Tuesday, 4 August 2015

In Loving Memory: Lynne Raley (1941-2015)

Margaret Doris Lynne RALEY was born 5 Aug 1941 at the Ottawa Civic Hospital to George Simpson RALEY (b. 1 Aug 1890 - d. 6 Jun 1979) and Margaret Phyllis Aline (nee KILMARTIN), a second daughter and third child (of four). Her arrival was announced in the August 6th edition of The Ottawa Citizen newspaper.
RALEY -- At the Ottawa Civic Hospital
Tuesday, August 5, 1941, to Mr and
Mrs George S Raley a daughter
Both well.
The baby, known as Lynne (for no one seemed to be called by their first given name in this family!), was baptized 7 Sep 1941 at St. George's Church, Ottawa. About seven years later, on 28 Apr 1948, Lynne was also confirmed here in the Catholic faith. 
ABOVE: Image of the original parish register detailing Lynne's baptism and confirmation via Ancestry.ca. 

No. 51

On the seventh day of September, nineteen hundred and forty-one
We, the undersigned priest, have baptized Margaret Doris Lynne
born on the 5th of August last the legitimate daughter of George S. Raley
who has signed hereunder, and of Phyllis Kilmartin of this parish. The
godfather was Edmour Landry who has signed hereunder, and the godmother was
Mrs. Percy Allston who has signed hereunder.
___________________________________________ )             James R Murray

___________________________________________                        Asst Priest
___________________________________________ )
Confirmation in St. George’s, Ottawa April 28, 1948 by Archbp Vachon
Marriage _________________________________________________
Although they did not sign "thereunder," Lynne grew up knowing her godparents to be Mrs. Percy Allston and Joseph Edmour Melville LANDRY. Called Edmour by his peers, Lynne's godfather was the husband of Lynne's mother Phyllis' sister, Doris Kathleen KILMARTIN. Lynne affectionately called this woman her Aunt "Dode". In the later years of Dode's life until her death, it was an adult Lynne who diligently and lovingly, though sometimes crankily, looked in on her and ferried her about to doctor appointments.

But before we get ahead of ourselves...

Lynne fondly and frequently reminisced about her childhood spent in Brittania trying to keep up with the boys, lamenting her many injuries, scrapes and grievances as if they'd only occurred yesterday. She spoke of how she loved to sing with the choir, run after the streetcars, swim at the beach ("they weren't all polluted then!") and ride her bike which "one of [her] idiot brothers" stole. She griped about a neighbour putting a snake down her shirt and complained about breaking her thumb, it turned black and moved freely in its socket before anyone would believe she was hurt. She boasted about climbing to the very tops of trees because she felt like it and eating handfuls of raw ground beef because she liked the taste of it.

Perhaps Lynne chased this Ottawa street car #823 from the Brittania Loop, ca 1951.
Photo credit: Unknown.
Image credit: Ebay Auction User dfwu
Link to Listing: HERE. 
A definite tomboy, Lynne said she felt closer to her father than her mother as a child. She loved superhero comic books and played hockey in the footsteps of her maternal granduncle, Angus Duford (1891-1950) whom, she proudly related, played as a Center Forward for the *original* Ottawa Senators from 1913-1916. A family resemblance (especially to Lynne's nephew, Wade RALEY) is definitely apparent in the photo below.

Lynne's uncle Angus is the player seated to the far left, on the end of the second row.
Digital image courtesy of Lynne's personal collection.
Original photo from The Ottawa City Archives (CA 6124).
More about Angus Duford HERE -- coming soon!

Despite her cursed allergies, Lynne always had a soft spot for animals. She spoke fondly of a dog she loved as a child, though its name escapes me now; she always made a big fuss about "having" to pet any fluffy fur-baby that ventured toward her vicinity and also immediately needing to go wash her hands afterward. She got a kick out of playing with all the family pets even though she "wasn't supposed to". She will certainly be missed by playful Georgie and Gahra Pizzati as well as Murphy and Maxie Mohr, Jackson Mohr, Farnsworth and Boomer Crawley and the Hough furbabies (Molly and Mojo). Georgie, in particular, would always get visibly excited when told Auntie Lynne was coming over, having played finger-hide-and-seek-in-the-couch with her since he was a tiny fluff ball.

