9:30 p.m., Jan. 8)
Community mourns the loss of a 'gentleman's gentleman'
By Fred Sherwin
St. Louis, shown her with his wife of 66 years,
Jeannine, in 2014, passed away last week at
the age of 84. File photo
community of Orléans, and the community at the
Orléans Legion Branch 632 in particular, lost an
exceptional man last week with the unexpected passing
of Raymond St. Louis.
Louis passed away in his sleep on Jan. 2 at the age of
84. He is survived by his beloved wife of 66 years, Jeannine,
his son Claude and predeceased by his son Robert.
Louis' legacy also lives on with on a long list of grandchildren,
great-grandchildren and great-great-grandchildren.
proud Korean War Veteran, Sgt. St. Louis spent 30 years
in the Canadian Military from 1950 to 1980. He served
in Korea with the Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry
(PPCLI), followed by time as a peacekeeper in the Middle
finished his military career as a vehicle technician with
Royal Canadian Electrical and Mechanical Engineers (RCEME).
Mass was held for St. Louis at Divine Infant Church in
Orléans on Saturday, Jan. 7, followed by a tribute
and reception at the Orléans Legion Branch 632
on Taylor Creek Drive.
was a tremendous individual that everybody wanted to be
around," said Branch President, Jim Ferguson, who
presided over the Legion ceremony. "It's
going to be difficult without him around, a man like Ray
can't be replaced."
to 300 ex-military and civilians packed the Legion to
pay their final respects to their fallen friend and comrade.
a founding and charter member of the Branch, St. Louis
was right at home, in memoriam, surrounded with the dozens
of friends, associates and family he had made during his
St. Louis was the driving force bebhind the
local Poppy Campaign for decades. File photo
by one they carefully placed poppies next to a picture
of St. Louis as their final display of love and respect.
was a fitting display of affection and touching send-off
as St. Louis was an important figure and driving force
behind the Poppy Campaign in the Orléans area.
Louis and Jeannine had been the pioneers of the Poppy
Campaign and main catalysts for 40 years, well before
the Orléans branch of the Legion was up and running.
Louis also served as the parade marshal for the Remembrance
Day ceremony at the Orléans Legion for years, leading
the parade of dignitaries and military personnel, both
past and present, onto the grounds at the start of each
ceremony. His trademark was to end his attendance report
St. Louis remembers his dad as a strict discilplinarian
with a heart of gold.
dad was always there for us when we were growing up and
in our adult lives," Claude proudly stated. "He
was strict and insisted that everything be kept as neat
as a pin, but he was a fantastic person and great parent."
person that served under him in the Armed Forces told
me that he was a dedicated serviceman. On several occasions,
many of them came up to me and told me how much his men
respected and cherished him."
stories about St. Louis and accolades directed his way
were the order of the day once the food was served and
the bar was opened.
going to miss our times together but I have a ton of memories
that I will be able to look back at whenever I think of
Ray," said Ken Volves, a former member of the Armed
ex-Gloucester politician reminisced about spending more
than 10 years with Ray working for "Encounters with
Canada" a Youth Program that gives young people the
opportunity to learn more about Canada's heritage and
enjoyed a lot of good times, many laughs. I hope he rests
many occasions, funerals and wakes can be a sad and heartbreaking
place to be, but on this day, it was a celebration of
St. Louis' life and all his professional and personal
Louis will be missed but he lived life to the fullest,
served his country with honour, raised a family and certainly
left his mark in the Orleans community.
was there to say goodbye to their friend or in the case
of his cousin Gerry Poulin, a final salute.
already miss Raymond, but I have a lifetime of memories
that I'll look back on and start to laugh, just like we
used to," said Poulin.
memoriam of Sgt. St. Louis, donations to the University
of Ottawa Heart Institute would be appreciated.
story was made possible thanks to their generous support
of our local business partners.)
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