Ray Hrynkow, FGDC, husband and partner of 36 years to Casey Hrynkow, FGDC, and alumnus of Emily Carr University of Art and Design lost a ferocious 6-year battle with pancreatic cancer on March 23, 2012 at 9:35 pm. He was just 58 years old, and had so much more living to do. He was surrounded by a huge, loving family keeping a constant vigil by his bedside.
Ray was a guiding light and father to Cassandra, Peter and Peter’s wife Kristen. He was a loving son to Peter and Tillie as well as Sheila, big brother to David, Tricia, and Savannah and his “extended sibs” Paula , Libby, Monica, Kevin and Mark. He was “little brother” to Lova, Marilyn and Janyse. He was a beloved uncle to Alana, Ryan, Josh, Max, Kandace, Matt, Chris, Donna, Emile, Aaron, Rachel, Hayley, Lachlan, Sam, Elly, Ben, Michaela, Kathryn and Jacqueline. He was a central figure in a giant extended family who loved him to distraction.
Ray was a champion for design and design education in Canada. A recipient of over 200 national and international awards for design, Ray advocated for design and its role in Canadian business and culture. He was a leader in the profession in Canada. Ray knew that Canada was greater through the work of its communication designers. He spoke and wrote frequently about design’s role in growing our economy and cultural awareness. He was principal of Herrainco Brand Strategy and Design from 1986 until his death.
Of all the descriptors used by people that knew Ray, the words “gentle” and “gentlemen” are the most common. He was incredibly passionate and uncompromising, yet soft. He loved design, but he loved people, too. He took great joy championing a young student or graduate. Many new and spectacular careers were launched from Herrainco.
Ray became a Fellow of the Society of Graphic Designers of Canada in 2011 in recognition of his profound influence on the British Columbia design community. His commitment to design, best professional practices and community support were major factors contributing to the sum of the GDC as a profession and as a Society as a whole. Ray loved promoting young designers. He respected their vision. He wanted them to be better than he ever was. In honour of that love, in late 2011 he created the Ray Hrynkow Scholarship to be awarded to a third year student in a four-year design degree program. The award will go to a candidate showing great promise as a “thinking” designer — one who demonstrates an understanding of sociology and anthropology in their work.
Ray loved communication design, design in general, and burgeoning talent in the field. He will be sorely missed by all who knew him.
Thank you: Dr. Andrzej Buczkowski, our superstar surgeon angel, for your skill and compassion and giving us 6 years we didn’t think we had; the countless critical care and other nurses of VGH for getting us through a brutal recovery, Dr. Hagen Kennecke and his staff at the BC Cancer Agency for giving us hope and time; Nurse Vivian Allie for your sweet support; Dr. Janice Wright and everyone at Inspire Health who helped us see that we had control, the chemo team at BC Cancer Agency for your compassion and care; Dr. Pippa Hawley for your practical and straightforward approach to comfort; Dr. Stephen Lam for helping Ray breathe; our pharmacy team at Shoppers Drug Mart at 5 Road and Cambie who were like caring family; and, finally, our nurse, Alexis Hodgkins, Dr. Peter Quelch and the team of Richmond Home Care Nursing for keeping us going when the going got really, really tough.
A Celebration of Ray’s Life took place on Sunday, April 1 at 2:00 pm at Emily Carr University of Art and Design. You may watch the video here.
In lieu of flowers, we would greatly appreciate donations to the newly formed Ray Hrynkow Scholarship through the GDC.
Click “Donate” at the GDC Store and click through to make your donation. When you receive your email receipt, reply to the email (firstname.lastname@example.org) to request that your donation be applied to the GDC Foundation Ray Hrynkow Scholarship fund.
By mail: Send your cheque (made out to GDC, with a note that it is for the GDC Foundation, Ray Hrynkow Scholarship fund) to:
Arts Court, 2 Daly Avenue
Ottawa, Ontario K1N 6E2
By phone: with your credit card,
call toll free 877-496-4453