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MACRAE, John Ross Hayes

October 14, 1988 – Calgary, Alberta
August 25, 2013 – Mont-Tremblant, Quebec

John Ross raced his last lap of life, and succumbed to his injuries at Le Circuit Mont-Tremblant on Sunday, August 25, 2013.

JR grew up around motorcycles his whole life. His first two wheel ride was at age 2 and by the time he was a teenager he had turned pro competing regularly in regional and national events, both in Canada and the United States.

JR was so much more than a motorcycle competitor. A natural athlete with a disciplined fitness regime, he excelled at numerous other sports including hockey, swimming, skateboarding, snowboarding, ski racing, downhill mountain bike racing, and motocross.

Born and raised in Calgary he attended school at St. James Elementary and Junior High, Bishop Carroll High School, graduating from SAIT Automotive and Marketing Program.

JR was an integral part of Blackfoot Motosports and he cherished his role as head instructor for the BMW GS Offroad Training Program.

His polite and mild mannered disposition was off set by his hair raising athleticism and humorous antics. JR’s charismatic smile and gentle nature made him a popular guy to hang out and compete with. His unique ability to treat all people equally, his calm demeanor, and his genuine interest in helping others made him special.

JR lived life large and touched many lives not only in Canada and the United States but also while living in Barbados, Mexico, and Chile.

JR’s spirit and enthusiasm for life will live on through his parents Douglas and Norma Jean MacRae, sister Cassie, best friend and soul mate Megan Newman, grandparents Olive and Walter Hayes, Simone and Ken MacRae, aunts and uncles Brenda and Terry Tower, Helen Hayes, Darrell and Gloria MacRae, Gary and Dawn MacRae, and Bonnie MacRae-Kilb and Brad Kilb. He is also survived by his cousins, Aerin and Toby Wheeler, Curtis and Brandi Tower, Dylan and Shawna Fidler, Dayna and Matt Millin, Brett and Jessica Kilb, Justin Kilb, Daniel MacRae, and Annabelle and Wallace MacRae.

JR’s generosity will live on through the successful donation of his organs to many grateful recipients.

Funeral Services will be held at St. Mary’s Cathedral (219 – 18th Avenue S.W., Calgary, AB) on Wednesday, September 4, 2013 at 11:00 a.m. Condolences may be forwarded through www.mcinnisandholloway.com.

If friends so desire, memorial donations in JR’s memory may be made directly to Universal Rehabilitation Service Agency (URSA), 808 Manning Rd. N.E., Calgary AB T2E 7N8 Phone: (403) 272 7722 www.ursa-rehab.com

In living memory of John Ross MacRae a tree will be planted at Fish Creek Provincial Park by McINNIS & HOLLOWAY FUNERAL HOMES Park Memorial Chapel, 5008 ELBOW DRIVE S.W. Calgary, AB, T2S 2L5, Telephone: 403-243-8200.

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Condolence Messages

  1. Carolyn & Duane Binning :

    Norma , Doug and Cassie.
    Our sincere sympathies to each of you and your extended family on the tragic loss of John-Ross.,
    Our thoughts and prayers are with each of you at this sad time.
    Love Carolyn & Duane

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  2. My deepest sympathies for the whole family on the loss of John Ross. I remember him as a young student at St. James. He was so full of life, and had a wonderful sense of humour. May the Lord be with you all during this difficult time.
    Helen Galas

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  3. Bob Hillcoff & Carol Newbury :

    It is with great sadness that we hear of your loss , and our hearts and prayers go out to the McRae family.

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  4. Uli Kallenbach :

    Doug, Norma Jean and Cassie

    I am so very sorry for your loss; my heart goes out to you all.

