On January 2, 2011 at the age of 80 years old, Raymond David Schissler passed away quietly and peacefully in his sleep at the Stettler Health Care Centre, Stettler, Alberta. Ray was predeceased by his mother and father Elizabeth and Henry, his brothers Harold and Fred, his sister Jean and her two sons Harold and Dale Griffith, his daughter Sheila Lynn and his son Harold “Shorty”. He is survived by his brother Bill (Maxine) Schissler of Hudson Hope, BC and his sister Lydia McKenzie of Stettler; daughters Donna Schissler of Stettler and Raylene (Doug) Webb of Valleyview; grandchildren Jason (Jessie) Pepper of Whitecourt, Terry Pepper (Rob Clarke) of Valleyview and Randi (Jake Nielsen) of Alix; great grandchildren: Kaycee Raye of Alix, Austin and Logan of Whitecourt and Stephanie and Brandon of Valleyview.
Ray was born on May 6, 1930 and raised as a strong and determined country boy. He was brought up to always be the first one to lend a hand to anyone that needed it and fought hard for what he believed in. After working a variety of jobs from driving trucks to drilling on oilrigs, Ray settled down in Valleyview, Alberta as a grain and cattle farmer to provide for his young family. Ray was a man of strength, courage and compassion and he will be sorely missed by the many people he has touched over the years.
After many years in Valleyview, he eventually relocated to Stettler, Alberta in 1995 to a small cattle farm on Bashaw Haul Road. In 1997, he was diagnosed with kidney failure and began full renal dialysis in August of 1997. At the beginning, he was forced to drive to Red Deer in order to receive treatment 3 days a week for 4 to 5 hours per shift. A man that had always worked every day of his life was now forced to sell his farm and begin a new life for himself. During this ordeal, he became an avid spokesperson for the great need of a dialysis unit in Stettler, not only for himself but for the many people he met that required this life saving treatment. Throughout the remaining years of his life, he wrote to our many members of Government, pleading the case for dialysis patients in our area. Several letters to the Stettler Independent and Red Deer Advocate were written and published describing the need for a closer dialysis clinic for the other patients in the area. Ray was even the proud recipient of the “Letter of Distinction” from the Advocate and was awarded Her Majesty’s “Golden Jubilee Medal” for the dedication he had shown in his fight for the community of Stettler.
Over many years he was told that his fight was a losing battle, but his strength for the pursuit of what was right, finally paid off. With many friends and family by his side, a dialysis clinic was finally opened in Stettler and his dream became a reality. He lived his final years surrounded by family and friends who cared deeply for him and will be remembered for his strength and determination to continue on even when the cards did not seem to be in his favor.
There are not enough words to express just how much Ray meant to many people, but he will always be remembered and forever in our hearts. The Schissler family request that in lieu of flowers, memorial donations be made to the Stettler Dialysis Unit for patient care.
Graveside Service was held at Craigmyle Cemetery on Saturday, January 8, 2011 at 2:30 PM. Granddaughter Randi Schissler gave a tribute of her grandfather to all those present. Honorary pallbearers were Peggy Hearonemus, Carol Nixon, Nadine Anheliger, Paula Hotte, Donna Wright, Deb Vetter, Shelly Peck and Carol Bates; pallbearers were Wayne Hearonemus, Dale Nixon, Pat Schissler, Donna Schissler, Jake Nielsen, Doug Webb as he was laid to rest beside his beloved son and family. Family and friends gathered in the Craigmyle Historical Church for a luncheon and fellowship.
Stettler Funeral Home and Crematorium
entrusted with the care and arrangements.