It is with profound sadness that the family of Jeff Rayner announces his passing on March 18, 2021.
He is survived by his wife Jen and 3 daughters Lucille, Kaleigh and Taryn; his mother Judy, brother Scott and sister Kathy. Jeff was a beloved uncle and good friend to so many people.
Born in Toronto on January 26, 1957, his early life took him to Alberta where he grew up and fell in love with the Rockies.
Jeff was ambitious and tenacious. He knew what he wanted and was determined to achieve his personal goals, and make the world a better place. Having dropped out of high school as a teen to enter the oil and gas industry in Alberta, he later completed those studies at age 32. Jeff then obtained an undergraduate Honours BA in Political Science from Wilfred Laurier University, where he was an enthusiastic learner, earning high marks and the respect of the faculty who taught him. Upon completion of his studies, he was awarded, among other accolades, the prestigious Ontario Graduate Scholarship. He subsequently obtained a Master of Environmental Studies from York University. Even after Jeff’s formal studies were complete, his curiosity remained insatiable, and he was always open to learning and trying new things.
After Jeff graduated university, he worked for several years in the technology sector and as a consultant. He later left the workforce in order to raise his daughters full-time. It was the job he was most proud of.
His remarkable story-telling ability was a product of his proud Scottish heritage – as well as a life filled with fascinating and varied experiences. He possessed an impressive knowledge of television, movies and music. He followed current events and loved discussing politics and history.
Jeff enjoyed being physically active and found excitement in the outdoors, especially skiing, hiking and mountain biking. He was also a frequent gym-goer and yoga enthusiast. An avid football fan (and a passionate supporter of the Wolverines and Steelers), his television was often tuned to college and professional games.
Jeff was magnanimous, charismatic, empathetic, and generous. He brought his positive energy to any setting. He loved people and believed that anyone he encountered – regardless of their background – had the potential to be his friend.
Jeff’s greatest joy – and his towering achievement – was his family. His love for and pride in them was endless and he strove to be the best possible husband and father.
Jeff possessed a Warrior’s spirit, one that was necessary to confront tough and painful challenges that frequently arose throughout his life. That same Warrior’s spirit led Jeff to many impressive accomplishments. But even Warriors like Jeff must finally rest.
Jeff left an indelible imprint on those who knew him. He will be deeply missed.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests that those wishing to honour his memory consider the following alternatives.
Jeff believed that we all have a strong obligation to feed the homeless and he donated to The Scott Mission https://www.scottmission.com/donate/.
Jeff suspected that head injuries he sustained in his early years might have contributed to serious health issues that he faced later in his life. Jeff’s brain has been donated to the Concussion Legacy Foundation to assist with concussion research undertaken in association with Boston University. Donations can be made to the Canadian affiliate https://www.concussionfoundation.ca/
Jeff’s family will hold a private service in the coming days. A public celebration of his extraordinary life will take place sometime in late spring.