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Benedict.RaymondBenedict1927r1.1 - 06 Nov 2006 - 19:46 - Main.guesttopic end

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Raymond (RAY) Elwood Benedict


Reference: 135.225.958

Born Born May 13, 1927 in Galt, Dumfries North Twp., Waterloo County, Ont.
Died Died Jan 1987 in Lindsay General Hospital
Married Married April 1949, To Kay Eagle in Orillia, Ont.

Parents:

Children:

  1. Bonnie Marie, Living, married 3 children
  2. Glen Allan, Living
  3. Daniel Charles, Living

Ray's Parents

Ray's Younger Years

Ray was a real naturalist type, he loved the outdoors, spring, summer, fall or winter. He loved to wander, which he did much to his parents dismay. When Ray wasn't wandering he was outside carving, or building something, anything. Another Benedict trait I might say, it seems so many of these Benedicts worked in furniture factories or did carpentry on their own. Ray took this trait a step forward, he could take a piece of wood and a knife, and in a very short time he would turn it into a figure almost real enough to move. In the winter, much to her dislike, he would move his carving into his mother's Kitchen. When Ray turned fourteen he became touched by that "BENEDICT WANDER LUST" well known to genealogists, and away he wandered up into the Grey and Simcoe County areas and then over to Orillia. He would make a deal with a farmer, to build a cabin on his land and cut firewood, in return for taking trees from the farmers bush for his projects. He would build a 12x12 cabin in the bush to live and carve in, during the cold months of the year, but as soon as the weather broke he would set up his big military 12x12 high wall tent with wood stove included. So with a wood stove in the tent we can see how long it will take him to move back into his cabin, not something he really wants to do. Ray would carve Souvenir paddles, tomahawks about a foot long, and canoes complete with seats about 15 inches long and small Indian figures. This he did all winter, and in the spring, he would peddle them to all the souvenir shops up north, and beach resorts and Niagara Falls. In the spring he made beautiful rustic cedar Lawn furniture, which he would peddle to the Northern cottagers, taking orders as well, which kept him busy into late fall. Ray got along with the farmers and the Indian population and cottagers quite well. You could get him to work in the bush, or in spare time even picking apples, but he would never work in a factory. He always said, I'll take the fresh air, you can have the smells.

Ray and Kay

During one of Ray's trips, he met Kay Eagle, a good looking Indian girl, from the Christian Island Reserve. He became infatuated with her, and took the big step into marriage on April of 1949.On February 9, 1950 Kay gave birth to a girl they named Bonnie Marie, Ray lost his mother to cancer on March 5, 1951, she never got the chance to see her next grand child. Glen Allen who was born, April 9 1951. Then on July 24, 1952 for some reason Ray's wife, dumped a skuttle of hot ashes on the wooden floor of the back shed,in the early morning, which started on fire, spreading to the house, and after the firemen pumped the well dry, they had to travel a quarter mile to a pond to get water. Grandpa's house was completely burned out. Thank God it was paid for but grandpa didn't have much money left now. So they rented another house and carried on. Then on January 27, 1953, Daniel Charles was born. As if their luck wasn't bad enough, July 29, 1953 Ray and his father were out together in Ray's Model "A" Ford, to Lindsay, when they were broadsided by a car that didn't stop for a stop street. They were both taken to the Hospital, Grandpa died from a broken pelvis and internal injuries. Ray was in a comma for 5 days, he awoke only to find his father was dead and buried. Ray took all this very hard he started to drink heavier, but kept up his work. Ray's way of life, did not suit Kay very well, as he was never home enough to suit her, and she was always alone, so one day she just packed up and left. The two boys were eventually adopted. I have lost touch with them. But Bonnie, a beautiful girl, married, and has two boys and a girl of her own and a career on T.V. So a marriage that didn't make it, but not without it's rewards.

Ray in his final Years

Ray continued his business as usual, but along the line he stopped carving the souvenir line. And expanded on the Rustic Furniture, he acquired a large customer from Toronto, and his furniture was displayed in Chatalaine Magazine. On one of my visits, made in the winter, to stay a few days with Ray. He was in Orillia at this time and living in his 12x12 cabin, on a farmers land. The cabin was well made but had no insulation. A nice wood stove in the middle of the floor kept it warm and cheery. we sat up and chatted, had a few drinks and then finally retired to bed. I awoke in the morning to the sounds of my uncle. The fire had gone out, I proceeded to throw off the covers, and just as quickly pull them up again, "Burrrrrr". Mean while Ray lumbered over to the water pail in his long under gochies. He looked in the pail, and with a disatisfied grunt, grabbed the hatchet off the wall, and with one slam of the handle smashed the ice in the pail, put the hatchet back, and with two hands dipping into the water, he continued to wash his face, while I sunk deeper into the covers and pulled them over my head, "Burrr again". I finally arose and dressed within the next twenty minutes. Ray had the fire going and the tea kettle on. I washed my face in warm water and gave my uncle a laugh. I was now well prepared for future visits. That reminds me of the time my mother and father, and my family went camping to-gether in the bush at Rays work camp. We arrived and set up camp started a fire. and asked Ray if he had some water. He said plenty of water just down in the spring over there. My mother, surprisingly, grabbed the pail and away she went. Dad says, never saw that before. When mom got back she had about three quarters of a pail, and quite proud of herself, until Ray exclaimed, "Mabel", do you always bring meat with your water. we all looked, and low and behold she fetched up a couple of frogs with the water. So we all had a good laugh, and after the the weekend was over, Mom said I never had so much fun, we'll have to do that again. Dad said yeh frogs and all. In his later years Ray bought a small two room cottage over looking Pidgeon Lake, not far from Lindsay, Ontario. He told me he could have paid in cash, but heck I didn't want to give them all my money, so I took one of them mortgages for a thousand dollars. The place was beautiful you could sit in the front yard and look out at Pigeon Lake from left to your right. The property was probably a quarter mile from the lake, and down hill all the way, so it was quite a view. He continued to keep in touch with his daughter Bonnie. Well in December of 1986 we were expecting him for Christmas and he didn't show. We started to worry and we tried to call, but no answer. We tried each day for a couple of weeks, then finally I got desparate and let the phone ring and ring, finally the Farmer behind Ray who was on the same party line picked up the phone. He told me Ray had been taken to the Lindsay Hospital. I called the hospital, they told me he was ok, they were waiting for the swelling in his leg to go down. He would most likely be out in a few days. So we waited for a few days, called his home,and was told by his daughter Bonnie, that he had died that day of a heart attack. So ended the life of my very talented friend, and Uncle.

-- DonaldElliott - 12 May 2006
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