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Raymond Kosiancic

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Raymond Joseph Kosiancic

May 13, 1933 - April 29, 2022


Ray is survived by his wife Eileen, son Dwayne, granddaughter Idella, eldest brother Lawrence, sister Shirley, and families.

The family would like to express their thanks to the staff at Talarico Place in Castlegar, BC for Ray’s care while he was there and to staff, residents and Dr. Trevor Janz at Mountain Lakes Senior Community in Nelson, BC for making Ray’s time there this spring enjoyable and welcoming.

A celebration of life was held on Saturday, May 14th, 2022, at the Junction Church in South Slocan. The family thanks all who attended the celebration and thanks everyone from our area communities who reached out and shared an outpouring of kind words and sharing of memories.

Those wishing to honour Ray’s love of the Slocan Valley, donations to the Slocan Valley Rail Trail Society are gratefully welcomed. Donations to donate@slocanvalleyrailtrail.ca can be made within financial institution’s interac e-transfer programs.

The following words are by Lawrence Kosiancic, Ray’s oldest brother

Ray was born in Rossland, BC on May 13, 1933, to Val and Ella Kosiancic and was raised in Crescent Valley on the Kosiancic Farm that his grandfather homesteaded in 1904.

Ray got his education in a one room school in Crescent Valley that had eight grades and one teacher, Margaret Oliver, the only teacher he had for the eighth grades of his education. We lived three miles from school, and we were able to get a ride to school in the morning with Uncle Joe when he went on his milk run but had to walk home as school buses were unheard of in those days. It was very hard for us little kids sometimes we were lucky, and someone would give us a ride, a person named Frank Hufty who ran the Slocan Freight would sometimes slow down and say, “climb on the tail gate boys” and gave us a ride home that would be unheard of to-day.

After graduating grade eight Ray went to work in Nelson, at the Nelson Woodworking shop and then at Nelson Farmer Supply as a warehouse and delivery man.

In the early fifties Ray and his wife Ida purchased the Kosiancic farm from his uncle Jack and got a successful dairy started. He delivered milk in the valley till Government made him stop selling raw milk. Ray kept farming raising and processing beef cattle and harvesting timber on his land. Ray lost his wife Ida in August 2007.

Ray got a part time job driving transit buses for the City of Nelson then he got a job driving school buses in the valley till he retired at 65. Ray enjoyed the children on his bus and today people still talk about experiences on Ray’s bus.

His hobby was customizing and restoring vehicles he owned a collection of vintage cars and trucks the first one he got was a 1928 model A Ford when he was 15 years old he did a lot of work restoring it and did a good job and had it running when he got his driver’s licence at 16 other projects included getting a 1 ton truck that already had converted to diesel it hat 351 jimmy diesel he added another axle, built and installed a sign on it that read Slocan Motor Freight in memory of Frank Hufty who used to give us a ride home on the tail gate. Ray was very interested in steam power and installed a marine steam engine in an old vintage truck

In later years after he closed the dairy and enjoyed hiking alone to the top of many mountains in the area many times camping there for the night. Ray got together with Eileen, and they were married on May 17, 2014.

The following words are by Judy Madelung, Ray’s stepdaughter

Ray (Raymond Joseph) Kosiancic passed away peacefully in the early evening of April 29, 2022, at the Mountain Lakes Senior Community in Nelson, BC.

Ray was born into a well-known pioneer family in Crescent Valley on May 13, 1933. Being the third of four sons and one daughter of Valentine and Ella Kosiancic. Ray’s early years were that of farm chores, school, more farm chores, and mischief.

The 400-acre farm included a sawmill that was operated by Ray’s father. As a growing boy Ray was always interested in vehicles and was driving the farm vehicles with dreams of running his own farm and owning his own car when he was too young to legally drive. Ray’s roots to the family farm ran deep and his passion for vehicles ran a close second for his entire life.

At age 14, Ray bought a well used 1928 Model A Ford that needed a new motor which he replaced and the following year, he got his driver’s license and never looked back.

Ray always shared two stories of how he and his wife Ida (Ulmi) met, one is they met in Nelson and the other is that he was on a paddlewheeler on the Arrow Lakes traveling to Renata and met a young lady named Ida, and we all know the rest is history.

In 1954 Ray and Ida were married and started their life together at “the farm” and their years together welcomed son, Dwayne, and daughter Kat and years later, granddaughter Idella. Ray and Ida enjoyed their years together with trips to Europe and motorhome touring throughout BC and the states. Ray was always willing to jump in the car and put on the miles. The odometer reading rose after each trip Ray made to Manitoba to visit and help Dwayne on his many projects and to Christina Lake where Dwayne now resides to visiting Kat when she was living on the Sunshine Coast before, she journeyed off to her tropical destinations.

Ray was a man who never sat still and had NO use for modern technology – you wouldn’t catch him with a cell phone or using Google on a computer. Ray would work tirelessly to the late hours to complete a project whether it was pertaining to a steam engine or detailing one of his many prized vintage cars getting ready for a car show or city cruise or hours spent writing to pen pals and preparing his annual Christmas letter and cards.

Ray was a Slocan Valley bus driving legend to a whole lot of students of the valley. Ray safely transported students from Brent Kennedy and Mount Sentinel home and on field trips to areas through out the Kootenays for almost twenty-five years, the list goes on.

