Raymond Paul Honig was born on April 27, 1944 in Worthing, England. He and his twin Roger were born to Vincent Honig, a RCAF Spitfire mechanic and Margaret Hynes, his British war bride. After the war, Ray and Roger were joined by younger siblings Valerie, Glenn and Kent. The family was raised in the rural Saskatchewan regions of Glaslyn, Divide, St. Walburg, Carrot River, Pelly, and Estevan.
Ray spent more than four decades with the military, first as an army cadet in Pelly, then with the South Saskatchewan Regiment (Canadian Army Reserves) in Estevan, and finally 37 years as a commissioned officer in the Regular Force where he served in the Queen’s Own Rifles of Canada, the Canadian Airborne Regiment, and the Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry. His military service took him across the US, Cyprus, Germany, Syria, Bosnia, and every part of Canada. His experiences ranged from the mundane to the adrenaline-filled incredible, and he forged deep friendships and bonds with his colleagues.
Ray was doomed to a life of love when he met a schoolteacher (Joan Barbara Thurston) at the Officers’ Mess at CFB Baden Oct. 31, 1971. They married the following summer and were together for 50 years and 8 months. Their love produced three beautiful children who accompanied them in their wanderings and many homes across Canada and the US, and later two cherished granddaughters.
They retired to Nanaimo, BC and began an active and connected life filled with old and new pastimes and hobbies, growing their friend network exponentially and forming deeper relationships with extended family. These happy years always featured relaxation time for reading, teatime, happy hour and chatting in their opposing armchairs by the living room fireplace. Their adventurous natures took them across every continent as they fulfilled a lifelong desire to see and experience the world.
Ray is survived by Joan, his loving wife of 50 years, his children Colonel Barbara Honig, Jeff Honig (Jaleen), and Deborah (George), his grandchildren Sienna and Lilla, his brother Glenn (Colleen), brother-in-law Neil Huxtable, sister-in-law Diane (Ken), brother-in-law Neil (Carol), and many nieces, nephews, cousins and second cousins. He will be greatly missed by his family, friends, and the community in which he was an active participant in many clubs.
A Celebration of Life will be held Fri., Oct. 21, 2022 at Legion 256, 1630 East Wellington Road, Nanaimo from 1:00-4:00 pm. Ray will be buried in the National Military Cemetery (Beechwood Cemetery) in Ottawa later this fall. There will be a short ceremony and gathering there for anyone in the area who would like to attend the interment.
In Lieu of Flowers, please consider a donation to the Nanaimo General Hospital Foundation Fund for the ICU unit equipment for the new ICU Unit to open in 2023. Your donation would mean a lot to Ray, to us, and to Nanaimo.