Raymond John Bluhm of Chesley, known for his love of cars, his ability to maintain them — and drive them, died peacefully at Grey Bruce Health Services, Owen Sound on Monday, December 7, 2015 in his 72nd year.
Greater than his passion of cars, especially his black ‘63 Ford Galaxy, was Ray’s love for his wife Ruby, his son Chris and his family Amy and John. As Chris wrote, “Tonight I said goodbye to the greatest man I have ever known. He was my mentor and taught me how to be a good man. He loved me and cared for me when I was hurt or sick. He loved my friends and enjoyed their visits. Most of all he was my Dad and I will never forget how much he loved me, Amy and Big J.”
Ray was born and raised on the Bluhm farm on the 10th of Brant. He attended high school in Walkerton until Grade 10 when he received the opportunity to work at a gas bar in Stoney Creek, living with his aunt and uncle. The years that followed took him to Heirloom in Chesley and then Hydro at The Point and Lines & Station in Tillsonburg. Yet, it was Ray’s greatest pride to have worked at home, for the Town of Chesley, then the Municipality of Arran Elderslie caring for his beloved Chesley Cemetery. It could be said that Ray was a workaholic as he had a great work ethic. He was particular in all he did and was handy to boot.
Ray and Ruby meet in 1972 in Southampton and by October 9, 1982 they were married. This festive occasion took place at St. John’s United Church in Chesley. Ray became Dad to Chris in 1974 and he always made sure he had the time to sit down and talk. Ray was always available to help. “No!” was not in Ray’s vocabulary.
During Ray’s spare time, he enjoyed coaching some Minor Hockey, bartending for local social events and was a Legion Member. Dancing was yet another favourite pastime for Ray, as was going to cars shows and seeing other cars. Vacations and weekends were often spent at the trailer in Lobbies Park or Port Elgin.
Many Saturday nights were spent watching the horse races in Hanover. He even owned his own horse, “Derby Dan” or maybe better known as “Danny”, Ray’s prized Barrel Horse. If he couldn’t watch it in person, he would often watch a race on TV. He also enjoyed watching hockey, baseball, curling and would never miss the 6 p.m. News. His love for music, took him back to the 50’s, 60’s and 70’s where he enjoyed listening to artists like Johnny Cash and Hank Williams.
“Don’t touch!” was often used in Ray’s vocabulary. This included not touching his car and his many, many, many hats. “Don’t slam the door!” was another well used phrase. For as much as Ray loved his cars, family, dancing and hats he also loved his many dogs over the years – “Timmy,” “Peppy,” “Missy,” and “Benji” to name just a few.
Ray was the loving husband of Ruby. Beloved father of Chris (Amy) Stephen of Elmwood and Grandpa to John. Ray is fondly remembered by Ruby’s daughters, Jackie MacDonald of Port Elgin and Yvonne (John) Campbell of Paisley and their families. Dear brother of Larry (Audrey) Bluhm of Fergus, Leslie Bluhm of Chesley, Allan (Linda) Bluhm of Kitchener, Nancy (Wayne) Wilken of Elmwood and Murray (Theresa) Bluhm of Gooderham. Ray was predeceased by his parents, Wilbert and Viola (Prues) Bluhm and sister-in-law Nadine Bluhm.
A Celebration of Ray’s Life will be held at St. John’s United Church, Chesley, on Friday, December 11, 2015 at 2 p.m. Inurnment to follow in Chesley Cemetery, a place that Ray loved and nurtured.
Memorial donations to St. John’s United Church or Shriners Hospital For Children – Canada would be appreciated.
Arrangements entrusted to Rhody Family Funeral Home, Chesley.