Ray was just like all of us, we don’t get through life without heartache and in 2007 his wife of 52 years sadly passed. Ray again, busied himself maintaining his ‘farm,’ cruising in his Hummer, touring the many mountain lakes enjoying the solitude in his kayak, hiking Idaho Peak (apparently forty times throughout his lifetime), and branched out to enjoy many occasions of dancing to the Old Time Fiddlers up the valley, in Castlegar, and out in Blueberry. Rumor has it that he had four ladies standing in line to waltz around the room.

Well, those ladies in line had to find another dance partner because in the fall of 2012 Ray took a chance and invited a lady who he originally met back when he was a teenager out on a date. Their first date consisted of a drive in his van to Kaslo and a walk across the Kaslo River bridge. More dates together followed, frequently Ray would pick up Eileen in the Hummer or the Bentley or the pickup or the yellow freight truck. Ray had a vehicle for everyday of the week, so to speak.

Ray and Eileen tied the knot on May 17th, 2014, at the farm. They continued to spend their time cruising the area, popping in for lunch at Mama Sita’s in Winlaw or Amanda’s in Nelson and often ended their tour at the Dairy Queen.

Ray’s and Eileen’s lives were put on pause in 2017 when they got news that Kat was coming home from Mexico, and she was not well, unfortunately Kat passed in May of 2017. Kat’s last ask of her dad was to have a party at the farm for friends and family. That is exactly what Ray did for his daughter – he gave her a heartfelt send-off.

Following Kat’s passing, Ray and Eileen resumed their times of dancing and cruising until Ray’s health became a concern and their activities became more restricted on what they could participate in. What they could do was still go cruising, now with Eileen at the wheel. They made their stops to friends around the area and stops at Eileen’s Lake property and always on the way home a stop for ice cream at Dairy Queen.

Life at the farm came to an end in the fall of 2019 when Ray and Eileen made the decision to move into Nelson and there, they enjoyed the social gatherings of fellow residents and the ease of life at Lakeview. Ray’s everyday life continued to be difficult, as he required extra care since last summer. It was sad to see this independent and proud man relying on others to aid him. In March of this year Ray moved into the Mountain Lakes Senior Community in Nelson and he regained a spark of fire in his soul and a glint in his eye enjoying being engaged in the workshop and participating in preparations for Easter in anticipation of children arriving to visit the community on Easter Sunday.

Ray quietly slipped away from us early evening of Friday, April 29th, 2022, and is now free to roam the hills he enjoyed, paddle the little lakes he loved and cruise endlessly down the road. Ray, we hope you rest in peace.


Send a condolence, light a candle and/or share a memory, click "Send Condolence". Once your message has been approved by the moderator it will be posted to the website.

From: Thompson Funeral Services Ltd.

Thompson Funeral Service Staff send our condolences to family and friends.

From: Arlene McMillin
Relation: valley friend and neighbour

Ray a man who engaged in life in so many ways
he will certainly be missed
so many adventures…so many people to connect with
sympathies to his wife and family
kindest thoughts at this time of transition

From: Debra Storey
Relation: Through my parents

So sorry to hear about Ray’s passing. Our community has lost a pioneer who has contributed greatly to our community. My parents, Max and Mary Carne, knew Ray very well. I always enjoyed visiting with Ray and hearing his stories. So much knowledge to pass along. Hugs to all the family.

From: Art Joyce
Relation: Friend

Ray was such a vital, intelligent important member of the community. From the moment I interviewed him for my history of Nelson transit, I was impressed with him. His memories of driving Nelson City bus were vivid and he was much loved by his riders. It’s hard to imagine a man of such vitality being gone. Blessings to the family.

From: Joyce Tucker.
Relation: He drove my children's school bus to and from Brent Kennedy Elementary.

I still have wooden nickels given by Ray to my sons, when Ray was their school bus driver in Crescent Valley..He was always so good with the kids, especially the young ones. He will always be a happy part of their Brent Kennedy memories. Thanks for the memories Ray….
Condolences to Ray’s family…

From: Hendrix family
Relation: Family friend

We were sad to hear of Ray’s passing. We always enjoyed visiting and listening to his stories. With him goes a keeper of Valley history. Condolences to his family.

From: Jeanne / John Webster
Relation: Ray's wife, Eileen, is my father's sister

We hold to, and forward our sincere condolences, with the passing of Ray. We understand he was a kind thoughtful person, a reassuring inspiration to everyone he interacted with, and, we are sorry that there weren’t more opportunities to share time with him, to better acquaint with his lifetime attributes and accomplishments.

From: Nina George
Relation: Neighbor

We are very sorry to hear about Ray’s passing. We bought the Jam factory from Ray in 2000. Ray was an enthusiastic supporter of us. He loved the fact that a small business was able to thrive in his building. He took our daughters and some of Jakes kids out on a bus trip to Sandon one time. They always remembered that trip. We will always be grateful to Ray for his contribution to the success of our business and his support and good advice. Also, sorry to hear about Kat.

From: Daniel Lipsack
Relation: Attended school with Dwayne and his cousin Donny and later worked with Donny for CPR. My father and Ray knew each other well having both lived in the Valley for many years. Had a few chats with Ray about our mutual love of automobiles

My sincerest condolences to the family from my mother and I

Service Schedule

  Celebration of Life

Date & Time:
May 14, 2022
Beginning at 1:00pm

Junction Church at Playmor Junction, South Slocan

Those who knew Ray and would like to join the family are welcome to attend.

Memorial Gifts

The family has not designated a preferred charity at this time.

Thank You Notice

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