Ray Stevens

If wealth were measured by the number of friends one acquires in a lifetime, then our Dad was a very wealthy man. So many have enjoyed his entertaining stories, hilarious sense of humour and his warm generosity. Yes, he could swear a blue streak at an uncooperative baler, but there was always laughter with Dad, and he was a man who would truly give the shirt off his back to anyone. Even after a stroke stole his speech, “Funny Grampa” could always evoke smiles and laughter with his colourful expressions. This past summer, he enjoyed the wind in his hair and bugs on his teeth as he cruised the countryside on his shiny new Spyder, popping in to visit friends along the way.

Born in 1941, Dad grew up in and around Chemanius, BC and that’s where he met the love of his life, Pauline. But his dream was to be a rancher, so in 1971, he and his young family moved to the Cariboo and bought the Ochiltree Ranch together with family. Some of our favourite stories are about those tough first years; of greenhorns taking on 1,200 acres of land, well weathered buildings, equipment held together with “Roy-fixes”, and of learning the ups and downs of ranching. Many a time it was learned by trial and error, but Dad always cherished the wise teachings of pioneers like Oscar Anderson, and he also loved to share his knowledge with others.

Eventually the land was split and Dad and Mom built the Lazy S Ranch successfully together, while raising us two kids, Colin and Dani. Dad also worked for many years at ICG Propane, driving truck and extending his network of friends throughout the Cariboo and out to the Central Coast.

He leaves behind his loving wife of 49 years, Pauline, as well as son Colin, daughter-in-law Fran; daughter Dani, son-in-law Dan Yauck; four grandchildren, one step-grandchild, and one great-grandchild. He is also survived by his step-father John Starling at 99 years old, and brother John Starling Jr and family.

Dad loved his ranch and the great outdoors, hard work and fly fishing, trap shooting and grouse hunting, Johnny Cash and good Scotch. Most of all he loved his family and friends, and while he will be sorely missed, he’d much rather see us laughing than crying. Ride on and Keep Your Powder Dry.

A memorial will be held at his ranch in the Spring.


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