Elmer Ray Hunter

May 9, 1931 ~ September 22, 2019 (age 88)


In Loving Memory of
Elmer Ray 

age 88
Lovingly remembered by his partner Susan, 
children Patricia, Bob, Debbie, Heather, 
Donald & Sandra as well as their families. 
Elmer was predeceased by his wife Ruth & son Blair.

September 22, 2019
Health Science Centre
Winnipeg, Manitoba

Anglican Memorial Service 
Thursday, September 26, 2019
Deloraine Community Complex
Deloraine, Manitoba 
2:00 p.m. 

Private Interment ~ Del-Win Cemetery

Donations in memory of  Elmer may be made to the Royal Canadian Legion Branch # 83 
or to a charity of one’s choice. 

Elmer Ray Hunter, passed away suddenly on September 22, 2019 surrounded by his children at the Health Sciences Centre in Winnipeg, MB, after a brief illness at the age of 88 years old. Elmer was born on May 9, 1931 at 18-2-8 W Pembina Municipality, (near Manitou, MB), to George and Ruby Hunter.  He was the eldest of 10 children.
Elmer attended school at Pembina Crossing, Darlingford, Manitou, and La Riviere. He worked as a young boy starting at 11 years old on neighbouring farms doing all sorts of tasks from weeding crops, milking cows, shooting rats and trapping gophers, driving a team hauling grain from the threshing machines to the grainery.  He bought a bicycle for $8.00 to deliver papers in Manitou (42 Tribune Customers) 6 days a week, and 36 Star Weekly papers on Saturdays.  His definition of tired was: arise at 5 am, milk 4 cows, feed the horses, have breakfast, harness the horses, pitch sheaves until it’s too dark to see, go to the barn, unharness your horses, curry them, feed them, milk 4 cows, and go to bed by 10 pm for weeks straight, except for Sundays and rain, sometimes  threshing went on for 6 weeks. He also worked at on a dairy farm in La Riviere, and had a trap line catching weasels, mink, squirrels, skunks, and muskrats.
When Elmer was 13 he gave Ruth a ride on the cross bar on his bicycle. Ruth’s father caught them and so they were not allowed to go dancing until they were 16! He had a great time at Dances! Elmer bought his fiddle, bow, case, resin, tuner and learning book (same fiddle he still used till now) from the Eaton’s catalogue when he was 12 for $14.95 (no taxes them!) He learned to play by listening to the radio or watching family and friends. When he first started “My Bonnie lies over the ocean” it was pretty screechy and terrible so he would go upstairs to his bedroom. His Mum would holler upstairs, “Give the calf more rope.” Finally he got to play and his Mom would chord with him on the pedal organ.
In 1947 he joined the Hydro Rural Electrification. He started with a crew in Pilot Mound and played juvenile hockey for Pilot Mound. The crew shut down due to deep snow and so he went to play hockey with the Flin Flon Bombers. He played 4 games, and his career ended by being heavily boarded, was winded and lost a tooth! Not much padding those days!  He decided to go work with Hudson Bay Mining and Smelting until he got called back to the ‘Manitoba Power Commission” in May 1950. He had a job as a rigger and was paid .92 an hour, and .28 an hour living bonus. He got his 1st class construction lineman certificate and went to foreman school. His first crew had 36 men on it. This crew worked east of Emerson and built hydro into 1000 farms, 2 villages, and 7 hamlets by Christmas. He had also joined the 21st Field Squadron (Saturday night soldiers they were called), and was in Winnipeg helping with the Big Flood in 1950.
Elmer married Ruth McLeod on May 10, 1952 at La Riviere United Church.  He bought a Pontiac Sedan for $1836, but sold it to buy a trailer to pull behind the Hydro truck so Ruth and him could be together and just not on weekends.
Elmer and Ruth started their family in 1953 with the arrival of Patricia, in Portage la Prairie, then Robert (1957)and Blair (1958) and Deborah (1960)and Heather (1962)born in Dauphin, and then Donald (1970) and Sandra (1972)were born in Deloraine.
Elmer spent many years with Eastern Star, Masonic Lodge, Shriners, Deloraine Legion, and Anglican Church of Canada. He was faithful servant to his church, one of his most remembered verses was “Blessed are they who have seen me and believed – but more blessed are those who have never seen me and still believed.  All I ask of you is you love one another.”
Elmer and Ruth lived in Thompson from 1976 to 1993, during this time he worked for Manitoba Hydro until he retired in 1988. Ruth passed away in 1992 and Elmer moved down south the following year. During this time in Thompson he also took a turn at selling Real Estate. He has been residing in Deloraine since that time.  Elmer and his partner Susan, travelled to Canmore, AB and Biggar, SK to work in the food service industry and then have spent many years together in Deloraine.
Elmer has dedicated his life to serving others through his commitment to driving folks to appointments, playing cards, visiting with friends and family and his greatest joy was playing fiddle with the Country 4 at local senior centres. Elmer had the ability to speak to any and all.  He enjoyed telling random jokes! Many times they were groaners, but made those listening waiting for more.
Elmer and Ruth had a cottage at Lake Metigoshe. They built it from telephone cross ties, and their children can remember helping to build this structure starting in 1970.  The cottage kept up to its name “Hunter’s Happy Haven” with many a party being held there! As the children got older they managed to keep up the tradition of the partying, much to the displeasure of the neighbours.
Elmer was predeceased by his parents, George and Ruby; brother Ivan; sisters Gladys, Rita, Loretta, his wife Ruth and son Blair. He is survived by  his children: Patricia (Barry Hainsworth), Deloraine, MB;  Bob (Phyllis) Airdrie, AB;  Bonnie Bittner (daughter-in-law), High River, AB;  Deborah (Lawrence) Harper, Boissevain, MB; Heather (Ken) Michaluk, Thompson, MB; Donald Hunter, Thompson, MB; Sandra (Stuart) Cameron, Thompson,  MB and his partner Susan and her children.  He had 15 Grandchildren and 19 Great-Grandchildren and step children. He is also survived by brothers and sisters Fraser, Beth, Marlene, Georgina, and Murray. 


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