Our brother, uncle and a friend to everyone, Raymond Charles Ojanen, wrote the final scene for his movie on Friday, April 8th. He was 65 years old.
“Life is a movie, and this is mine” he often said. Ray’s opening scene began on August 10th 1956 in Ontonagon, Michigan. He was the third child and only son born to Ray and Georgetta Ojanen. He grew up in Rockland, and graduated with the OAHS class of 1974. Ray left Rockland for a time to work for the Structural Bonding Company in Flint, Michigan. He was a steel worker and completed a trade school in welding. Rockland was in his soul and once he came back he never left.
Ray was a very kind and sensitive man. After a rainstorm, he picked up worms and moved them to the side of the road, so they wouldn't get run over by cars. He loved all animals, often bringing treats with him for dogs along his walk. He loved his cat, Elmer and no matter how bad he felt in his final weeks, he always asked about him.
Ray had strong spiritual convictions about life and how it should be lived and it was reflected in how he treated people. He directed his movie the way he wanted and never tried to be anything different than who he was and offered no excuses. He was happier than many because he was true to himself. He never had a bad word about anyone. “Live and let Live” was his motto. He didn’t complain even when we knew he was suffering.
Ray enjoyed talking to people and made many friends. Like his father, he was a joker and a storyteller. He loved showing tourists around his town, old cemeteries and old mine shafts. He enjoyed a beer or two anytime. Ray loved daily rides to Victoria with his sister Barb. Ray and his sisters shared a close relationship that is not always common but that they all treasured.
Raymond is survived by his sister Barb of Rockland, his sister Donna of Salt Lake City, and niece Kseniya, nephews Billy and Dan, his girlfriend Laurie Pantti and many friends who loved him and supported him with visits and cards in his final scenes. People driving through town will miss the guy sitting on the bench on main street waving and smiling at everyone. Rockland won’t be the same without him but anyone who was lucky to play supporting roles in his movie benefited from knowing him. What a joyous reunion he will have with his friends and family members - especially his friends Glen and Wedge and his cousin John Bonin.
God be with you till we meet again, little bro.
Memorial services will be held at noon on Friday May 27th at St Paul’s Methodist Church in Rockland. Friends may visit with family at 11 am.
Cane Funeral Home is assisting the family with arrangements.