ARKPORT/CANISTEO: Raymond Downs Kamenuk, age 101, entered into rest at his home in Arkport on Monday, December 30, 2019.
Ray was a life- long resident of the Canisteo Valley. He was born on July 31, 1918 in the Town of Hornell to Jack and Effie Downs Kamenuk. He graduated from Hornell High School in 1937 and was married to Pauline Olive Coots on March 11, 1939 in Riverside, NY.
Working with his Uncle, Walter Gilbert of Hornell, Ray helped to establish the Gilbert Horseradish Company on Greely Avenue in Hornell. The operation grew from a small garage-centered business to a larger expanded food processing plant that distributed products throughout the Western NY area. In 1970 the Gilbert Horseradish Company was purchased by the Heluva Good Cheese Company in Sodus and is still sold in stores across the state under that brand. In the early 70’s Ray purchased a Pepperidge Farm Bread franchise and spent three years on the road delivering breads to area grocery stores. Upon retirement from that, he worked for 10 years as a custodian at Canisteo Central School. He also inherited and operated the family farm owned by his mother’s family, on the back road between Canisteo and Hornell where there was a small dairy and various cash crops. His fondest memories were always about his youth growing up on the farm.
Ray enjoyed watching the Yankees and he and his wife Pauline were avid gardeners at their Maple Street home in Canisteo, where they lived for 69 years.
He is predeceased by his wife, Pauline who passed in 2004. Survivors include his daughters Arlene (Duane) Baird of Woodburn, Oregon, Linda Kamenuk of Hornell and Barbara Schirmer from Woodstock, Georgia. Grandchildren include Peter Schirmer from Oakland, CA and Jillian (Erik) Waldman from Atlanta, Georgia and one great granddaughter, Addison Waldman from Atlanta. Several nieces and nephews also survive him.
Additionally, his dear friend and neighbor Pat Nephew, from Arkport, who cared for him over the past eleven years in his home, brought sunshine into his life. He was tenderly cared for by Lena Ross and her staff from Tender Loving Home Care. The family greatly appreciates the love and support “his girls”, Lena Ross, Felicia Seaman, Julie Vaughn and Jessica Cabic provided during his final months. His friends and neighbors at Pine Knoll Park in Arkport all helped to enrich his life and everyone enjoyed his great hand-wave and mischievous smile as he greeted friends and family who stopped to visit.
The family will receive friends from 1-3 pm on Monday, January 6, at the H.P. Smith & Sons, Inc. Funeral Home, 29 East Main Street Canisteo. Funeral and committal services will follow at 3 pm with the Reverend Donald Maynard officiating. Burial will be in the Howard Cemetery, Howard.
Memorials in Raymond Kamenuk’s name may be made to the Steuben ARC, 1 Arc Way, Bath, NY 14810.
Online condolences and memories may be shared at hpsmithandsonfuneralhome.com.