January 24th, 1939 - November 3rd, 2019
1984 Calgary Stampede Rangeland Derby Champions
Back Row (L-R): Outrider Jerry Bremner, Ron Carey, Driver Dallas Dorchester, Outrider Jim Nevada
Front Row (L-R) Outriders Brent Woolsey and Rick Fraser. (Ron Carey Inset)
The World Professional Chuckwagon Association was shocked and saddened by the sudden death of one of its founding members - Ron Carey - on Friday, November 3, 2019 as the result of a highway accident outside of London, England while participating in a vintage car rally. He was 80 years old.
Ron Carey first got involved with chuckwagon racing in the late 1970’s as a tarp sponsor for chuckwagon driver Dallas Dorchester under the canvas of his J & L Supply Co. Ltd. It was a partnership that continued for nearly a decade and a friendship that lasted a lifetime. But Ron did not stop at signing a cheque and providing a canvas, he was one of the first sponsors to do many “extras” for his drivers such as painting the horse liner, filling up the trucks with gasoline, and when they won the Calgary Stampede in 1984, Ron had special belt buckles made up for the key members of the outfit to commemorate the accomplishment. He would also dive into the stalls and help with the horses.
In 1980, when the professional chuckwagon drivers decided to leave the Canadian Professional Rodeo Association and form the World Professional Chuckwagon Association (WPCA), Ron was a founding member and served for many years on the WPCA board of directors in many capacities including president. For the first 15 years of the WPCA’s existence, the WPCA office was generously housed at the headquarters of Ron’s J & L Supply Co. For years after Ron helped out some of the up and coming drivers, sponsored several WPCA Awards, and for years he sponsored the Calgary Stampede’s prestigious Guy Weadick Award.
Ron was also asked to be part of the Calgary Stampede’s Chuckwagon Safety Committee. It was position and responsibility he took very seriously and passionately. His common sense, knowledge and experience were an invaluable asset to the committee as they addressed and implemented alterations geared towards the overall betterment of chuckwagon racing.
For over 40 years Ron Carey dedicated much of his time, resources, and himself to chuckwagon racing, and often times elected to remain anonymous. For all of his efforts, in October 2010 Ron was honored by the WPCA with its “George Normand Lifetime Builders Award,” and by the Calgary Stampede with its “Chairman’s Award.” Both awards are very exclusive in the fact that they are not presented annually, and the recipients are part of a very special and elite group. He was the recipient of the WPCA’s highest annual award, the WPCA Chuckwagon Person of the Year in 1982, and was named to the Calgary Stampede’s Pioneers of Rodeo in 2005.
For Ron Carey it was his passion, not recognition, that was his motivation for all he did. He was one of the best friends that chuckwagon racing has ever had.
Ron is survived by his wife Billi Carey, her daughter Jaime (Aaron) and their two children Carter and Asher and her son Christopher. Ron was the father of three children Kurt Carey (deceased) his daughter Jasmine, (great granddaughter Jorgia) Shon Carey (Kim) their son Logan (deceased), Jody Carey (Corey) and their three daughters Maggie, Elly and Lucy.
He will be missed by siblings, Eileen (Jim and Blair), Alice (Harvey; Patrick, Roger, Deborah, Dale), Bill (Doreen; Janet, Susan and Coleen) along with numerous cousins and friends.
A Celebration of Life will be held in Gasoline Alley at Heritage Park, on December 9th at 3 pm. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Stars Air Ambulance or Heritage Park.
Ron will be missed by all in the WPCA, and we extend our sincere condolences to the Carey family.
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