    Uli

    Sugar Land, Texas

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  5. John-Paul jones & Heather Harrington Jones :

    It is with the deepest sense of loss that we write this message of condolence to the family and friends of the recently departed John-Ross MacRae. We are especially sorry since we feel very much like both family and friends. Having known Doug & Norma-Jean since they first met, we shared many happy times together as our families grew up. For a time, we lived as neighbours on the beaches of beautiful Barbados and we fondly remember all the times our toddlers spent in the sea and getting up to no good everywhere else. Our son Spencer and JR had a special bond shared over the past few decades as they became the best of friends and went through all the phases of childhood, adolescence and young adulthood together. They dreamed the same dreams and had a connection that few people ever get to have. We, as parents, found as many excuses as we could to get the two of them together and much of it revolved around the pleasures of motorcycling in all its forms. From backyard riding to racing camps and track days, these two boys shared some fantastic experiences that will never be forgotten. John-Ross, you will be sorely missed by all of us in the Jones family, but your spirit with live with us always.

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  6. Sandy & Bob Szoke :

    JR was my pick this year, based on the fact that I liked him from the very first time I met him. Always smiling and pleasant, plus he was very easy to approach and talk to.

    On top of that he was always one of my best photo subjects on track, stylish, consistent on top of being fast.

    I will miss him a great deal, we all will, be assured I will remember him for the rest of my life, he was that kind of person you always wanted to be around and be part of your life.

    boB Szoke

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  7. My sincerest condolences to the MacRae family. Over the years I have had the pleasure of photographing and writing about J.R. and had the pleasure to get to know and call him a friend. He was shy and humble but opened up once talking about his motorcycle racing exploits. His humour and outlook lit up the entire racing paddock and he will be sadly missed by the entire racing community!

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  8. Devin Queen (formerly Maxey) :

    Doug, Norma Jean and Cassie,
    It is with the deepest sorrow a parent could ever feel that I am sending you my love and thoughts. Our family have so many warm memories of JR over the years while he was involved in the swimming community.
    Please know your young son shone a brightness wherever he traveled and whomever he came in contact with.
    We will see you next week please try and stay strong for JR.

    Deepest condolences with love.

    DEVIN,MYLES,AMANDA,TAYLOR and CONNOR

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  9. Shelby Coonfer :

    JR was a great guy and he will be missed by all that knew him. Thoughts go out to the MacRae family in this hard time.

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  10. Dave Burton & Family :

    Doug, Norma Jean, Cassie & family
    Our hearts and Prayers go out to your family at the passing of John Ross!
    I know how proud you were of John Ross and no words can make sense of the loss you must be feeling.

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  11. Moe & Sylvia Warren :

    Doug, are thoughts and prayers our with you and your family at the loss of your son John Ross.

    Moe and Sylvia Warren

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  12. Nadine and Willie Vass :

    Doug, Norma Jean and Cassie…

    JR was a fine young man, taken from us far too soon. He had an amazing way with people, and was a major contender on the track. Our thoughts are with you, even if we can’t truly find the words to express how we feel.

    Nadine and Willie Vass

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  13. Jim Sibthorpe and Charlene :

    Doug Norma Jean and the MacRae family it is with heavy hearts that we send our condolences on your huge loss. I feel inadequate putting my feelings of sadness in words but I was fortunate to be at Mossport for his last race although I was not at the podium through the PA I could tell it was J R as he sounded very much like Doug a huge loss for everyone in the motorcycle community.

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  14. Anne and Frank Stollbert :

    Norma, Doug and Cassie,
    Anne and I are very saddened to hear of your loss and offer our condolences. Even though it has been sometime since you moved from our neighbourhood, it does not seem that long ago that we remember the kids playing in the yard. As neighbours and parents we offer our deepest sympathies.

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  15. On behalf of myself and Suzuki Canada, I’d like to extend my deepest condolences on the loss of such a young life, a rising star, an embassador of the sport.
    May the Sun be forever at your back and the wind in your face………God’s speed!

