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In Memory of Raymond Harry Van Steinburg
January 13, 1923 - March 4, 2017 (age 94)
Ray on hay truck
Ray worked at Houle's Dairy as the Dairy Manager for a few years before he enlisted to join the fight in WW II.
Served in WWII
Ray served in WWII in the mechanical core. He drove a wrecker all over Europe, including across enemy lines to bring broken down or abandoned vehicles back to the core to help keep the troops moving. He also stayed behind after the war to help clean up and make Europe liveable again for those who called it home.
Ray 3rd wave Dday
Ray had many stories about WWII. He was in the 3rd wave of trucks to hit the beach of Normandy. The drivers had spent several days before the invasion waterproofing their trucks as the boats could only get so close to the beach. He was the second to drive off the boat, the first disappeared into the water and was never seen again. The boat backed up, moved over and then it was Ray's turn. He didn't even get water in his cab.
Ray home from the war
When Ray returned from the war he stayed with his sister briefly, where this picture was taken, as he decided what path to take next.
Ray with Taxi
Shortly after he returned from service Ray bought a taxi service in Kimberley and ran it with success. He was the first to bring two-way radios into the Kootenays.
Ray and Mae wedding
Ray and Mae met in Kimberley, BC after the war. Ray owned and ran a very successful taxi stand and Mae worked at a local cafe.
Ray and Mae honeymoon
For their honeymoon Ray surprised Mae with a pack trip camping in mountains. These were the outfits they had made for the trip.
Ray w string of fish
One of Ray's passions was fishing. Ray and Mae honeymooned at White Swan Lake on the White river where this picture was taken.
Ray portrait smiling
A few years after they were married, Ray and Mae were in a serious auto accident. Plastic surgery wasn't readily available at the time and they were both left with changes to their appearance. Ray's nose was crushed and his lip was scarred. This is a portrait taken before the accident.
Ray w team_original house
One of the original team's, Tom and Jerry, hitched up with Ray at the reins. They also started out with a second team, Pearl and Judy. This is the original house that was on the property. There were no fences or pens when they bought the property, just a house and a barn built in the 1890s. That barn finally came down this year with the weight of the winter's snow.
Ray and Goldie
Ray was a consumate horseman who knew how to make friends with horses while getting them to do whatever he wanted them to do. The horses enjoyed working with him as much as he enjoyed working with them.
Ray w chariot in parade
Ray loved to show off his horses and skill at driving or riding in the local parades.
Ray on Beauty
This mare, Beauty, is the foundation mare for the Pine Butte string of horses. Ray traded her for a pig from a man in our local Native Band. We still have horses who are descendants of this mare. They have been an outstanding family of horses.
Ray and his Dad
Several years after they married, Ray's parents came to live with them on the ranch. A small house was built for them and they lived there until they passed away.
Mom and Dad w Ron and Kathryn
Ray and Mae invited many children into their lives. This was taken shortly after Kathryn was adopted and you can see the neighbour's son behind Ray while Ron is sitting on his knee.
Although Ray isn't in this picture it shows all the people that Ray and Mae adopted into their ranch family. Tom came to the ranch at age 16 (holding the bull), Hugh at age 17 is holding Lynette and Ron and Kathryn are standing in front.
Ray shovelling roof
This picture of Ray shovelling the roof of the current ranch house was taken in the 70s. We haven't seen snowfall like that until this last winter.
Party on the carport
Ray and Mae threw many parties in their younger days. Here, Ray is sitting next to his lifelong friend, Dick Blackwell.
25th wedding anniversary
Ray and Mae's friends threw a surprise 25th wedding anniversary party at their house! The attendees collected at the neighbours and then drove over the hill all together honking their horns to announce their arrival. This was the party that came with them.
Brothers and sisters
Ray came from a large family; he had 5 brothers and 5 sisters some of whom are pictured here with their spouses and children.
Ray Lynette Cliff and Hugh
Ray and Hugh participated in the Kamloops Provincial Bull Sale and the Williams Lake Bull Sale from the early 70s until 1995 when we decided to start our own Production Sale.
Ray on lawn with steer
This steer escaped when we shipped! Ray and Hugh liked him so much that they took him to Armstrong and he ended up to be the top steer in his weight class. He was the only Hereford steer competing.
Ray the cattleman
Ray was indescribably proud to be part of the cattle industry. The colleagues and friends he worked with, his understanding of cattle psychology and the research and effort he put into advancing cattle and the cattle industry in Canada were all points of pride and success for him.
Ray Larry and Linda in auction booth at PBR production sale Kamloops co-op
In 1996, we decided to start our own Production Sale held at the BC Livestock Yards in Kamloops. This was a big decision as we had been attending the Provincial and Williams Lake Bull Sale for more than 2 decades.
Ray and Hugh
In the early years of ranching Ray captured and bought horses until he had a string that he was proud of. That line continues today; Ray is riding Deuce from the Pine Butte breeding line.
Ray had 5 grandsons (3 of them pictured) and 1 great granddaughter and 1 great grandson at the time of his death.
Logan's high school graduation
Ray and Mae pictured here with their oldest grandson, Logan, at the time of his high school graduation.
Ray white hat
In 2005 we decided to begin a partnership with the Nature Conservancy of Canada. It was important to Ray that the natural grasslands in the area continue to be preserved in their natural state and used for the benefit of everyone.
Ray worked continuously on the ranch and with the government to promote a natural stewardship of the land. Hugh and Ray pictured here with an environmental stewardship award presented by the BC Cattleman's Association.
Ray and Hans Ulrich
Ray had many life long friends in the cattle industry. He often travelled with colleagues in the cattle industry as they went from sale to sale supporting the breed and searching for the next 'great bull'. He's pictured here with Hans Ulrich, they put on a lot of miles together.
Ray served on many boards and committees and was often asked to speak at conferences and give eulogies for friends who had passed. He was an excellent speaker who was always proud to be asked and worked hard to consider and fulfill the needs of each audience. He was always eager to share his knowledge and experience on cattle, horses, mechanics, land management, etc.