Obituaries — 09 November 2010
In loving memory of Raymond Pateman age 84, who passed away October 26, 2010 at his home after a courageous battle with cancer. He never complained and kept his sense of humour throughout his last journey.
Raymond was born to Leonard and Edith Pateman May 3, 1926 in Oxdrift. He grew up during the Depression and learned to save, work hard, help your neighbours because that “is the right thing to do” and live life with honesty and caring towards others. In the 1940s to 1960, Raymond worked during the winter months for JP Skene in bush camps and the summer working the family farm. During this time, Raymond operated heavy equipment, built roads, acquired a love of horses, learned the sawyer trade and learned about equipment. His reputation for know-how, diplomacy, tact and discretion earned him the honour as the “go to” person in Oxdrift. If anyone had a problem, they could go “Talk to Raymond, he’ll know what to do.” His size helped draw respect. When JP Skene retired in 1960, Raymond became a partner in Oxdrift Tractor Sales with Tom Skene until the 1980s. Raymond was known for his skills as a sawyer, a smart business man and his finesse with farming equipment. Many summer evenings, after working a full day at the sawmill, Raymond would make “house calls” to farmers needing assistance with their balers, seeders or tractors. He knew from working the family farm that the crops don’t wait for breakdowns. On the spur line, Raymond and Enoch Moline were the only two men known who could singlehandedly throw a rail tie over the train car. They did this more than once and it took more than one man to retrieve the tie from the other side.
In 1968, he married his wife Maria. He loved his children deeply and was proud of all their accomplishments, big or small. He unofficially became known to all the neighbourhood children as “Uncle Raymond”. His size awed us while his gentle nature drew many who needed a comforting word or just a big hug. He was strong enough to “do anything” and most times, he proved it. His kindness extended to anyone he knew, young or old, needing a helping hand or just a gentle assist in the right direction while preserving their dignity. These people know this and Raymond’s discretion kept it that way. “You don’t hurt someone when they’re down on their luck, you help them get back up and get going.” This included the travellers needing gas and the neighbours needing a pull out of the ditch or someone broken down during the night. Sometimes Raymond would give them a ride to town and put them up for the night. Hitchhikers were given rides home if they lived nearby.
Raymond and Maria started R Pateman Ltd. in 1974 with their school buses. They ran their bus lines for 22 years along with the sideline construction work that Raymond loved so much. His collection of “Toys” helped farm, build roads, snowplow driveways, dig basements… the list goes on. He was never out of work. His fair and honest work ethics kept his services in demand. Raymond and Maria’s employees still comment that “he was the best boss, always giving and understanding”. Raymond’s negotiation skills are remembered as being a “hard but honest bargainer”.
In the 1980s, Raymond added “Grampa” to his list of titles. He was a proud grampa whose heart grew bigger with each addition to his family. He shared the outdoors, his love of horses and his advice when it was requested.
Raymond was a board member of the Oxdrift Cemetery since 1958 and a founding member of the Oxdrift Recreation Committee. Many hours were given to community projects without acknowledgement. The people who matter most to Raymond know how much he gave and how much recognition he wanted. He was a private person in that matter and you could never repay him for any act of kindness. To everyone who Raymond blessed with his gifts of kindness, he has been paid in full, thank you. Raymond’s extensive historical knowledge, volunteerism and humour are a loss to the community.
Raymond is survived by his loving wife and partner, Maria Pateman; his daughter Marg (Richard) Langlais; his daughter-in-law Lynne Pateman; his grandchildren Mathew and Angela Langlais, Chelsea, Mitchell and Jayne Pateman; his older brother Harold (Elsie) Pateman; his nephew Len (Ruth) Pateman and his niece Lesley Bone.
Raymond was predeceased by his parents, Len and Edith Pateman and his beloved son, Michael Pateman.
Raymond requested no service and cremation has taken place. A private interment will take place later in the Oxdrift Cemetery. In keeping with Raymond’s “giving back to the community”, in lieu of flowers and/or food, should friends desire, a donation to the Oxdrift Recreation Committee in honour of Raymond can be made through the Stevens Funeral Homes, P.O. Box 412, Dryden, ON P8N 2Z1. Condolences may be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org subject: Pateman.