Francis Mahood

Francis Raymond (Ray) Mahood passed away Dec. 29, 2006.

Ray was one of four sons and three daughters born to James and Elizabeth Mahood. He was born Dec. 19, 1923 and grew up in Chilliwack during the Great Depression.

Like many families, farming was a way of life. His father was the first forest ranger for the Lower Mainland and would go on to teach his sons the tools needed for a future in the forest industry.

At the age of 14 Ray decided to start coloring his father’s maps for fun.

When word of this got around a man from the B.C. Forest Service came to see him. From then on black and white maps became a thing of the past. Ray never heard from the man again but was forever proud of being the one to start the colorization of maps.

During the Second World War, Ray enlisted in the Canadian Army at the age of 19 and trained in Armored Corps.

As a tank commander, he and his crew landed on the beaches of Normandy on the evening of D-Day, June 6, 1944.

They were transferred to a British unit to supply the crews of the self-propelled armored vehicles and provided an important role to the invasion.

Soon after they were released by the British Army and continued by tank throughout Normandy, helping other units. Thereafter he joined an elite team called the Canadian Grenadier Guards.

Ray served through to Holland where he became an aid to the regiments’ commander for their headquarters squadron. He was discharged in 1946 and returned home to Chilliwack.

While working as a forest ranger in Cultus Lake he met and married the love of his life with whom he would have nine children.

Throughout the 50s and 60s Ray not only started his own mapping company that was known all over Canada, but also had a family logging company that was successful for many years.

Over time he became specialized in photogramitry and was an experienced surveyor who was responsible for logging operations in B.C., Alberta and South America. Ray was sought after by many companies but was most interested in the jobs that would pose a challenge.

He was respected by all who met and worked with him.

Some of Ray’s other accomplishments were boxing, gymnastics, as well as building two of his own homes but, as an experienced pilot who owned two planes, he enjoyed flying the most.

In the 70s he moved his family to the community of North Shuswap where he was the owner/operator of a building supply store and the local postmaster, eventually moving to the coast for a number of years, then working his way to Williams Lake in 1986, and finishing his career as a consultant for a pulp and paper company.

Loving the countryside of the Cariboo, he retired to his cottage along with his canine friend of many years, where he would spend time enjoying reading and listening to music, overlooking his lake front property, with friends and family visiting often.

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