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Born: May 15, 1940
Date of Passing: Oct 04, 2022Offer Condolences or Memory Make a donation to CancerCare Manitoba Foundation
With broken hearts we announce the passing of our beloved husband, father and grandfather, Roger Reay on Tuesday, October 4, 2022, at Health Sciences Centre.
Roger is survived by his wife of 56 years, Heather; his children, Jason and Kevin (Christine); grandson Aiden; his sister and brother-in-law Christine and George Austwick, and their family of Emsworth, England; Heather's family, Shirley Middleton and her family of Steinbach; Donna Skinner and her family of Arborg; Jack and Heather Skinner and their family of Beaumont, Alberta; Ruth Skinner and her family of Calgary, Alberta. Roger is predeceased by his parents, Tommy Gillson, Vicki and Lawrence Reay; father and mother-in-law Jim and Frances Skinner; his much-loved daughter-in-law Teresa; as well as his brothers-in-law, Jim Skinner and Jack Middleton.
Roger was born on May 15, 1940, to Vicki and Tommy Gillson in Portsmouth, England. One of Roger's earliest memories is running down the street with his mother to an air raid shelter and hearing the falling bombs. In 1947 his mother remarried and moved to Canada. In 1951 Roger boarded a plane and travelled to Canada, on his own, to join his mother and stepfather, Lawrence Reay. Shortly after his arrival in Winnipeg, Roger was formally adopted by Lawrence, and they enjoyed a wonderful father/son relationship until Lawrence's death in 2015. After Roger's arrival in Canada, he developed a lifelong love of baseball and hockey and participated in both sports for many years.
Roger started his work life in pharmaceuticals, firstly with National Drugs and then Gamble Drugs. He also worked for many years in the transportation business as a Credit Manager with Kingsway and QuickX. In 1996 he was involved in a horrific car accident and lost his job. A short time later Saul Simmonds asked Roger to do collections for the law firm of Gindin, Wolson, Simmonds. He loved this job and did it happily until aortic disease made it impossible for him to continue. Roger was always appreciative of the opportunity offered to him by Saul.
Roger and Heather were introduced by her brother Jack (who had a knack for matchmaking), and they married on July 16, 1966. Roger was a wonderful husband and an incredible father. In 1973 Jason was born and Kevin followed in 1980 and completed their family. Roger rejoiced in all the boys' activities and coached their soccer, baseball, and hockey teams. He revelled in the time he spent with his sons, including the annual opening and closing of the pool and the ongoing banter between the three of them. He was delighted when the boys brought Teresa and Christine into the family and before too long, he loved and thought of these fabulous women as his daughters. In 2004 the birth of his grandson, Aiden, brought a whole new dimension to the family. Roger hated to miss anything Aiden did whether it be school concerts, soccer or hockey games or just spending time with him, including golf games where Roger hit everything but the green. Each year Roger and Aiden had $1.00 bets on the Stanley Cup which resulted in several charges of cheating between the two of them. It should be noted that Roger was the most likely to alter a bet after the fact! Roger loved to drive Aiden back and forth to school and have that extra time with him. Occasionally Aiden would have to call Heather from the car to check with her regarding the truth of some outrageous claim Roger had made during one of their trips home from school.
Roger's sister, Christine, reached out to him in 1997 and that began a wonderful new family for all of us. In 1998 Roger and Heather travelled to Portsmouth, England to meet up with Chris, George and their family. It was a fabulous trip, and it was thrilling to meet all of the family. There were so many similarities between Roger and Chris that it was mind boggling. Roger took great joy in his brother/sister relationship and at one point commented to Heather, "I finally have what you have always had." That initial visit to England led to a love of travel and visits all over the world including Scotland, Wales, France, Australia, New Zealand, Spain, Italy, Portugal, Hawaii, Cuba, Jamaica, the Dominican Republic, and Roger's much-loved Mexico.
The house is going to be horribly quiet without Roger's large and very noisy presence. Roger never did anything quietly. He was always clowning around, joking and teasing everyone he loved and cared about.
A celebration of Roger's life will take place on Saturday, October 15, 2022, 1:00 p.m., at Prairie Spirit United Church, 207 Thompson Drive, Winnipeg. Masks are not mandated, but would be preferred.
In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to Manitoba Heart & Stroke or CancerCare Manitoba.
Special thanks to Dr. J. Silvaggio for his care and the compassion he showed to Roger and our family; the nursing staff of GA5 of the Health Sciences Centre and especially his two favourite nurses, Trang and Ella.
As published in Winnipeg Free Press on Oct 08, 2022
Condolences & Memories (9 entries)
Heather and I were partners in crime for over 30 years at two criminal law firms. I heard many stories about Roger before actually meeting him, so when we eventually did meet, I felt that I knew him quite well already. He was quite the practical joker and was always present at the "girls" pool parties, although obviously not a "girl". That didn't stop him. He dove right in and became one of the crowd. Our children crossed paths over the years and we fond of each other. How can you summarize 30 years into a couple of paragraphs? We shared our family's ups and downs; happy events, tragedies and so much more. Even though I didn't see Roger every day, Heather's stories kept me up to date; his joking around, his health updates and so much more. Heather, I know you are strong and will forge ahead, but Roger will always be with you. Love, Frieda and Neil. - Posted by: Frieda Bateman (co-worker and friend) on: Oct 12, 2022
My condolences to the family. Roger and family were wonderful neighbors, back on Woodlands Crescent. I do remember Roger always joking around and laughing. I’m glad you were able to see so many places in your travels and were able to create many happy memories. - Posted by: Carole Reeve (Former neighbor) on: Oct 12, 2022
Please accept my sincere condolences to you and your family. Roger will always be in your hearts forever. Remember all the happy times you shared and all the memories. My heart goes out to you and your family. Much love June. - Posted by: June Cowan (Friend from the West End and Isaac Brock) on: Oct 12, 2022
Tribute of Caring to the Reay Family at this time. - Posted by: Donna Goodman (Friend) on: Oct 11, 2022
Roger was a member of the Isaac Brock Group. It was a perfect choice when he married Heather Skinner. They were meant for each other. On behalf of my Family, I would like to extend my sincere condolences to Heather and her Family. Donna Goodman and Family - Posted by: Donna Goodman (Friend) on: Oct 11, 2022
My sincerest sympathy to you and your children, this is a tremendous loss. May all your happiest memories carry you through your grief in days to come. With love, Marilyn - Posted by: Marilyn Falk (nee Burr) (Isaac Brock school days on Valour Road) on: Oct 10, 2022
To Heather & family I offer my sincere condolences. Such a great guy that leaves many special memories for all of you. Roger was blessed to have your strength and support. Roger would also say it's now time to look after yourself Heather. See you soon. - Posted by: Barb (Humphreys) D'Avignon (Friend) on: Oct 09, 2022
I joined Kingsway Transport when they bought the company I was working at, and I will always be so grateful to Roger for being so welcoming to me! He was wonderful to work with, in fact, we often made calls and lunches with customers together in efforts to collect outstanding accounts. We would use the "good guy/bad guy" routine!! We laughed about it afterwards, especially because we were able to get what we wanted almost every time! Oh how I miss those days! Roger was so kindhearted, and always in an infectious great mood, lifting all our spirits with him. I am so sorry for your family's loss. Roger made the world good again and he will be missed by many I'm sure. Tammy Stark - Posted by: Tammy Stark (Co-worker) on: Oct 08, 2022
Rest in peace Roger you and your family give me wonderful memories of growing up at Isaac Brock We were lucky to be surrounded by good people like you Ted - Posted by: Ted irvine (Friend) on: Oct 08, 2022
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