April 26, 1931, Toronto, On.
October 24, 2021, Canmore, AB.
George Lewis Raham had three life-long loves in his life, the first being his 1951 MG sports car that he bought in 1951, and the second his wife of 66 years, Marian. After having known each other when attending the same Toronto public and high schools, they met again in their early twenties, and lo and behold. Marian also owned an MG ! Obviously fate had decreed that they should marry, and on July 1st, 1955, they became man and wife. His third great love was skiing. He started when only 5 years old and was still skiing when he was 89 years old.
Their first son Douglas George was quickly introduced to the MG (with it's top up), as he left the hospital in it when only six days old. He was carefully wrapped in a blanket, then placed on a padded surface in a cardboard box, which was then wedged into a small space behind the driver's seat. In three years, Doug was joined by his brother David James and the family size then needed a larger car, so bought a Volkswagen Beetle. George was quite active in the sports car scene in Toronto, and using both cars became the proud owner of a large number of sports car event trophies, including racing, rallying, hill climbing, skill testing and others.
In 1960, his company moved George and family to Calgary, Alberta where he took over their office there. After a year, spending most weekend time in the mountains, skiing in the winter and hiking in the summer, returning to Toronto was out of the question as they had decided that Calgary was the place that they wanted to call home. Eight years later they purchased a small cabin in Harvie Heights, and in following years spent nearly every weekend there. When the boys were ready to leave school, both found work in the Banff area, and lived at the cabin. George and Marian purchased a small company called Acme Stamp in 1975, and manufactured rubber stamps, made corporate seals, did plastic engraving etc. Later, in 1982,with the company growing they decided to take a holiday. With their love of the mountains, they decided to visit Mt. Everest. In the mountains they climbed to a high of over 18,700 feet when Marian got altitude sickness and had to turn back leaving George to carry on to Everest base camp. Returning home, with their company doing well, they decided they must renovate and enlarge their small cabin. After doing most of the work themselves, they ended up with a suitable retirement home and in 1991 sold the business and retired to Harvie Heights. George spent most winter days on the ski hills. In later years he joined the Rut Runners at Mt. Norquay and still skied with them in his 89th year. He was so well known for his ski collection, that the CBC filmed an interview with him that was shown on local and national TV.
During their time abroad they visited many different countries including Japan, Thailand and India and developed a hunger to see other lands. In 2007 they made a six week trip to Europe visiting friends for two weeks. Then they set off through Germany, Czech Republic, Austria, Italy, Switzerland and France, with no reservations booked. They were fortunate having to sleep only one night in their car, on the shores of the Mediterranean Sea.
One day in 1967 when George, a member of the Calgary Historical Society, was having a meeting with Calgary city alderman John Ayer, to discuss a project for the City of Calgary's centenary in 1975, he suggested to John that developing the original Fort Calgary site might be a suitable undertaking. John agreed that it was a good thought and presented the proposition to city council, which accepted the proposal, and the Fort Calgary Interpretive Centre became a reality. George was very proud of this idea coming to fruition.
George was a solid Rotarian, joining the Chinook Rotary Club of Calgary in 1977, and in 2005-06 was voted Rotarian of the Year. He also earned a Paul Harris Fellowship Award in 2009.
Predeceased by his parents, Irene and Herbert Raham, sister Barbara, brother Robert and son David James (Bammer), George is leaving a huge void in our hearts. We cannot express enough gratitude to Dr. John Michalyshyn and the nurses and staff at the Canmore Hospital for their tender care, as well as Miranda, Susie, Bill and all the others with Home Care, who have given us rock solid support over the past few weeks.
The family will be holding a private ceremony.
In lieu of flowers, friends wishing to remember George are encouraged to make a donation to a fund set up in George's name by the Canmore Rotary would be appreciated. George would be happy to know that it would be helping needy people. The donation link is -https://www.canadahelps.org/en/dn/t/65857