‘Olde Ray’ Woollam

December 27, 1927 – May 8, 2021
Ray lived a colourful life of 93 years filled with immense creativity alongside diverse careers, adventures, family and friends. His enormous generosity, and his willingness to challenge individuals and norms touched many. He is survived by two of his three wives, eight of his ten children and twenty- three grandchildren.
Ray’s careers took him across Canada, to Latin America, Asia and South Africa. He began as a teacher in Kispiox, BC and then served as a United Church Minister in Smithers, Cranbrook and Duncan, BC. Following this, he enjoyed working with The Honourable Tommy Douglas, supporting self-determined community development with First Nations and Metis peoples of Northern Saskatchewan. Then he applied his creativity to ‘Unica’ Publishing and carried his unique style of ‘subjectivity training’ from Vancouver Island to Alberta, Ungava Bay and Mexico. Ray’s books o ered insight on slowing down and being present; he called himself an ‘UNpsychologist’. Ray never really retired, but turned his focus to dahlias, vineyards, and the Glasswaters Foundation (in service of local and global communities). Through Glasswaters, his curiosity and caring touched many in Lesotho, Nepal, Cambodia and up the Skeena (BC).
Ray is indelibly in the weaving of the lives of those who knew him. He was a hard person to describe; here are some comments to shed light on his life and character: “Undaunted taking on projects and in expressing himself”, “Humanitarian”, “A free ranging ombudsman, Robin Hood, Santa Claus”, “A passion for so much, large and small”, “Often, unbearably intense, a light”, “Mentored many to go their own way”, “He was at once enigmatic and caring, harsh and tender, distracted and deeply interested”, “Patron to artists”, “A rebel”, “Masterful story-teller”, “We shared 60 years of a remarkable relationship!””He loved digging deep into life!”
And to add another layer, reflections on a few things he loved: “Books, chickens, fawn lilies, tomatoes, watering at dusk, morning oatmeal, writing in front of his fire, musing, 4 legged companions, family dinners, ‘talk’ in coffee shops and restaurants, old ways of understanding life and nature, hearing a good ‘yarn’, friendships that spanned decades”.
With gratitude for all he created, supported and tended, we honour his passing and share a few lines of a favourite poem: “O the heart that has truly loved never forgets, But as truly, loves on to the close, As the sunflower turns to her god when he sets, The same look which she turned when he rose!”Thomas MooreObituary-

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