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  16. We are so sorry to hear about your loss!
    May memories comfort you and the love of God sustain you in this time of sorrow.
    With sincere sympathy – Jim and Wendy (Warner) Reimer

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  17. linda beaton (prince albert, saskatchewan) :

    Ken MacRAE and all the family members – My heart and prayers are with you Ken and all the family – just so sad – JR was such a great racer and a wonderful young man – he sure will be missed by the racing world. Now JR is with The Judge (Judge MacRAE) another great man. Love to all
    lab

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  18. Om Ahuja and Family :

    Dear Doug, Norma Jean and Cassie
    We are so sorry to hear about the tragic circumstances surrounding the loss of JR. Our thoughts and prayers are with you. We respectfully convey our heartfelt sympathy to the McRae family.
    With lots of love and affection

    Om, Nimmi, Neera and Manisha

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  19. I didn’t know JR much, only as a competitor in the XR1200 class.

    We will always remember JR.

    Deepest condolences from Samantha, my girlfriend, and I.

    JP (#181) & Sam

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  20. Dorothy & Warren Bartnes :

    Simone & Ken: So very sorry to read about the tragic death of your beloved grandson. We send our deepest sympathy to you and your family and will hold you all close in our hearts at this sad time.

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  21. Yvonne Muzyka :

    Dear Doug, Norma Jean, and Cassie. Simone & Ken and to all the rest of the family I send my heartfelt condolences; only wish I could be there to give you all hugs. Susan is going to attend on behalf of all your Aunts and Cousins in Kelowna. We send our love and prayers Yvonne and Ted;. Sherry Clarke; Earl and Marj:

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  22. Words are not going to ease your grief but my heart goes out to you. Time does help the healing process and I know you will never ever forget. Ken.

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  23. our deepest condolences to you and your family Doug.I had such a good time riding with you and JR through the mountains in BC. What a wonderful young man to be around.he will be missed by all.

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  24. Laura Marquez (Inman) :

    My deepest sympathies for your loss. JR was an amazing athlete and a kind soul and he will be greatly missed by many. Take comfort in the fact that he passed doing something that he loved. Forever in your hearts and memories – he will never be far away.

    Much love,

    Laura

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  25. Scott and Nicole Barsby :

    Dear Doug, Norma Jean and Cassie,
    Our deepest condolences to you in the passing of John Ross. We remember him fondly from his younger days at Panorama. Our thoughts and prayers are with you at this time.
    Scott and Nicole Barsby

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  26. Guy Tomlinson :

    As the father of a racer I grieve deeply for the family of John Ross. Everyone dies not everyone lives John Ross lived. My condolences and sympathy to Doug, Norma, and Cassie

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  27. Ron and Sally Starchuk :

    Please accept our deepest condolences for your tragic loss of JR. As parents we can only imagine your pain and hope that you find some peace knowing that his legacy will live on though those who have had their lives extended and enriched by his passing.

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  28. Mark and Sandy(McArthur)Ganes :

    Doug, Norma and Cassie,
    It is with sincere heartfelt sympathy that we would like to send to you and your family on the loss of your beloved son, John Ross. No words can truly express what you are dealing with. Our thoughts and prayers are with you all.

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  29. Doug, Norma Jean, Cassie (family and friends)

    Many sympathetic thoughts and prayers go out to you, during such a sad and difficult time
    JR shall remain in your heart and memories forever.
    I will remember him as a special person, whose spirit lit up each time he spoke of racing.
    Jacine

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  30. Leanne Bannon :

    To the MacRae Family

    My deepest sympathy on the loss of your son. My heart goes out to you.

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  31. Doug, Norma Jean and Cassie,

    What amazing and wonderful memories you must have of your dear precious son/brother!
    Keep them in your hearts and minds, maybe that will help a little while you go through this
    difficult and sorrowful time.
    Thinking about you lots. With deepest sympathy,

    Sheldon

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  32. Don & Dianne Brown and Family :

    It is with a heavy heart that we hear of John Ross’s untimely passing. We can’t imagine the pain you are going through. Just know that each of you are in our hearts and prayers now and always. Love Dianne & Don Brown and family, Cluny, Alberta.

