Ray K. Casselman

Ray K. Casselman, a resident of the Iroquois Point for the past 52 years, passed away suddenly at home on Sun., June 24, 2007. He was 77.
He was born in Williamsburg on Jan. 1, 1930 to his parents Earl and Ida Casselman (nee Canaugh). At the age of 14, he left home on a Farm Excursion program to Saskatchewan harvesting crops, then started sailing on the Great Lakes where he discovered his love of water and ships. Over the years, he became a first mate and a ship-keeper in Toronto Harbour.
After marrying Norlene Prunner, they had four children: Skippy, Darcy, Lorraine, and Woodrow. They started a marine laundry business in Dickinson’s Landing. When the Seaway was flooded in 1958, R.K. Casselman & Sons Marine Services was re-located to the Iroquois Point.
Ray was an entrepreneur, welding, fixing cars, and plowing snow in the winters. He was also employed at the Iroquois Locks as a linesman.
He loved vehicles and had a fleet of work trucks which were painted robin’s-egg blue.
It was in his heart … the water. His labour of love was his tug boat called the Island Queen which he spent thousands of hours re-constructing. His home was always open, and he was ready to share an endless cup of tea and conversation with family, and new friends, young and old. He loved his dogs – Lady and Buddy were his constant companions with Zelda and Flipper taking their nightly walks to the river. He loved cherry vanilla ice-cream and raisin pie, cinnamon rolls, and the extra icing on the cake.
He was a good dad, always setting the example of being a hard worker. He taught his family to respect others, to give, and to stand for the right values in life.
He is survived by his children Skip and his wife Debbie of RR#2 Iroquois, Lorraine and her husband Paul Casselman of RR# 4 Prescott, Darcy of Brockville, and Woody and his wife Carole of Ottawa; his siblings Alton and his wife Marlene of Morrisburg, Sam and his wife Violet of Morrisburg, Ross and his wife Sharon of Chesterville, Jean Casselman of Morrisburg, Agnes and her husband Lloyd Jackson of Brandon, Manitoba, Connie Hill and her companion Norm McIntosh of Iroquois, and Edna Schwerdtfeger-Garrett of Morrisburg; his grandchildren Melinda and her husband David Mellon of South Mountain, Kenneth Casselman and his companion Heather of North Augusta, David Melbourne and his wife Sarah of Brooklin, Dan Melbourne of Guangzchou, China, Richard Casselman of Ottawa, Sierra Casselman of Napanee; and his great-grandchildren Sonia, Keshia, and LukasMellon, William Melbourne, and Kaeden Casselman. He was predeceased by a sister Marjorie Jordan. He is also survived by nieces and nephews.
Friends called at the Marsden and McLaughlin Funeral Home in Iroquois on June 28. The funeral service was held at the funeral home on June 29 with Rev. Yvonne Willis officiating, followed by interment at Knox Presbyterian Cemetery in Iroquois. The pallbearers were Gerry Lafrance, Jerry Bissette, Ricki Froats, Larry Empey, Gary Cooper, and Albert Runions. The honourary pallbearers were Sid Drennan, Bill Tupper, and Jim Godkin.
Donations to Partners for Children in Development or the Heart and Stroke Foundation would be gratefully acknowledged by the family.