Raya Birgit Regina Fransila

September 3, 1943 ~ June 22, 2020 (age 76)


Raya Birgit Regina Fransila age 76, of Kelowna, BC, passed away on June 22nd, 2020 after a two and a half year battle with cancer.

Raya was born on Sept 3rd, 1943 to Elis Fransila and Selma Fransila (Mikkola) in Tampere, Finland. After high school, she went on to continue her education obtaining a BA, B.Ed., MA, and Ph.D. She never stopped seeking to achieve new challenges and worked as a nurse, school teacher and principal, university professor, army lieutenant and author just to name a few.

In 1962, she met Ken Lonquist, and they wed in 1964, going on to have 2 children, Michael and Daniel.

After retiring in 2000, Raya continued work as the school experience coordinator for the University of BC, Okanagan and spent her free time writing, travelling and spending time with family.

Raya had so many wonderful attributes such as being beautiful, loving, helpful, caring, intelligent, driven, compassionate and inquisitive. Her greatest attribute was likely the unconditional love for her family.

Raya was predeceased by her parents Elis Fransila and Selma Fransila (Mikkola). She is survived by her husband, Kenneth Lonquist, sons Michael and Daniel Lonquist, daughters-in-law Elaine Lonquist and Jessica Frye, grandchildren Aiden, Kieran, and Tarina Lonquist, as well as her siblings Ritva Toth, Eija-Riitta Fransila and Justin Fransila.

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