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  33. Kristopher Garvie :

    John Ross, I am so happy to have met you this season. I think about you every day brother. We had a great battle at Mosport and I appreciate all the time we have spent together both on and off track. Many including myself enjoyed your personality and pure heart as well as your competitive ness. You and your family are in my prayers and I know you are still here in spirit. I miss you pal!

    Kristioher Garvie

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  34. As a motorcycle family we all feel the loss of JR. The motorcycle has a way of bringing people together and tearing us apart. The one thing we all share is the excitement and challenges that come with competition and also except the risks. Jr was an exceptional rider and I am glad to have had the opportunity to watch him compete, Which I will never forget . Not been able to talk to him and feel his passion for life is what for me will be missed forever. Jr made an impact on everybody he met and that in its self, speaks volumes about your family. We are so sorry for your loss.

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  35. Michel Mercier & family :

    Hi Doug

    Unbelievable…

    When I heard about the tragedy, my conversation with you at the Toronto show of this winter came right back to my mind:
    you were a so happy father to share with your son JR, that mutual passion in motorcycling.

    It is hard to explain all of what we share with them in that sport. We get as much out of it as they do, but we know that it is extreme for both of us and that it can hurt.
    We leave that far from our mind because we love them so much. That passion is part of them; they need it so we enjoy living it with them.

    Doug I want to give you, your wife and your daughter, all of our support and very deep condolences.
    From my wife Odette and I and our daughter Lea.

    If you ever need to talk to me, I will be very glad.

    A friend that can understand part of what you are going through.

    Michel Mercier

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  36. Elizabeth Lennox :

    Our thoughts and prayers go out to you and your family.

    The Lennox family

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  37. Tere MacDonald :

    Norma Jean, Doug and Cassie

    To let you know that my thoughts are with you all during this sad, sad time. Some friends you may not see for years but just to let you know you are not forgotten.

    So sorry for your loss.

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  38. Kathy and Bill Friley :

    Norma Jean, Cassie and Doug

    Kathy and I and our boys were so saddened to hear of the passing of John Ross. We know how much joy and excitement he brought into your lives and how much he will be missed by you and your family and friends.

    I had the pleasure of getting to know JR over the last few years at the shop and the track, and always enjoyed our chats. Often our passions lead to unintended consequences, but so many people go through life never knowing the thrill and rewards of that pursuit. JR was blessed with a life full of passion and lived his short life fully.

    We are thinking of you all at this very difficult time.

    With warm regards,

    Kathy, Bill, Billy and Sam Friley

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  39. Dear Doug and Family;
    It is with deep sorrow that we learned of the passing of your son, John Ross. Please accept our heartfelt condolences. It is so hard for a parent to loose a child and there are no words that can be said to alleviate your grief.

    Our thoughts are with you all in this very difficult time.

    Our sincere sympathies,
    Serge & Alice Ravary
    &
    The whole LARS Team

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  40. Elvira Castaneda :

    My thoughts and prayers are with you. I remember John Ross when he was in grade 3. He had such a neat sense of humour. May God watch over you and comfort you.

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  41. Douglas Thibault :

    Mr. and Mrs. MacRae and Family,
    I was deeply saddened to hear of JR’s passing. I knew him for only a few years after meeting him at Blackfoot Motosports. I always enjoyed our opportunities chat whenever I was at the dealership. He was a fine young man who demonstrated a real interest in people and life in general. I will certainly miss our conversations. Deepest condolences to you and your family.

    Doug Thibault

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  42. Liz MacRae - Montreal, Quebec :

    Owen, and also my brother Allan who lives in Calgary, sent me word of your tragic loss. Although I did not know JR, I appreciate the article about him and the photos I was sent, and I send you my deepest sympathies. How very sad. A beautiful life cut short.

