With heavy hearts we announce the passing of Raymond ‘Ray Ray’ Bourgeois (71) on Sunday evening, February 5th at St. Martha’s Regional Hospital, Antigonish. Born in New Waterford, Ray was one of seventeen children of the late John C. and Mary Ann Bourgeois. A retired welder and member of UA Local 682, he worked at various jobs across the province and country to provide for his family until his retirement in 2003. We have been told he was one of the best.
Ray will always be known for his vibrant personality, his tormenting, his great sense of humor and quick smile. He was a compassionate man with a huge heart, an animal lover and a ‘go to’ person when anyone needed a listening ear, or an earful. When he wasn’t chatting with everyone in the community at Sharon’s Place convenience store in Louisdale, Ray loved to spend time entertaining at the cottage with his family and many friends. Many referred to him as Bowser. He was always the cook, the joke teller and the gracious host. Affectionately known as Guppie or Grampie RayRay, he loved playing with his grandkids and showing his tender side (as well as teaching them how to curse and throw rocks). They were his pride and joy.
Ray is survived by his loving partner of 27 years, Sharon Sampson; daughter, Taralee (Eric) Wood; sons, Eric and Kevin (Maggie); his children’s mother, Maureen; stepchildren, Brian, Joey and Duane Sampson; grandchildren, Rhylan, Cooper, Trevor, Abby, Becca, Liam, Ben, Serena, Samara, Skylar, Travis, Cody and Kristen and several great-grandchildren. He is also survived by brothers, Melvin (Westmount, NS), Leo, (Oshawa, ON) and Henry (Windsor, NS) and sisters, Evelyn Pollock (Peterborough, ON), Lorraine (Glace Bay, NS), twin sister, Pauline (John) Michalak (Florida) and Diane (Johnny) MacKinnon (New Victoria, NS). He is also survived by many loving nieces and nephews and extended family.
Ray is predeceased by his parents, John C. and Mary Ann Bourgeois; his brothers, Tom (1923), Peter, Willie John (Plugger), Charles, Tom (1944), Wilfred and sisters, Mary, Dorothy and Tillie. Ray is also predeceased by his stepson, Shane.
On the day of his passing, Ray had just reached his 10-year anniversary of being cancer free and was a huge supporter of the Canadian Cancer Society’s Relay for Life. He looked forward to donning his yellow survivor shirt and participating in the event each year. Donations can be made in Ray’s memory to ‘Ray Ray’s Sugarbears’ Relay for Life team by following this online link (or donating in person): http://convio.cancer.ca/ site/TR/RelayForLife/RFL_NS_