Raymond Moritz Ganser was born at home on the family farm four miles south of Provost on December 12, 1924. He was the second son of Walter and Anna Ganser (nee Schumacher), a brother to Edwin.
He went to Luxemburg school, one mile south of the farm until grade nine and then to Provost Public School where he earned his high school matric. The day after graduation he left home to work on building the Alaska Highway. After that, he came home in the summers to work on the farm but every winter ventured off to work at various jobs, several winters in Toronto, one in the coal mines at Cadomin, one in a logging camp, and even one winter selling Fuller Brush door to door in Edmonton.
It was in Grade 12 that he met his future wife, Marie Hochhausen. After dating for seven years, they married on November 8, 1949. Eleven months later in October of 1950 their daughter Marianne was born, followed by Alvin in 1952, Myron in 1955 and Charity in 1965.
They bought a farm near Cadogan and lived there until Ray’s father was hit by a train and tragically killed in Provost. His mother asked him to move back to the home farm in 1952 and he lived there until going to the nursing home in 2016.
Ray and Marie were the original Snow Birds. They spent the winters from 1952 to 1960 in Riverside California where Ray bought and managed a trailer park. Once the children were all in school they found it too hard to move back and forth so they started spending winters at home where Ray pursued two of his favourite hobbies, dancing and restoring antique cars. They taught dancing lessons in many of the neighbouring communities and Ray also sold antique car parts on a mail order basis to customers from all over the world.
Once the children were grown, he and Marie travelled extensively, often on dancing trips but also to do aid work at an orphanage in Mexico and for the Christian Appalachian project in the hills of Kentucky. Ray loved family history and genealogy and he loved to spend time with his grandchildren, teasing them whenever he could.
He was a strong Christian and devout Catholic, never missing Mass and participating in bible study and the Charismatic Renewal movement. He was a strong believer in praying the rosary and over the past 50 years, gave out thousands of rosary’s and instructions how to pray it to people who responded to an advertisement he ran in the personal column of the Western Producer, all at his own expense.
In the last ten years, Ray struggled with dementia, which slowly robbed him of his memory. He always said he had done everything in this life he had wanted to do and was ready to go anytime God called him. At age 92 and after almost 68 years of marriage, he died peacefully on Saturday, October 7, 2017, surrounded by his family.
Ray is survived by his loving wife Marie; children Marianne Morrell, Alvin (Viviane) Ganser, Myron (Irene) Ganser and Charity Ganser; six grandchildren; two step grandchildren; six great grandchildren; and three step great grandchildren.
Ray was predeceased by his brother, Edwin; sister in law, Helen Ganser; son in law, Harold Morrell and grandson, Christopher Morrell.