Raymond Nelson Sturgeon
August 31, 1938 — November 28, 2023
Passed away peacefully at home on Tuesday, November 28, 2023 at the age of 85. Beloved husband of Alice (Smith). Dear father of David, Jean-Pierre (Jennifer) and Michel (Rachel). Loving grandfather of Carine, Everleigh, Tessa, Cecelia, and Jacklyn, and great-grandfather to Emilia.
Ray dedicated his life to public service. He joined the Canadian military at the age of 16, which included peacekeeping duties in the Middle East and on the military staff at Canada’s Embassy in Moscow. He retired from his military career in 1978, moving up from a soldier apprentice and entering the ranks as an officer, before retiring as a major. He then began his career as a civilian public servant at the Department of National Defence. He was extremely committed to his work on Canada’s defence procurement policy and strategy, eventually rising to the position of Senior Assistant Deputy Minister (Materiel), equivalent to the military rank of Lieutenant General, before retiring again in 1994. Never one to shy away from hard work, Ray then embarked on his third career as a business consultant.
His work and travel around the world meant Ray had the most fascinating stories and keenest interest in world events. But his best stories were always of home - of his childhood hometown of Thessalon, ON, and of his family home in Ottawa. In one extraordinary tale, a 12-year-old Ray jumped into the Thessalon River and saved an eight-year-old boy from drowning. Many decades later, that boy found Ray to thank him for this amazing act of heroism.
Ray was happiest when working outside in the meadow of his Ottawa home, mowing the lawn and cutting down trees with his three boys, and then later with his young granddaughters. On any sunny day, hot or cold, Ray could spend hours tending to his meadow, before heading indoors with his family and enjoying a beer, reading his newspapers, and watching CNN. It is in these simple pleasures for which he will be most remembered by his family and friends.
Also survived by his siblings Carolle (Melvin), Gail (Murray), Brenda, Alice (Jim), John (Tina), Debbie (Wayne), Jennifer (late Don), Ted (late Mitzi) and Cyndy (Kevin); and many nieces and nephews. He is predeceased by his parents Lloyd and Edna Sturgeon.
A memorial service will be held in the spring. In lieu of flowers, the family asks donations to be made to the Ottawa Regional Cancer Center or the Beth Donovan Hospice.
Tributes, condolences, and donations can be made at www.tubmanfuneralhomes.com.