It is with heavy hearts and sadness that we announce the passing of Raymond Joseph Clarke, age 70, on April 24, 2020. A loving husband, father, Grampie, brother, uncle and friend, he was surrounded by loving family members when he passed away.
Born in North Sydney on September 5, 1949, a proud Cape Bretoner, Ray was the son of the late George and Alfreda (Standing) Clarke. Raymond worked in Carpentry at the North Sydney Marine Railway and was forced to retire due to work related injuries. Ray loved his family with all his heart and soul they were his everything. He was a very kind and gentle man always wanting to help others in whatever way he could, providing unconditional love and support for the people and things he believed in. He will be remembered as a helpful person who cared for others.
Ray had many personal interests and hobbies. He enjoyed working on computers and building them. He was a great lover of the outdoors and spent many weekends with family and friends camping and gathered around a good campfire, one of his favorite things to do. He was an avid scuba diver, logging in over 500 dives with his son Jeff and various family and friends, especially in the Englishtown area. He really enjoyed a trip he made to the Keys diving with some good friends. Ray loved being on the water, whether it was sailing and racing with his niece Bonny and her husband Mick, or his passion for fishing where he spent many a day with family and friends looking for the “big one.” Geocaching was another hobby he took a great interest in and loved the challenge of new finds. He enjoyed biking and walking with his wife by his side and he loved to work out in the yard. He took great pride in caring for his lawn, always chasing away the dandelions and keeping an eye on the weather station. He enjoyed attending hockey games when the Oilers played. Ray had many fond memories of travelling with his wife Diane whenever possible, especially the two trips they made across Canada which they both enjoyed immensely. He loved all kinds of music and loved hearing his grand daughter Kayla play her flute. He was so proud of her and loved her so very much. He had many a good evening with family and friends playing cards …lots of good times. Ray loved a good joke and could tell them too with a hearty laugh. He felt lucky to host family gatherings on special occasions and treasured his memories of watching his son Jeff, daughter Noel and grand-daughter Kayla grow up, he was so proud of them. He often talked of good memories of his Mother’s homemade “plum loaf” smothered in molasses along with her thick molasses cookies and Beth’s homemade bread. He enjoyed visiting family and friends and loved to have people stop by for a “cup of tea”
Ray was a wonderful care giver especially to his own mother and his mother-in-law, who he treated like his own. He spent many an hour with them doing whatever he could to help as their health declined. He was a volunteer at the Northside Guest Home until his health prevented him from continuing. He looked after the Bingo games, played cards with the men and took pride in maintaining their fish tank. He really enjoyed spending time with the residents and was sad when he could no longer do this.
Ray was a long-time member of St. Giles Presbyterian Church and also a leader for Brigade Canada. He was also a long-time member of the Royal Albert Masonic Lodge, The Golden Years Club, The Scotia Roamers and Men’s Club.
Besides his parents, he was predeceased by his in laws Charlie & Beth Gardner, sister Mae (John McCarthy) brother, Jack Clarke, niece Rhonda Clarke, nephew Grant Clarke and brother-in-law Robert Evans.
Ray is survived by wife Diane (Gardner) Clarke, son Jeffery Clarke, daughter Noel Clarke (Matt) and Grand daughter Kayla Clarke; sister, Pearl Hillier (Joe); brother, Aubrey (Phyllis) Clarke; brothers- in-law Kerry (Doris) Gardner, Bill (Jean) Gardner, sisters-in-law Donna Evans, Patricia Clarke and many treasured and loved nieces and nephews.
A very special thank you to Dr. Salah for all her years of exceptional care and support especially over the past few months. He called you his angel and we so appreciate everything you did to make his last days the best you could and made it possible for him to be able to come home, just where he wanted to be. We will be forever grateful. Also, a very special thank you to Dr. Langley who provided comfort, care and support when it was needed. He also considered you his angel. Thank you so very much.
To the all the wonderful VON Nurses, many thanks for all your visits and help. You made it so much easier for Ray to be able to be at home with his family in his final days. We are forever grateful. To the Palliative Care team, especially Dr. Peter Poulos. Ray thought a lot of you and was so appreciative of all your visits and chats together. Thank you. To the Doctors and staff of the Cancer Center, CBRH and NSGH especially 5 East, thank you so very much. To Rev. Ritchie Robinson, for his emails, phone calls, and lovely prayer, thank you. To our family and friends we are blessed and thankful to have you in our lives and always appreciate your ongoing love and support.
A Celebration of Life will take place at a later date.
Online condolences are welcome and can be sent to the family at www.wjdooley.com. Should you wish to make a memorial donation in Ray’s memory, it is suggested to send it to St. Giles Presbyterian Church, or to a charity of choice.
Funeral arrangements are under the care and direction of W.J. Dooley Funeral Home, 107 Pleasant Street, North Sydney.
To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Raymond Joseph Clarke, please visit our floral store.