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Obituary of Raymond Shandro
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SHANDRO, Raymond Bill October 20, 1954 – July 14, 2021 On Wednesday, July 14, 2021, Raymond Bill Shandro of Andrew, Alberta passed away at the age of 66 years. Raymond is survived by his loving family, son Christopher (Sarah); grandson Gavin Raymond Bruce Shandro; brothers Robert (Chris) and Constantine (Elaine); sister Elizabeth (David) Stachnik; uncles David and Joe Wasylynchuk; along with numerous nieces, nephews, relatives and friends. Raymond was predeceased by his wife, Kathy; and his parents John and Sophie Shandro. A Prayer Service will be held on Monday, July 19, 2021 at 7:00 p.m. at the Andrew Community Centre. A Funeral Service will be held on Tuesday, July 20, 2021 at 9:30 a.m. at the St. Mary’s Russo Greek Orthodox Church at Shandro (north of Willingdon on SH857 to Twp Rd 574, West to RR153) with Fr. Kolin Berglund officiating. Interment to follow in the Church Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to the “St. Mary’s Russo Greek Orthodox Church at Shandro.” ***Please cut and past this link to access the recorded funeral service for Raymond. https://youtu.be/DaZtEJpgZUA ******EULOGY***** Hello, everyone, and thank you for being here with us today. My name is Joanna and I am Raymond’s niece, the daughter of his younger sister Elizabeth. I would like to request a few minutes of your time to listen to the eulogy that the family has prepared. My Uncle, Raymond Bill Shandro was born on October 20, 1954 in Willingdon, Alberta and graduated from Andrew School in 1972. Uncle Raymond grew up on a mixed farm with his parents, John and Sophie Shandro, and farming was in his blood. Daily chores such as taking care of all the cows, chickens, and pigs were simply facts of life for him. As he matured he took on the more labor intensive jobs, like making hay bales, hauling them, feeding them out, or making chop for feed. As a teen, he earned a plethora of showmanship trophies and ribbons for showing his heifers in the Willingdon 4-H Dairy Club. Uncle Raymond was very mechanically inclined and was always instrumental in the upkeep and repair of any machinery on the farm. He never grew out of the thrill of getting a new tractor or piece of farm equipment. About ten years ago, Uncle Raymond and his son Christopher got to share their love of machinery when they toured the Combine Factory and John Deere World Headquarters in Moline, Illinois. Carpentry was another skill that Uncle Raymond learned while growing up, and he helped his dad build not only a new farm house in 1972, but also a house in town in the early 1980s. In between those two projects, he honed his construction skills by working with his Uncle Sam for Muttart Homes, helping to build houses throughout the counties of Two Hills and Lamont. But he didn’t just keep busy with farm work, and from an early age Uncle Raymond also cultivated a love of music. He started his music studies with childhood piano lessons, and went on to play trumpet in both high school and the Air Cadets. As he grew up, his music collection included record albums, cassettes, and even 8 Track tapes! Later on, he made sure that all of his tractors had radios, even before that sort of thing was common. Until recently, he could still sit down at the piano and play one of his favourite songs, “The Starlight Waltz” from memory. And speaking of waltzing, anyone who’s been at a wedding with Uncle Raymond and Aunty Kathy will know how much they loved dancing together. After graduating from high school, Uncle Raymond briefly attended NAIT, but quickly realized that student life wasn’t for him. He wanted to work! He started out by driving trucks, first for Hughes Petroleum, and then for the Department of Highways, a job which took him all over Alberta. Ever the conversationalist, Raymond loved to tell people back home about his experiences, whether it was watering down roads to prepare them for construction, or spraying grass seed into ditches. Sometimes he also liked to show them something about his job, like the time he brought home a massive, 6 foot long bullsnake from a job in Cypress Hills! Luckily, it was dead, but he knew it was something that you don’t see around here, and he thought his friends might appreciate both the novelty and a glimpse into his true working conditions down South. I