MELNYK – Raymond Melnyk of Surrey, BC passed away peacefully on July 26, 2010 at the Peace Arch Hospital in White Rock, BC. with family and friends by his side. Ray was born on February 06, 1926 in the Goodeve district of Saskatchewan, a son to Fred and Pearl (nee Pilipow) Melnyk.
Ray received his formative education at Stryj School, the local country school located about two miles from the family farm. Upon leaving school, Ray enlisted in the Military with the Royal Canadian Artillery where he served until 1946. He got an overseas posting but, fortunately, the war ended before Ray had to go abroad. Upon discharge from the army he worked for a short time with a Manitoba telecommunications company. Later he returned home to try his hand at farming. In the mid-fifties Ray went on to work for his brother-in-law, Bill Rygus, delivering bulk petroleum products to farmers and other businesses in the Kelliher area. Having gained valuable experience working in that business, he soon obtained an Esso Imperial Agency of his own at Spy Hill, SK. Ray successfully operated his business for 20 years, retiring from Esso in 1980. Ray then moved to White Rock, BC, where he began a post-retirement career as grounds keeper for various large estates bordering the Pacific coastline in the White Rock neighbourhood. He took great pride in his work and continued to provide grounds keeping services until recent health issues forced him to limit his physical activities.
Throughout his retirement years in BC, Ray always kept abreast of what was happening back in SK. He had a keen interest in how family and friends were doing and made several trips back to the prairies to take part in family and community events. Ray was a member of the Canadian Legion, enjoyed golfing, barbecuing, curling, gardening, travelling, fine cars and; he was never one to shy away from a spirited political debate.
Ray was 84 years of age at his passing. He is survived by dear friend Margaret Noga; two sisters, Olga (Stecyk) and Sophie (Rygus); as well as several nieces and nephews. Ray was predeceased by his parents Fred and Pearl(Pilipow); brothers Joseph and William; and his sister Sylvia. He will be fondly remembered for his mischievous sense of humour, an unwavering sense of loyalty to family and friends and his miraculous “green thumb”.
A prayer service was held on Thursday, August 5, 2010 at 7:00 p.m. from the Chapel of Bailey’s Funeral Home in Melville, Saskatchewan. The funeral service was held on Friday, August 6, 2010 at 10:00 a.m. from St. Mary The Protectress Ukrainian Orthodox Church in Melville, Saskatchewan with Very Rev. Fr. Mel Slashinsky officiating. The cantor Mr. William Kozey and members of the church choir led in the responses. Crossbearer was Ron Pilipow and bannerbearers were Leroy and Andy Melnyk. Members of Robert G. Combe V.C. Branch of Royal Canadian Legion #61formed an honor guard and Brian Morris preformed the Legion Tribute. Honorary bearers were Leon Machula, Bohdan Machula, Walter Machula, Reg Rygus, Ron Rygus and Dave Stecyk. The interment followed in the Melville Municipal Cemetery in the veterans section with Kurt Schmidt, Jason Melnyk, Ian Stecyk, Don Stecyk, Brook Pilipow and Lawrence Melnyk as the casketbearers. Arrangements were by Bailey’s Funeral Home, Melville.