Dad/papa/great-papa died peacefully on August 9th, 2019, after a long and fulfilling life of 94 years. Predeceased by wife Anne Alice and daughter, Judy Hitchen, Ray (aka Ribs), was also a wonderful father to Raymond (Heather), Judy, Nancy (Brian), Derek (Cathy), Tim (Brenda), Daphne (Arno), David, and Roger (Michele). A super papa to Cheryl, Dereck, Tracy, Frankie, Cathy, Sara, Annie, Rachel, Kate, Daniel, Mark, Lori, Elizabeth, Scott, Stephanie, Justine, Victoria, Austin, Aaron, Joshua and Olivia. He also delighted in his great grandchildren: Melissa, Megan, Matthew, Valerie, Patrick, Alexa, Alicia, Ashtyn, Brienne, Zachary, Connor, Brayden, Gavin, Reilynn, Isla, Quinn, Max, Justin, Abigail, Jessie, Joey, Samantha, Adam and River. He will also be missed by his only surviving brother, Harvey of Grand Falls, NL, as well as, a number of his brothers and sisters-in-law, nieces and nephews, especially his beloved nephew Wayne and his wife, Fran.
Dad/papa was larger than life. Sneaking off, under aged to join the RAF in WWII, he was shot down as a tail-gunner, and not only survived, but thrived. Upon returning from the war, he married his sweetheart Anne, and with eight children in tow, moved the entire family to Toronto. He worked for many years with Anne’s family in the furniture business, enjoying an early retirement, which gave him some winters with Anne, in Florida. After losing his beloved daughter and wife, Ray carried through on his youthful dream of heading to the West coast, a destination where he spent over 20 years enjoying an eclectic collection of wonderfully inspiring friends. Nancy headed out West, and brought him back to Ontario when his health failed, and after staying with Tim and Brenda for a year, settled in Newmarket, where he held court for family and friends for the last five years. An avid and colourful storyteller, dad loved visiting with all of his family, but most especially the little ones.
An encounter with dad was never quickly forgotten. Never afraid to give his opinion on any subject, he thrived on politics and his beloved Blue Jays. In spite of various ailments that slowed him down in his final years, dad always managed to rally for any occasion, stir up mischief if he could, and then sit back and enjoy life as it unfolded. A true family man, dad considered himself the richest man in the world. Hospital staff at Southlake could attest to this as they witnessed the steady stream of visitors who came to see dad over the last few weeks.
Many thanks to the staff at Southlake Regional Health Centre in Newmarket for their exemplary care over the past couple of months. For the last five years, Dad called Alexander Muir Retirement Residence his home. The staff at Alexander Muir treated Dad as family, showing him kindness, concern and support.
Friends and family will be received at The Paul O’Connor Funeral Home, 1939 Lawrence Avenue East on Sunday, August 11th from 2-5:00 p.m. A funeral service will be held the following morning (Monday, August 12th) at 11 a.m. at Paul O’Connor’s.
If desired, donations may be made in dad’s name to The Lung Association, Canadian Cancer Society, and Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada.
Messages of Condolence
I am sorry to hear about Ray’s passing. I cooked for Ray for about 5 years and also considered him a friend. When I made him a meal he a...
I am sorry to hear about Ray’s passing. I cooked for Ray for about 5 years and also considered him a friend. When I made him a meal he always complained that I did not put enough salt on it. My answer was always “You have 2 choices, either eat it or leave it”. We had many laughs together.
Dorothy CarterVictoria, BCAugust 16, 2019
Dorothy Carter Victoria, BCAugust 16, 2019
We are so saddened to hear of Ribs' passing. He was our friend here in Victoria, and we still think of him often. (every time we walk in ...
We are so saddened to hear of Ribs' passing. He was our friend here in Victoria, and we still think of him often. (every time we walk in front of Beckley Manor) He touched our lives with his humor and wit, and we still "quote" him in conversation today. Proud to call him a friend. Thanks Ribs for touching our lives. We offer our most heartfelt condolences to the Thomas family.
Roger and Irene LaflammeVictoriaAugust 16, 2019
Roger and Irene Laflamme VictoriaAugust 16, 2019
We knew Ray through his loving daughter Nancy and it always brightened our day when we saw him. He leaves a wonderful legacy with such an ...
We knew Ray through his loving daughter Nancy and it always brightened our day when we saw him. He leaves a wonderful legacy with such an amazing family and we will miss him very much.
Joan and Don wilsonNewmarketAugust 12, 2019
Joan and Don wilson NewmarketAugust 12, 2019
I'm so sorry ,Ray to hear of your father's passing.Although he lived an extremely long life,one cannot replace a Dad,This I know from expe...
