due to colour blindness he became an aero engine mechanic. Following training he was posted to RCAF 418 squadron in southern England, a night fighter intruder squadron flying Mosquito twin engine planes. In 1944 he was posted to RCAF 419 squadron, a Lancaster bomber group and early in 1945 he joined 666 Air Observation Post squadron spending 6 months in Holland. Following the war, Ray worked for Marshall Wells as a Retail Sales Manager. He married his lovely wife Gladys in 1949 and in 1950 had the first of their six children. In the early years, Ray was an active member of the Port Arthur Jaycees and his involvement eventually led him to the position of Secretary & General Manager of the Port Arthur Chamber of Commerce, this was the start of his life's work. In 1962 the Beggs' clan made the big move to Sarnia and until his retirement in 1988 Ray became very well known as the Manager of the Sarnia Chamber of Commerce. During this time he was instrumental in helping establish Lambton College and Crime Stoppers, organizing the Highland Games and the building of Hwy 402 to London. He was involved in Rotary for 25 years, Golden Kiwanis, Junior Achievement of Sarnia and the Lambton Seniors Association. Ray also enjoyed curling and golf, gardening, wine making, and photography. Ray and Gladys enjoyed spending time traveling and keeping in touch with family and friends and meeting new people throughout Canada and the USA. He was a great story teller and appreciated the opportunity to share his war stories with children on Remembrance Day. Family was very important to Ray; he loved his wife dearly and was extremely proud of his family and their accomplishments. He leaves to mourn his passing, six children, William (Jan) of Lambton Shores, Ont., Brian (Sally) of Corunna, Ont., Beverly Krabsen (Gary) of Rosebud, AB, Ronald (Winnie) of Calgary, AB, Leanne Beggs - Lancaster (Tom) of Sarnia and Carrie McAffer (Mike) of Sarnia; 12 grandchildren, Michael (Barbie) and Mason Beggs, Brant Shaw and Chelsea Beggs, Amanda Ezekiel, Aaron, and Garrison Krabsen, Veronica and Alexander Beggs, Sophie Jackson, and Logan and K.C. McAffer; 5 great grandchildren, Tanner Stewart, Cade and Colten Ezekiel and Kristin and Kaitlin Beggs, and many nieces and nephews. Ray adopted the Royal Canadian Air Force motto as his own, "Per Ardua Ad Astra" (through adversity to the stars). With God's grace, you've reached the stars, may you now be at peace Papa. Friends will be received 2 - 4 p.m. Friday, July 12th  at the McKenzie Blundy Funeral Home, 431 Christina St. N., Sarnia. Funeral service will be held 11:00 a.m. Saturday, July 13th  at Grace United Church, at Cathcart and Indian Road, officiated by Rev. Dr. Brad Morrision. A private family interment at the Lakeview Cemetery. In lieu of flowers donations to a charity of your choice are greatly appreciated. Messages of condolence & memories may be left at www.mckenzieblundy.com. A tree will be planted in memory of Raymond Beggs in the McKenzie & Blundy Memorial Forest. Dedication service Sunday, September 15th, 2013 at 2:00 p.m. at the Wawanosh Wetlands Conservation Area


2-4 p.m. Friday, July 12, 2013


11:00 a.m. Saturday, July 13, 2013 Grace United Church Officiated by Rev. Dr. Brad Morrision Cremation to follow Private family Interment Lakeview Cemetery


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