ORBITUARY BROTHER DENIS GERVAIS
Brother Denis Gervais
9th June 1945 – 8th June 2018
Brother Denis Gervais C.Ss.R., Vice President and Treasurer of the Father Ray Foundation, has died at the age of 72 following a long battle with cancer.
Denis Gervais was born in 1945, the youngest of four children in the town of Louiseville in Quebec, Canada.
He spent his early years living with his family but upon reaching school age he entered a boarding school run by an order of catholic nuns, of which an aunt was Mother Superiour. The school was a private fee paying school, but also an orphanage for poor children and the high fees meant the orphans received a good education.
Following his graduation from university in 1965 Denis worked for the next twenty seven years for IBM as a systems analyst.
Apart from his work with IBM in Canada, Denis also joined the Big Brothers Big Sisters of Canada, becoming a mentor to many young boys from poor and dysfunctional families. He also coached baseball and ice-hockey, two sports that he followed all his life.
Denis first came to Thailand in 1983 to teach a course at IBM’s office in Bangkok and it was on this visit that he traveled to Pattaya to play golf, on one of only four courses available at that time.
He continued to visit each year and it was during his visit in 1991 that he had a chance meeting with the late Father Ray Brennan that would change his life forever.
It was a year later in early 1992 that Denis arrived back in Pattaya for a ten week holiday. He planned to play golf and relax, but Father Ray asked if he could help with a small problem with his computer.
During that ten week holiday he spent every day with Father Ray, not only sorting out that one problem Father Ray initially had, but also designing and creating new systems for accounting and sponsorships that would make life easier for the user and which are still in use today: Denis decided to take early retirement in 1992 and moved to Pattaya permanently, working full time for Father Ray.
In 2002 he took his religious vows and was ordained a Redemptorist Brother at St. Nikolaus Church in Pattaya, with his close friend Father Ray Brennan looking on.
He became Vice President of the Father Ray Foundation, as well as the Treasurer in charge of the Accounts Department.
Denis leaves behind one brother and several nieces and nephews in Canada, as well as several hundred children here in Pattaya who will miss him dearly.