Farmer and army veteran passes away

Sympathy goes out to the Rayner families from the local area and Battleford on the recent passing of Thomas Rayner. Tom was the eldest boy of a family of 10 children. He attended Baljennie School and then served in the Canadian Army from 1942-45 at Aleutian Island and overseas. When he returned home he took over his dad's farm in 1946. He married Nora Leite of Bjelde Creek and they raised three children. Later his son Bryan took over the farm. Tom and Nora moved to North Battleford and later to Battleford. Burial took place at Willowmoore Cemetery. Tom passed away Nov. 24 at the age of 94. The funeral was Nov. 29.

Sympathy goes out to the Custer families of Battleford and the local area on the recent passing of Joyce Custer (nee Besse) Dec. 1 at the age of 86. The funeral was held Dec. 6 at the Battleford United Church. Burial was at the Baljennie St. Bridget's Cemetery. Joyce was born in Biggar. She married Vernon Custer of the local area and farmed until retirement. They raised a family of six children. Joyce was an active member of our local community club for many years. Due to health problems she had lived at River Heights Lodge in North Battleford for a few years.

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Sympathy also goes out to the Schultz families of North Battleford and Sonningdale on the passing of Grant Schultz Dec. 3 and the Lloyd Lessard families of Meota on the passing of Mary Lessard Oct. 31. Mary and her husband Lloyd were active members of the Battlefords Treasure Hunters.

Condolences also to the Wickstrand families of Bjelde Creek and Battleford on the passing of Marguerite Wickstrand. Marguerite and her husband lived and farmed in the Bjelde Creek area for a good number of years. She was also a country newspaper reporter.

Stanley and Dorothy Mills were recent visitors with Dorothy's brother, and family - John, Arlene, Shannon and Edward Rowlands and boys of rural Battleford, Deanna and her daughter of North Battleford. Shannon had the family reunion family tree book printed. Thirty books were assembled and bound.

So far to start this winter off there has been a mixed bag of all types of weather conditions with only a few chilly days, but ever so much wind to make it feel really cool. Snow fall has been light and most of it has melted on mild days or been blown away by high winds.

It's sad to see another year is almost at an end and another holiday season is quickly moving in on us. My husband Stanley and I wish to extend a Merry Christmas and New Year's greetings to all the country correspondents, columnists , to the News-Optimist staff and readers of Baljennie news. A big thank you to all those who help me submit the local news. News is difficult to come by. We hear of many local things happening that are not reported. Too bad, as it is nice to try to keep the local district on the map for a few years yet. Our population seems to be dropping off so fast.

Thanks again. See you all in the New Year.

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