I'm so sorry ,Ray to hear of your father's passing.Although he lived an extremely long life,one cannot replace a Dad,This I know from experience.Please accept condolences from Karen and I from our heart to you and your family
Wayne ZwarychHolland LandingAugust 12, 2019
Wayne Zwarych Holland LandingAugust 12, 2019
I was saddened to hear of Uncle Ray’s passing. He was a remarkable man and will always be remembered. My sincerest sympathy and prayers go...
I was saddened to hear of Uncle Ray’s passing. He was a remarkable man and will always be remembered. My sincerest sympathy and prayers go out to you. Happy memories will sustain you through these difficult days of sorrow.
Orville Raymond ReevesGrand Falls-Windsor, NLAugust 11, 2019
Orville Raymond Reeves Grand Falls-Windsor, NLAugust 11, 2019
We the Hillier family would like to send condolences to the family of Ramond (Ribs) Thomas. He was a great friend of my father Silas Hilli...
We the Hillier family would like to send condolences to the family of Ramond (Ribs) Thomas. He was a great friend of my father Silas Hillier. Both were overseas together. He was a lot of help for my dad when applying for financial assistance from the Royal Navy. I was very fortunate to know him as dads friend and my husband's uncle. I will never forget him.
Judy(Hillier) Thomas Grand Falls NewfoundlandAugust 11, 2019
To the Tomas family we are so sorry for the passing of a great man Uncle Ray. We remember the many stories he would tell us when he visite...
To the Tomas family we are so sorry for the passing of a great man Uncle Ray. We remember the many stories he would tell us when he visited with his brother(my father) Haold and my mom May. We will not forget him.
Don and Judy ThomasGrand Falls NewfoundlandAugust 11, 2019
Don and Judy Thomas Grand Falls NewfoundlandAugust 11, 2019
I offer condolences from RCL Branch 12. There are still members who remember Ray and Wayne. We will remember Ray in our prayers.
Dan Devine President RCL Branch 12 Grand Falls-Windsor, NLAugust 11, 2019
On behalf of the members of the St. Andrew’s Bridge Club in Chatham, I would like to express our condolences to the entire Thomas family o...
On behalf of the members of the St. Andrew’s Bridge Club in Chatham, I would like to express our condolences to the entire Thomas family on the loss of their patriarch. I had the opportunity to provide medical care for Ray while he lived with Tim’s family in Chatham. He always had a way of putting a smile on your face whenever he came in. The care he received from Tim when Ray returned from British Columbia resulted in him recovering and being able to live a quality life with his family in Newmarket for a number of additional years.
Our sincere sympathy for your loss.
John Boekhoud M.D.Chatham On.August 11, 2019
John Boekhoud M.D. Chatham On.August 11, 2019
Ray Thomas and Family, Please accept my condolences on the passing of such a wonderful man. Please know that thoughts and prayers follow y...
Ray Thomas and Family, Please accept my condolences on the passing of such a wonderful man. Please know that thoughts and prayers follow you through these times.
Murray OsborneSt. John's, NLAugust 11, 2019
Murray Osborne St. John's, NLAugust 11, 2019
Mr. T.s son, Tim has been a very special friend for more than 20 years and through our faith, daughter Nancy. Through Tim and Brenda, I ha...
Mr. T.s son, Tim has been a very special friend for more than 20 years and through our faith, daughter Nancy. Through Tim and Brenda, I have considered their children to be more than friends as well. Tim often spoke of his father living in B.C. and despite the distance made frequent visits to spend time with his dad. I had the honour and pleasure of meeting Mr. Thomas a few times after he moved to Newmarket. There is no doubt that he and Anne were wonderful parents and must have been proud, having raised such a large and caring family that blossomed so well as depicted in the beautiful tribute which I have read here. We thank God for his life and service to Canada. I am thankful for having met Mr. Thomas and know that he will be missed but remembered always. May he rest in peace.
Ron AndersonNewmarketAugust 10, 2019
Ron Anderson NewmarketAugust 10, 2019
Thank you for the years of laughter, hilarious comments, stories of the past, acceptance of all your many children/grands/g...
Thank you for the years of laughter, hilarious comments, stories of the past, acceptance of all your many children/grands/greatgrands many directions in life, brutal honesty and great company. We'll always remember you for your charm and love! Say hi to Nanny and Judy❤
Kate, Shain and MaxSilent Lake Provincial parkAugust 10, 2019
Kate, Shain and Max Silent Lake Provincial parkAugust 10, 2019
Papa, you will always be in my heart and mind. I love you
Scott OntarioAugust 10, 2019
Poppa, there’s no words to describe how I felt when I found out. I miss you so much already. xoxoxo