WPCA Mourns The Passing Of Former Driver Ray Croteau

The World Professional Chuckwagon Association is mourning the passing of former chuckwagon Driver Ray Croteau on Wednesday, October 30, 2019 at the age of 91 years.

It was back in 1959 in the Lakeland that the chuckwagon legacy of the Croteau family was born with Ray Croteau. He mainly raced with the Northern Chuckwagon Racing Association, but also competed on a permit with the Canadian Rodeo Cowboys Association in the 1970's. When the WPCA was formed in 1981, Ray was a permit holder with the WPCA from 1982 to 1984 and again in 1987.

Well identified with the famous rainbow wagon, Ray won several shows throughout his career, most notably the Cheyenne Frontier Days in 1986. He raced at the Calgary Stampede from 1979 until his retirement in 1997, where was named the winner of the CPCA's Roy Bremner Memorial Award. He was a finalist at the Calgary Stampede in 1987, and was honored by the Calgary Stampede as a Pioneer of Rodeo in 2003.

Ray's son Bert and grandson Rae Jr. followed in Ray's footsteps and became champion chuckwagon drivers of their own. The Croteau family joins the Bensmillers as the only families to have 3 generations qualify for the championship final heat at the Calgary Stampede GMC Rangeland Derby. In 2016 the town of Bonnyville honored Ray and his family in a ceremony just prior to the start of the Bonnyville World Chuckwagon Races to officially retire the rainbow chuckwagon design.. 

Ray is lovingly survived by his seven children, fifteen grandchildren and twenty six great grandchildren.

Ray was predeceased by his wife: Thérèse Croteau nee Rivard on August 27, 2010; grandson: Evan Croteau; three brothers: Lucien Croteau, Paul Croteau, (infant brother) René Croteau; four sisters: Irene Croteau, Jeannette Croteau, Lucienne Croteau, Claire Bourbeau.

Prayer Service, Friday, November 8, 2019, at 7:30 p.m., St. Louis Roman Catholic Church, Bonnyville, AB. Mass of Resurrection, Saturday, November 9, 2019. Eulogy will be starting at 10:45 a.m. Mass starting at 11:00 a.m., St. Louis Roman Catholic Church with Father Rene Realuyo officiating. Final resting place, Holy Family Roman Catholic Cemetery, Bonnyville, AB.

Memorial tributes in memory of Raymond may be sent to Haying in the 30's, Box 35, Mallaig, AB T0A 2K0 or Juvenile Diabetes Foundation, 17312-107 Ave, Edmonton, AB T5S 1E9.

Ray will be missed by all in the WPCA, and we extend our sincere condolences to the Croteau family.

Billy Melville

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