BENNS, Raymond John Charles of Baltimore, Ontario

Benns, Raymond John Charles passed away suddenly at home on Thursday, March 21st at the age of 75.  He was the loving husband and best friend of Margaret (nee Graham) for 52 glorious years.  He will be sorely missed by his sons, Steven (Amanda) and Jeremy (Melissa), and the joy of his life, his grandchildren, Kelsey, Nicholas, Elizabeth and Reed.  He will also be missed by his sisters Grace Broomfield (Bill), Bonnie Graham (Doug Kelly) and special sister-in-law Tammy Lyle.  A favourite uncle to Paul, John and David Broomfield, Geoff and Erin Graham and Jacob and Allison Lyle.

Ray was born in Cobourg.  He attended the “one room school house, Mullholland SS11”, then CDCI West and CDCI East when it first opened.  After graduation he attended Waterloo University, then switched, deciding he wanted to be a farmer.  Upon graduation from Kemptville College he returned to his family farm in Haldimand Township.  He ran a successful farrow to finish swine operation serving on the Board of the Northumberland Pork Producers for many years before retirement.

Not willing to  “retire” to his rocking chair on the veranda (where he did spend a lot of time), his good friend Tony Beauchamp encouraged him to run for Council.  Ray ventured into Municipal politics in 1998 as a councillor and one term as Deputy Mayor serving his community for over 20 years. Council was his forte and he was dedicated to the Township’s success.  He served on every Committee over the years but had a keen interest in his work with Safe Communities, the Lower Trent and Ganaraska Conservation Authority where he served as Board Chair for many years.

He also loved working with wood, and created a small business, “Natural Creations” where he made a variety of bird houses in his spare time and always looked forward to participating in the Rotary yearly Waterfront Arts and Crafts Show.

In his early years, he was very well known in the softball community as a pitcher with the Cobourg men’s team and he pitched for Warkworth in a winning Ontario championship.  After breaking his ankle he traded hats and became an umpire.  He also was a wiz at badminton and played in the Cobourg league for many years.  He loved the outdoors and his passion was fishing with his friends and grandkids at various locations throughout the world.  His dream trip was his trip to Brazil fishing for peacock bass.

Ray was known for his outgoing personality, great sense of humour and ability to make conversation with anyone.  He truly was a “people person” and he will be missed.

As per Ray’s wishes, cremation has taken place.  Friends are invited to visitation that will be held on Wednesday, March 27th from 2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. and 7:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. at MacCoubrey Funeral Home, 30 King Street East, Cobourg, Ontario.  A Celebration of Life will be held on Thursday, March 28th  at 11 a.m. in the Funeral Home Chapel.  In memory of Ray, donations may be made to Community Care Northumberland (for Ed’s House) or Diabetes Canada.  Condolences received at www.MacCoubrey.com.

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