Ray was born in Burns Lake on December 10, 1931 to John Alvan and Katherine (Porter) Long. He was the youngest of 11 children. He grew up on the family ranch in Palling. His family life involved farming, logging and saw milling.
Ray was his sister Jean’s, pride and joy! They grew up knowing how to work hard-milking cows, fencing and riding. Ray was an excellent horse man as horses were always an important part of his life.
Ray married Eirien Kathleen Kempple on April 2, 1960 in Burns Lake. They made their home in Decker Lake where Ray had his own truck and hauled logs for Star Planer.
Ray was in a serious accident with his truck and a train in August 1960. Kathy was born the night before the accident. Ray spent many months in the hospital in Vancouver recovering. After his recovery he returned to work. Pam was born in 1963.
Ray and Eirien moved to Houston in 1966 where Ray hauled logs to Buck River Lumber and worked with Ernie Lund there. In 1968 Brent was born and completed their family. After several moves within Houston, the “Long” family reached their final destination in 1977-the current “Long’s Farm” on the Buck Flats Road.
Ray became a well known logging contractor under the name “Long Trucking Ltd.” He started his own cattle herd and always had horses around. He enjoyed rodeos, roping and hunting trips on horseback. You could often see Ray at the local rodeo at Henry Murphy’s place as a pick up man. He also took an interest in the local pony club where he would participate in the ‘Smoke Race.’ He rode horses up until the last couple of years, checking cattle and fence lines as well as participating in numerous Poker Rides with Tori and Bill Vernon.
Ray was always the first one to lend a hand to friends and neighbours. He had a keen sense of humour and always had time to visit. There was no such thing as a quick trip with Ray! He was an avid story teller!!
When Brent was old enough to drive the logging truck, Ray took a step back and focused on his farm and cow herd.
Ray loved to dance, tour around the country, visit and trade stories.
The joy of his life was his grandkids, Brittany, Brooke, Shea and Tori. He was always very patient with them and taught them to drive, hay, farm, ride horses and play cards. He bought an old Crowne Victoria car at an auction in Grassy Plains for the grandkids to learn how to drive.
In his later years, as his health failed, Ray wasn’t able to be as active, however, his wit always brought a smile to everyone’s face! He enjoyed the odd trip out for a strawberry milkshake and a tour of town with his little black dog at his side.
Ray was a man of many words and had a heart of gold! Heaven has gained one heck of a cowboy!
Survived by his wife, Eirien, daughter, Kathy (Randy), Pam (Devin), Brittany & Brooke and son Brent (Lia) Shea & Tori.
A celebration of life was held on June 21 at the “Long Farm”.