Lynne and her god-daughter, Lisa-Dawn CRAWLEY, circa 1987.
Crawley Farm, Stanger, Alberta, Canada.
Photo credit: Michael Crawley.
Crystal MOHR and Lynne on New Years Eve (31 Dec 1993) at a party hosted by Betty's sister and brother-in-law, Shirley & Peter McCarthy. Kanata, Ontario, Canada.
Photo credit: Lisa-Dawn Crawley.
Lynne also had an affinity for children, a quick connection with the young-at-heart. Many a child has cackled hysterically at her fierce bear hugs (subsequently peeing her pants) or silly sing-song sayings -- "up yer nose with a rubber hose and in your ear with a poison spear" or "pop pop fizz fizz oh what a relief it is" or "cob on the corn" or "pidayduh" (potato). Indeed, Lynne left school early for financial reasons and ended up babysitting to earn income. She recalled many fun outings herding myriad rugrats here and there all at once and thought herself pretty darn good at rearing youth, though she never bore any of her own.

Lynne didn't like to be wrong. Ever. She was infamously a poor loser, sometimes even a poor winner. She had a stubborn streak, too, but also a bit of naivete. She was a sucker for gadgety, gimmicky, As-Seen-On-TV quick-fix products. She always believed, wholeheartedly, whatever the "professionals" told her and did exactly as instructed. She could not bluff. She didn't like to be the centre of attention and could not laugh at herself (even with ketchup all over her face and down the front of her blouse in the middle of a restaurant... for the second time). She was proper to a fault (she refused to admit she passed gas outside of the bathroom even when alone in her apartment). She was adamantly allergic to her own hair (I didn't buy this one, even as a tiny child). But these quirks were small(ish) in comparison to her huge, soft heart.
Lynne always made goofy faces to make the photographer laugh when she didn't want her picture taken. Didn't stop me. Taken August 2010.
Photo Credit: Lisa-Dawn Crawley
Loyalty and generosity permeated Lynne's relationships all her life -- perhaps even when she should have exercised less patience or tolerance. But that was Lynne. Lynne was giving and loyal, kind and proud, honourable and dependable.

As such, she of course wanted to be there for her siblings and their families whenever they expressed a need. Lynne was a witness at the wedding of her sister, Rita Mary "Dianne" (1937-1984) to Joseph PATRICK. She frequently drove the wife (Lucille aka Lou/Lucy, nee RAYMOND) of her big brother Charles Ambrose William "Bill" (living) to her hair appointments (they shared a hairstylist for a time) and other errands, exchanging occasional emails. She happily chatted to her little brother George Phillip (living, and actually called by his given first name!) on Facebook and was looking forward to driving him to a canoe event the weekend of her death. Until nearer the end of her life, Lynne babysat when called upon and always spoke proudly of all her nieces, nephews, "the greats," their families and accomplishments. Indeed! Someone was always graduating, getting married, having a baby, starting a new business or doing something else of note. She bragged about it all!

ABOVE: Image via Ancestry.ca of the original parish register detailing Lynne's sister Dianne's marriage. Note Lynne's actual signature at the very bottom.

In 1964, at the age of 23, Lynne entered a commerce school program to learn such skills as shorthand and typing. Here, fate introduced her to classmate Patricia "Pat" PRICE (now MOHR) who remained her close friend, a sister-by-choice for over 50 years until Lynne's death.
Patricia and Ken MOHR and Lynne, ca early 1970s.
Photo credit: TBD.
In 1965, Lynne became a civil servant at the Department of National Defense. It is at DND where she met another of her good friends, May Hoey, whom she spoke of fondly, often and with whom she never lost touch. Lynne worked at DND proudly until her retirement in the early 1990s, relishing every opportunity to offer up the popular spy movie phrase: "If I told you what I do, I'd have to kill you". Sure enough, to this day, nobody is very clear about what exactly Lynne did for the government. Something about various ships and their tech upgrades, weaponry or the transport of supplies/soldiers -- that was the vague impression with which most were left. Perhaps that was the topic of the correspondence she handled. It might at any rate hint as to the purpose of her much enjoyed, much talked about road trip to Halifax.

