Raymond HEARD

HEARD Raymond Philip April 19, 1917 – June 26, 2009 Ray passed away peacefully in Edmonton at age 92. He is survived by his loving wife of 68 years, Joan (nee Butterworth), his children, Colin (Sandra), Lynne (Doug Sigler) and Stuart (Anne), of Ottawa, Edmonton, and Kaslo, respectively; by grandchildren Teri (Jeff Green), Roger (Tracey), Sarah (Darren Penner), Noel Heard, and by 6 great-grandchildren. He was predeceased by his sisters Norah Putnam and Margaret Ramsay. Ray was born in Leamington Spa, England and later became a reporter on the Warwick Advertiser and the Coventry Evening Telegraph. From 1939 to 1945, Ray served in the Royal Air Force as an air observer (navigator / bomb aimer). In 1941, his Bristol Bombay aircraft carrying paratroopers was shot down in North Africa. Ray was a POW in several camps in Germany until his liberation by the Russians in 1945. His knowledge of shorthand and background as a reporter led to Ray's task of recording Allied broadcasts on a secret radio. Summaries were written with special ink that was transferred to a flat pan of jello and copies from the "jello-graph" were distributed to various companies within the camp. At great risk, Ray kept a diary that was published as a memoir in 2003 by the Central Alberta Historical Society. The original diaries are held by the Red Deer Archives. Upon repatriation, Ray earned a degree and began teaching in the UK. In 1954, the family emigrated to Acadia Valley AB where they were warmly embraced by the prairie community. In 1956, Ray and Joan moved to Red Deer where they remained until their move to Edmonton in 2006 due to declining health. Until retirement in 1980, Ray taught English and languages, and served for periods as Assoc. Principal at Lindsay Thurber Comprehensive High School, and as Principal of the Vocational High School. Ray was an active member of the POW Association, the Royal Canadian Air Cadets, the RCAF Association, the Royal Canadian Legion (assisting with production of the Bugle newspaper), the Central Alberta Retired Teachers' Association, and many local and provincial committees. Drama and music were important parts of Ray's life. In retirement, he and Joan enjoyed travelling and meeting friends at City Roast in Red Deer. As Ray wished, cremation has taken place and no funeral service will be held. A celebration of life will be held in Red Deer at a later date. If friends desire, donations may be made to the Canadian Red Cross, the Heart and Stroke Fund or the Dr. Gerald Zetter Continuing Care Centre in Edmonton, where Ray received compassionate care for the past year. Ray was a true gentleman with a good sense of humor. His experiences as a POW influenced his life in many ways including a career path into teaching languages, commitment to life-long learning,, strong bonds of international friendships, capacity to face adversity, and strengthening of personal qualities including resilience, tenacity, perserverance and innovation that were greatly admired by his family and all who knew him. Condolences may be made to www.fostermcgarvey.com FOSTER AND MCGARVEY FUNERAL HOMES Edmonton, AB. 780-428-6666


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