John (Ray) Raymond Francis Jolley was born on May 29, 1930 in Kelowna the only child of Bill and Molly (Reid) Jolley. He often talked about his carefree childhood hitching rides on the KVR trains, shooting gophers and flying his model airplanes. Ray went to Kelowna High School (now KSS) and graduated in 1948. He was busy with Sea Cadets, the BCDS Militia and got his pilot’s license at age 16. On August 22, 1949 Ray and his pals Ted Wilson and Louis (Pudge) Marshall joined the Royal Canadian Air Force.

While at CFB St Hubert, Quebec for officer training he met his future bride, Yvonne Peron, a nurse in training from Grande Ligne, Quebec. They were married in Montreal on January 18, 1952 and shortly after Ray was posted to North Luffenham, 441 Fighter Squadron in England. They had their first two of seven children while in England, and then moved back to Canada where Ray was stationed in many locations in Canada and posted twice to bases in the USA. Ray’s final posting was at CFB Penhold in Alberta as the Commanding Officer.  In 1977 Ray, Yvonne and the 2 kids still at home retired to Kelowna. Ray often said how lucky he was to follow his passion for flying and to have such an exciting career. He managed to fly most of the Canadian Air force fighter jets and during his career met Prince Philip, partied with King Hussein of Jordan, and shook hands with President Kennedy.

Ray and Yvonne welcomed many visitors and family to their home. Everyone remembers his generosity, big martinis, teasing and rewarding the grandchildren, card and dice games (and occasional cheating), racey military songs, hat parties, metal detecting and star gazing. He was a bigger than life guy who will be missed greatly by his loving wife Yvonne, seven children Will (Lucy), Nettie (John), Bernie (Brian), Michele, Lucy (Ron), Ken (Laura), Graham (Lisa), 13 grandchildren, 5 great-grandchildren and just about everyone he met. Ray passed away peacefully in Kelowna General Hospital on August 27, 2014. A celebration of life for Ray will be held at a later date in Kelowna, please check the website

In lieu of flowers, please make a donation in Ray’s name to the Heart and Stroke Foundation, the Salvation Army or the SPCA.

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