July 23, 1934 – May 13, 2020
We are saddened to announce the death of Raymond Alfred Matthews on May 13, 2020, at the age of 85. Ray is survived by his loving wife Myrna, daughter Karen and son John (Marilyn), granddaughters; Rhianna (Raymi), Rowan (James), Devin (Marshall) and Jenna, and great-grandson Elio.
Ray was born in Calgary, Alberta on July 23, 1934, to Annie “May” George and Frederick Alexander Matthews. At age 17 he took off with his lifelong pal John Reid to join the Canadian National Railway.
In November 1957, Ray was en route to the Grey Cup game in Toronto when he spotted Myrna Isherwood on the station platform in Edmonton. He abandoned the train and asked her to come to dinner at the Purple Lantern. One month later they shared their first kiss at a New Year’s Eve party in Jasper. He walked her back to her hotel, they jumped on a railway coach to warm up, and there he proposed. They married August 31, 1958.
Ray worked for the CNR for 40 years, starting as a brakeman, progressing through management ranks to Assistant Superintendent. His work took the family to Jasper, Burnaby, Smithers, Biggar, Edmonton, North Delta, Montreal, and back to Edmonton. In 1990 he and Myrna retired to Mission BC.
Aside from Myrna and the kids, the great love of Ray’s life was railroading. On days off he was often out chasing and photographing trains. He co-authored several books on Canadian railway history and collected thousands of old railway photographs. The Ray Matthews Collection at the Glenbow Museum Archives is his legacy.
Ray and Myrna travelled extensively. He also took up piping and was one of the earliest members of the Jasper Pipe Band. Ray was known for his intelligence, honesty, quick wit, and infectious smile. He was loved by many, and will be deeply missed.
Donations may be made to the Christine Morrison Hospice at Mission Memorial Hospital. Special thanks to Hospice and hospital staff, Dr. Willem deKlerk, and the staff at Carrington House for their excellent care. A graveside service will be held at a later date. Obituary
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