In her mini cooper. The mini cooper she once owned and longed for ever after? You must have heard of it. It was red and a "great little car" that she once caught four large guys carrying out of a Hamilton parking lot after a football game the Ottawa Rough Riders won. Yes, above all, Lynne loved to drive. She loved road trips and any opportunity to get behind the wheel, often volunteering to play chauffeur and airport taxi. She was offended if you didn't ask her! Despite many fender benders, Lynne took excellent care of all her vehicles; woe was the oblivious teenager only after a quick buck who agreed to clean it under her watchful eagle eye. However, generations of students do have Lynne to thank for their driving skills and clean records. It must be noted, though, that her ferocious and verbal impatience for ignorant drivers and poor driving skills did not get passed on to all of her pupils.
Lynne ca early 1970s.
Photo credit: Michael Crawley.
Speaking of football... Lynne was always quick to brag about her famous, athletic ancestry. Sure enough, her claim to her grandfather's fame was true: Ambrose "Amby" Timothy KILMARTIN (1884-1944) did indeed play with the Rough Riders in the early days of the Ottawa Football Club.  Unfortunately, he played during a decade (the 1910s) in which the team declined and was not very competitive.

More about Alby Kilmartin HERE. -- coming soon!

Long after her grandfather's death, Lynne shared season tickets to the Ottawa Roughriders with friend Elizabeth "Betty" STANTON (now CRAWLEY) for eleven years. Even though Lynne was adamant that she did NOT want to meet Betty at first, fate again made its mark. Not only did Lynne, at Pat's request and ultimate introduction, end up driving Ms. Stanton (who was recovering from toe surgery and unable to take the bus) to her work with Ms. Mohr at the Canadian Nurses Association, but she got stuck with another close friend and sister for almost 50 years. Thus, the legend of the three musketeers began.
Lynne was Maid of Honour at Elizabeth and Michael's wedding (both right) in Ottawa. Fall 1978. Colin SMITH (bottom left) was Best Man. Both ended up being godparents to the couple's first born child.
Photo courtesy Elizabeth Crawley's personal collection.
Photo credit: TBD.

Lynne, Pat, Betty and Ken at Lisa-Dawn and Brad's wedding in 2012.
At the wedding, Lynne read the Prayer's of the Faithful with the groom's godfather, Pat read a reading during the ceremony mass, and Ken was a groomsman.
Indeed, both Pat and Betty's extended families, later to include their own children, seemed to envelope Lynne as a permanent fixture at Christmases and other holidays and in their lives. Betty's youngest sibling, Pam, recalls first meeting Lynne when she was only five years old. She claims innocence when Betty and Lynne drove up to find her sitting on top of her next door neighbour "friend" on the front lawn, pummelling him in the chest. That same little boxer is all grown up now with one of her own daughters getting married this August! Pam says she specifically remembers Lynne poking her playfully in the belly when she was little and has a hard time recalling a family Christmas gathering where Lynne was not present, "at least after gift-opening". Lynne, herself, talked about going to the Ex with Betty and nieces, Laura and Vicki when they were small. She had stories about all the family babies... and then their babies, too. They, in turn, recall her silly sense of humour, her spikes of pain and funny outbursts resulting from her various ailments, debating whether they were real or imagined. She is remembered fondly as a kind, although at times perhaps curmudgeonly presence.
Lynne (seated, far right) at the trailer with (L-R) William Stanton, Loretta Mitchell, Kevin Crawley, Robert Stanton, Jennifer Stanton and Lisa-Dawn Crawley, ca Summer 1992.
Photo courtesy Elizabeth Crawley's personal collection.
Photo credit: unknown. 
Lynne enjoyed (watching) golf and almost anything else athletic. Alongside sports, she was a lover of music (especially Barbra Streisand), film (her favourite movies were The African Queen and Casablanca) and literature of all kinds; she was a voracious reader. To the chagrin of many, she tended to like everything a little more if it was from "the old days" whether it really was better or not. Lynne was a night owl, too, and was frequently caught "resting her eyes" amongst company in the evenings when she claimed to have been up until dawn finishing her latest tome or enjoying some sporting event on the boob tube. It must be mentioned that two of her favourite things to do were to go "see a show" and to munch on Peanut Buster Parfaits (which she once requested, to her humiliation, as a "peanut puster barfait") from Dairy Queen. 
Caught in the act on Boxing Day at Pat & Ken's!
Photo credit: Lisa-Dawn Crawley
Ms. Raley also liked to try to keep up-to-date with all of the latest technology. She liked to try to fix things; she fancied herself handy. Whether she was or she wasn't, in fact, handy seemed to be determined equally by the task and her mood - but she would always offer to give it a try! In fact, one had to be wary of taking too much advantage of Lynn'e's generosity because she liked being needed. She liked to help people. This good will extended toward many long-term friends but also to many in her apartment building, especially her buddy Robert McArdle and (the late) Loretta MITCHELL (nee GARDEN, formerly STANTON -- yes, Betty's mother). Lynne would choose to mention here her pal Nicole Zabik (Ottawa) and her friend, (the late) Audrey Rogers (Richmond), whom she accompanied all the way to England on the trip of Lynne's lifetime (made possible by an inheritance received courtesy of heir hunter, Tim Howse (Toronto).

