Raymond Clifford Arksey
Peacefully, with his family around him, Ray’s journey ended on January 29, 2020 at 92 years of age. Ray is survived by his children, Donna (Darren), Ian and his brothers Les and Leonard.
Ray was born on February 23, 1927 at North Lakeland, Manitoba, the fifth of nine sons born to Jack and Maude Arksey. He was raised on a cattle and grain farm. Along with the farm, Ray drilled water wells with his father Jack, and fished on Lake Manitoba with his brothers in the winter. One of Ray’s first formal jobs was a Rider in the Community Pasture in Langruth. Ray often said that he was paid a dollar per day and had to provide his own horse. Ray had many fond memories of the time he spent working in the Community Pasture.
Ray married Anna Gray in 1950. Ray and Anna started their first ranch at Rat Lake which is located three miles west of Langruth. Ray purchased the Langruth Transfer in 1955 which he ran for a number of years along with the ranch. Ray sold the transfer in 1962 and expanded the ranch.
In 1964 Ray changed his focus from cattle to horses. He purchased a parcel of land one mile east of Langruth to be the location of his new venture. He became a pioneer in a new business called PMU.
He started off with one barn holding 60 mares, which he expanded to several barns and 180 mares on the line. At the peak he maintained a herd of 300 mares. Remarkably he could easily identify each one of these 300 mares, and could name each one and tell you where they came from!
In 1966 Ray co-purchased the Amaranth Hotel with Lloyd Orstead, which they owned until 1970.
One day Ray was asked to supply a few of his horses to a jackpot rodeo in Manitoba. Little did he know that this would become a passion and the start of a new venture called Arksey Rodeo Stock. Ray sold his PMU business in 1975 and the ranch located east of town and continued his rodeo venture.
Ray was one of the founding members of the Interlake Rodeo Association, later renamed the Manitoba Rodeo Cowboys Association. He travelled all over Manitoba, Saskatchewan and Ontario with his Rodeo stock going to as many as 20 rodeos per year. Ray is card holder #1, which he was very proud of! In 1994 Ray was honored to be inducted into the Manitoba Rodeo Cowboys Association Hall of Fame.
Ray travelled Manitoba buying and selling horses and cattle for his many ventures, establishing many lifelong friendships. In the mid-eighties Ray sold the rodeo stock business. He ran grass cattle after that until his retirement in 1992. He sold his west ranch to the Conrad family who he remained close friends with.
Ray had been retired for many years but remained active with trail riding and hunting deer and prairie chicken. Amazingly he hunted into his nineties and always got a deer. As a hobby he ventured into the gravel business and maintained a couple of quarries.
Ray had a rich life which he lived to the fullest. His first passion was horses with hunting a close second. Ray was the ultimate people person. He loved meeting people and maintained many close friendships for several decades.
Everyone wants to live a long time.
No one wants to get old.
Ray lived a long, long time and he never got old!
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