Barrie, Ontario — Join the Top Shops Auto Body Supplies family in saying farewell to owner and founder Ray Stephenson, who died Friday at the age of 75.
Ray, who first opened his auto body supply store in Barrie in 1980, leaves behind a legacy far surpassing even the decades he spent serving jobbers in his community.
He is survived by his loving wife of 56 years, Liivi, and their three children, two of whom, Darryl and Darlene, he worked alongside for years at the Top Shops store.
In the years since, Ray welcomed his grandchildren, Elizabeth and Bailey, aboard the Top Shops team, making the trusted local supplier a true family affair.
“Ray was one of the good guys who built his business on strong work ethic, integrity, honesty and ensuring customers had the correct options for restoring any repairs,” wrote Jeffrey Murphy, an employee of Top Shops.
Murphy said Ray had friends everywhere he went; from the repair markets of Simcoe, York, Muskoka and Bruce counties that he served, to the connections he made on Canada’s east and west coasts, as well as south of the border, through his many trade show appearances.
“Ray Stephenson will be missed and never forgotten by his friends, customers, and family,” wrote Murphy.
“Thank you, Ray, for all the amazing stories, help and mentorship you have given all of us. You’re one of a kind; a hometown boy from Parry Sound, father of three, grandfather of five, soon-to-be great grandfather of two, amazing husband and friend!”
A celebration of life will be held in Ray’s honour on Saturday, from 11 a.m to 2 p.m., at the Army Navy and Air Force Club at 52 Morrow Rd. in Barrie.
Join the team at Top Shops Auto Body Supplies in sending off their beloved founder, Ray Stephenson. Share some thoughts or memories of Ray in the comments below.