Lynne helping to blow up balloons for Brad's 30th birthday party in St. Catharines, Ontario, March 2007.
Photo credit: Lisa-Dawn Crawley.

After an insidious decline over the past three years, Lynne Raley died not unexpectedly but still suddenly on Friday, 17 July 2015. She passed peacefully in her favourite ergonomic chair in front of her big screen smart TV in her long-time home on Carling Avenue. Special thanks to the superintendent on duty that day who reacted quickly and professionally when called upon.

View this obituary online, HERE.
To my knowledge this obituary on the Funeral Home website is the only one that has been published publicly.
The guest book has been signed twice so far (as of 4 Aug 2015).
A private wake was held for family at Alan R. Barker Funeral Home & Cremation Services in Carleton Place. As per Lynne's final wishes, the Mohrs and the Crawleys were included. A public funeral mass was held on 28 July 2015 at St. Mary's Catholic Church, Carleton Place. Cremation and inurnment to follow at Notre Dame Cemetery, Ottawa. Lynne's nephew, Wade, gave a touching eulogy.
Card given out at Lynne's funeral.
Pat and Betty were very touched to be included and to be specifically sought out by Scott Raley.
Canada Day at Pat & Ken's, Richmond.
Photo Credit: Lisa-Dawn Crawley

June 2012
Much love is now and always extended from: Shirley & Peter McCARTHY and family (Ottawa), Donna STANTON & Kevin SHAUGHNESSY and family (Ottawa), Edward & Mary STANTON and family (Ottawa), Cindy & Alan HARVEY and family (Nova Scotia), Pam & Dennis ROY and family (Buckingham, QC), the extended HOUGH family (Ottawa), the extended MOHR family, the Rogers family (Ottawa) and the Pizzati family (Welland, ON).

It goes without saying that Lynne was adored and will be terribly missed by Patricia & Ken MOHR of Richmond, Heather MOHR (Kevin HOUGH), Jordan and Erika of Bridlewood, Kanata; Crystal MOHR of Bridlewood, Kanata; Elizabeth CRAWLEY (late Michael), Lisa-Dawn CRAWLEY (Brad PIZZATI) all of Glen Cairn, Kanata; and Kevin CRAWLEY (Brittany MILLER) of Nepean.

Chrsitmases, Easters, Thanksgivings, birthdays, our annual Cookie Baking Day and EVERY day will not be the same without you, Auntie Lynne.

You were loved.
You will be missed.
And you WILL be remembered.
Photo credit: Lisa-Dawn Crawley.

It should be noted that this blog post has been hampered by a few things: emotion, memory in an emotional time (let alone its usual fallibility), availability and accessibility of suitable photos (you can never find exactly what you want WHEN you want it!) and the overwhelming desire to get this exactly right, to include everything immediately, in time to publish for her birthday. One measly post is insufficient to give tribute to such a person who had such an impact on so many lives, nor all the aspects of it I desired to touch upon. Nevertheless, it's something.

A proper source list and citations will be added ASAP.

Additional photos may be added herein or to subsequent posts.
All mistakes are my own; therefore, dates and credits subject to change.

Photo credit: Lisa-Dawn Crawley.
Digital image credit: Lisa-Dawn Crawley.
A list in Lynne's own handwriting of dates important to her.
Regardless of biology... all family.

Added 5 Aug 2015
The following memoriam notice was published in today's edition of The Ottawa Citizen on page D6.
The link in the add leads to this blog post.
The link to the online memorial and guest book (please sign!) is HERE.

1 comment:

  1. I'm so sorry for you and your family's loss. Lynne was a wonderful person. I have some photos of her if you want some more send me an email. I hope you are doing well despite this hole in your family. xo



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