Arne passed away peacefully on March 4th, on his own terms, surrounded by his loving family and following several days of wonderful get-togethers with very dear friends. He was adamant he wanted a party not a funeral. Therefore, we will be having a Celebration of Arne’s remarkable life at Chase Community Hall on March 23rd, at 4pm. We will start off with stories about Arne, then eat a dinner of his favourites, followed by dancing and enjoying the live music of Ritchie and the Fendermen.
Arne Raven was born on a farm in Frørup, Denmark on October 15th, 1930. He grew up with a love for the land and farming that remained with him all his life. He left Denmark at 19 and immigrated to Canada. In 1950, he became a Canadian citizen, and was a proud Canadian until the day he died.
He initially farmed with Everett and Margaret Jensen and their family outside of Calgary before heading farther west to Prince George, B.C. In Prince George Arne worked as a high-risk tree faller, managed the Salmon Valley Ranch and owned a landscaping business with his best friend Henning. Over the years he also worked on the Kemano Project in Kitimat, helped build the Duffy Lake Road, was a blaster for the highway tunnels south of Lytton, worked in forestry in Lillooet and then as a farmer, dairyman and rancher. Everywhere Arne went, he made lasting friendships.
In 1960, Arne married Betty Hansen in Christiansfeld, Denmark and returned to Prince George eventually moving to Lillooet. Following the birth of their eldest daughter Karen in 1964 they moved to Lytton where Arne originally was hired to manage the farm at St. Georges. He then went on to lease it for many years, operating as St. Georges Ranch. Sonja, his youngest daughter was born in 1967. The family made many wonderful, lifelong friendships during this time and so many are part of our extended family.
It was here at St. George’s Ranch that he started his cow-calf herd, while running a mixed farm with pigs, and dairy cattle as well as an apple orchard while supporting his children’s love of chickens, horses, and sundry rabbits, guinea pigs and the occasional goat (under duress!). In 1985, Arne brought his cow herd (and family) to Pritchard where he ran the Wolf Ranch for over 30 years. He enjoyed being able to bring his stewardship ethic of ranching in harmony with nature to create a well-managed and stewardship-award-winning ranching operation. The ranch was a place where everyone was welcome and hosted many barn dances, ranch tours, international summer students, university field days and small tours of his beloved alpine lilies every spring.
Over the years Arne served as school trustee and Chairman of the School Board for School District 30, belonged to the B.C. Cattlemen’s Association, served on the Board for Kamloops Stock Association and the Pinantan-Pemberton Stock Association, the Kamloops Land Resource Management Plan, and served on many TNRD committees. Arne was a long-serving member of the Pritchard Community Association, helping to bring a community hall and many dances to Pritchard. Arne enjoyed the many years playing Santa for the Pritchard children. He was also a very proud member of the Chase Rotary, the Kamloops Naturalists Club, Kamloops Adult Learners and supporter of the Kamloops Symphony.
Arne said his two daughters, Karen and Sonja, and his granddaughter Tove, were the light of his life. He adored them, and they adored him. He made sure his girls were educated, and rarely missed an opportunity to “look after them”, whether that was moving either of the girls for the umpteenth time, or passing on some of his beloved Gelbveighs to continue his legacy.
Condolences may be sent to Arne’s daughter, Karen.