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  43. Although I never met John Ross, I know how important family is to the Hayes’ and the MacRaes’
    My sincere condolences on your loss of a loved son.

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  44. Frank McClernon :

    Norma Jean, Doug and Cassie,

    I want to send my heartfelt condolences to all of you on your loss of your beloved John Ross. I remember him vividly as a member of my class at St. James School. He made me laugh every day. A kind and considerate student who wanted to do his best always. He left a lasting impression on me. The celebration of John Ross’s life today at St. Mary’s was very special.

    My thoughts and prayers are with you.

    God Bless

    Frank McClernon

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  45. Phil and Clare Marshall :

    We have just heard the tragic news of JR and our hearts go out to all of his family – there is nothing that can be said that will help easy the pain of his passing. We are here at Panorama if there is anything we can do for you or to help you.

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  46. Lorea (Beagle) Grant :

    Norma & family – On behalf of my entire family, we extend our deepest sympathies to you and your family at this very sad time. We thought of you today at St Mary’s and we just wanted to let you know that you are in our thoughts and prayers. Our Beagle family remember & cherish all the wonderful times we shared together in Gleichen in our younger years. Our many trips from Arrowwood to see the “Hayes” girls with our Mom & Dad, Ron & Mabel is something we enjoy reminiscing about. Our Dad, Ron sends his deepest condolences to your parents, Walt & Olive. Norma – we cannot imagine the heartache you are experiencing with such a tremendous loss. And, Brenda & Helen – we think of you also in your loss of your nephew. Words are never enough but just know we are thinking of all of you.
    Sincerely,
    Lorea (Beagle) Grant, Doug Beagle, Ken Beagle, Jason Beagle and our Dad, Ron.

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  47. Carol stevenson :

    Norma Jean, Doug and Cassie
    It is with great sadness I offer your family my heartfelt condolences. I remember John Ross and Cassie from my time as vice principal at St. James. He had a smile I will never forget. May the memory of his smile make you smile again in the days ahead.
    Sincerely,
    Carol Stevenson

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  48. Doug, Norma Jean, Cassie and extended MacRae family,
    I offer my deepest condolences to you all on your great loss. John Ross was a very special young man from an equally wonderful family. In the time that I knew JR at St. James he always treated all people with respect and kindness. He was very funny, well liked by all, and able to relate in such a real way with his many friends. I will always remember John Ross and hold you all in my prayers.
    Sean Fyfe

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  49. Deepest condolences to the family. As a kidney patient who is on the transplant list, and still waiting (8 years), I felt the need to thank the family who so kindly helped so many recipients through organ donations. He will be remembered with deep gratitude, by each one daily and will live on in each. A most wonderful gift!

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  50. Catherine McCarthy :

    Norma-Jean,Dad and Cassie,
    I was travelling in Scotland when my son (Daniel MacLeod) Sent me an a account of John Ross death. My thoughts went immediately to our sons enjoying each others company as children and your busy schedule Norma-Jean as you shaped your children’s lives back then. I said some prayers and shed a tear for you all. I hope you can take comfort in knowing that you gave John Ross amazing opportunities and a Special life. I will keep you in my prayers on my daily walks as you grieve the loss of your beautiful Son and brother,
    God Bless you all,
    Catherine Mc Carthy

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  51. Nancy, Douglas, Hannah Jane, and Harry :

    Oh Norma-Jean
    Just learned of J.R.’s passing. Our thoughts and prayers and deepest sympathy go out to you all.
    The loss is great and the void will be deep. N.

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  52. Caty, Rafael, Christian and Naty Filip :

    Dear beloved friends:

    We have no words to express our deep feeling of sorrow and despair .
    We can still feel his presence in our condominium in Cancun and remember
    his smile, his humor and love to life.
    You left a big hole in our lives when you moved Canada and will always remember and cherish the time we spent together at Mabel Lake and your presence in ourr lives.
    We love you as always.

    Caty, Rafael, Christian and Natalia Filip

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