can only imagine that he wasn’t disappointed. As he settled into adulthood, Uncle Raymond quickly realized that nothing else in life could provide him with the same sense of satisfaction and fulfillment as farming. Once he joined forces with his parents, he dedicated his life to building the family farm into something truly special. Over the years, he worked with his parents, his wife Kathy and his son Christopher to build the farm into an incredible operation that reflects his true nature as a visionary for what a farm can be. Speaking of Aunty Kathy, when Uncle Raymond was little, my grandmother asked him what he wanted to do when he grew up and his answer was, “I want to get married!” Luckily for him, he found the perfect partner in life. After a year of courtship, he married Kathy Antonio on Nov. 8, 1975, and together they shared a happy marriage that lasted for over 44 years. They settled on the farm, and soon streamlined it from a mixed farm to a grain operation. Uncle Raymond took immense pride not only in the farm’s productivity, but also in its beauty. The neighbors must have thought so too, because his beautifying efforts in the yard led to a Farm thought so too, because his beautifying efforts in the yard led to a Farm Family Award in the late 1990s. Uncle Raymond and Aunty Kathy lived a rich life as part of their church and community, and enjoyed curling, golfing, fishing, and of course, traveling. Although he’d left the Department of Highways in the dust, Uncle Raymond still loved vehicles and travel. Okay, he may have started with a bicycle, but he was on his first motorcycle by high school, and his beloved 1962 Chevy was only the first of many, many trucks. One winter not so long ago, Uncle Raymond took me for my first skidoo ride. I wasn’t quite prepared for the gleeful way he’d dive nose-first into ditches, and jump over snowdrifts, but I couldn’t mistake his thirst for adventure. In later years, he and Kathy took many trips (house boating, flying, and cruising) but the trip he remembered most fondly was the one where they drove to California as newlyweds. He loved hitting the open road. Uncle Raymond and Auntie Kathy’s greatest joy was the birth of their son, Christopher in 1990. Family meant everything to him. He couldn’t have been more proud when Christopher and Sarah took over the family farm, except perhaps when he first held his grandson Gavin Raymond Bruce Shandro, who was born in February of this year. Uncle Raymond was a true gentleman and wanted to spend time with everyone. He was the kind of neighbor who would always welcome you in for an afternoon visit or for an evening of playing cards. Others learned to watch out, of course: Uncle Raymond had a competitive streak, and he wanted to win! I experienced Uncle Raymond’s kindness and generosity too many times to count. As children, my brother and I would often come to the farm for weeklong sleepovers, and Uncle Raymond would tour us around the farm and let him help with some of the chores, even though I’m sure we only slowed him down. Later, when I finished university and got my very first job in Vegreville, Uncle Raymond would always check in on me while I was living at Baba’s house, and made sure that I was always invited over for pancake breakfasts in town, or weiner roasts on the farm. Even on those visits, when we knew we would see each other again soon, saying good-bye at the door or on the phone could take a while as there always seemed to be something more to say. Today, I’m especially grateful for all those long good-byes with Uncle Raymond. He is survived by his loving family, including his son Christopher and partner Sarah; grandson Gavin; his siblings Robert, Constantine, and Eulogy for RS partner Sarah; grandson Gavin; his siblings Robert, Constantine, and Elizabeth, along with their spouses; his uncles David and Joe Wasylynchuk; as well as numerous nieces, nephews, relatives and friends. Raymond was predeceased by his wife, Kathy in 2020; and by his parents John and Sophie Shandro. We are immeasurably grateful to all of you for attending today, and look forward to seeing those of you who are able to join us for the funeral service again tomorrow. Our family thanks you for all of your love and support.
Monday, July 19, 2021
Andrew Community Centre
Andrew, Alberta, Canada
Tuesday, July 20, 2021
St. Mary's Russo Greek Orthodox Church-Shandro
Shandro, Alberta, Canada