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Born: Jan 23, 1921

Date of Passing: Nov 17, 2010

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RAYMOND MARTIN SENFT Red River Ray Peacefully, on November 17, 2010, Ray Senft passed away at home after a courageous struggle with cancer. He was predeceased by his mother, Alma, father, Rev. George Senft, sister, Lorraine Propp, and son-in-law Jim Page. He is survived by his loving wife, Diane, children Marilyn (Dick), Rod (Jeannie), Gary (Darcia), grandchildren Jeff, David, Riley, Derek, Lauren, Joey, Tyler, great-grandchildren, Jessa, Rae and Jayden, sister Margaret Smith, and his nieces and nephews, including the Propp family. Born January 23, 1921 in Radisson, Saskatchewan, Ray grew up in rural Saskatchewan and Manitoba, moving frequently as his father was a busy Lutheran minister. In his earlier years he demonstrated what became a life-long love of animals especially horses, a trait that he passed on to his children. While a teenager, Ray moved to Winnipeg and worked at C.N. Railway. Ray and Marie (Schmidt) Reahil married early and went on to raise three children. His entrepreneurial endeavours began when he purchased delivery trucks from the railway and used them to haul freight. Never one to sit for very long, Ray then opened a restaurant and later started Red River Construction, of which he was very proud. One of his favourite stories from this period was when he helped the City to fight the flood of the century, in 1950. All the while Ray built and remodeled so many homes, he sometimes ended up being his own neighbour! After selling Red River in his 40's, Ray took on another bold projectdesigning and building the Paddlewheel River Boats. He proudly ran these river boats creating one of the premier tourist businesses of the day. His love for boats and the Red earned him the well-deserved nickname Red River Ray. In retirement, he bought and sold numerous boats often bringing them to Manitoba from his winter retreat in Florida. One of his pet projects was the rebuilding of the 103 year old Douglas M., a vessel that he re-christened as the BlackHawk VI. Ray loved his toys , boats, cars, planes, and all things motorized! Stories of his exploits, including plane crashes and fires were legion. He will be remembered by his family and many friends as a unique character , a man who lived a long, colourful and independent life. Following a whirlwind courtship of 25 years, Ray married again. Diane is grateful for what Ray made possible. He enriched her life and she will cherish her memories of their many shared adventures. Diane and the family would like to thank Don and Gladys Klassen, Betty and Larry Morgan, Sherry Voth and Doctor Terry Gwozdecki for unwavering support. We also thank the Interlake homecare workers who helped make Ray comfortable. In lieu of flowers, donations in Ray's memory may be made to or to the Selkirk Marine Museum. In celebration of Ray's life, a private memorial service will take place. Gilbart Funeral Home, Selkirk in care of arrangements.

As published in Winnipeg Free Press on Nov 20, 2010

Condolences & Memories (2 entries)

  • I met Ray in the early 80's as the builder of the Riverboat I worked on, he was a very polite and decent man. I worked there at the time as a dogsbody for everything, I loved the days I was Quartermaster. - Posted by: Kirby May (bussiness) on: Aug 25, 2015

  • Ray was not only one of my grandfathers lifelong best friends, but was a wonderful man. He would literally do anything for his friends and family. I always enjoyed our time at the lake , Diane and Ray were always such great fun to be around. He is very dear in my heart... - Posted by: Melissa Kowall-Maher (Family friend) on: Jul 05, 2014

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