Paul David Fraser passed away peacefully Friday, Nov. 30, 2012 at Riverside Health Care Facilities, Inc. in Fort Frances, Ont. at the age of 68 after a courageous battle with cancer.
Paul will be lovingly remembered by his wife of 44 years, Shirley; and daughter, Christine, son-in-law, Dave, and grandchildren, Tanner and Abby, all of whom he cherished.
His brothers, Dennis (Carol) and Michael (Nancy); sister, Janine Johnson (Rob); sister-in-law, Violet Moore (Ken); as well as aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews, and many friends will miss his kind and gentle ways and sense of humour.
Paul was predeceased by his parents, Dr. Gordon and Irene (Lavoie) Fraser; father-in-law, Nick Petriuk; mother-in-law, Mary Petriuk; and his good friend, Gary Hicks.
Paul fought his battle with courage, determination, a positive attitude, dignity, and grace, and was an inspiration to all who knew and loved him. He always looked at the positive side of things.
Paul was born July 27, 1944 in St. Boniface, Man. He graduated from Rainy River High School in 1963.
He attended St. Paul’s College at the University of Manitoba from 1963-67, then taught Grades 6-8 in one room at Atwood School in Rainy River for one year.
On June 29, 1968, he married Shirley Petriuk and they moved to the Lakehead, where he attended teachers’ college and graduated with academic honours.
He began his teaching career at Robert Moore School in Fort Frances, where he taught Grades 5-8 at different times and retired in 1999 after 31 years in the classroom.
Paul said he never aspired to be a principal because he enjoyed teaching so much. He loved the students, the camaraderie in the workplace, as well as the many social functions.
He often talked about how he and Shirley were so blessed with their beautiful daughter, Christine Marie, in 1970.
Paul enjoyed curling and spent many happy hours at the local club with his teammates and friends. His curling buddies were very important to him. He skillfully skipped teams for many years and, at one time, his team even beat Al Hackner, a world champion.
His team also won the club championship several times.
He also skipped the senior team for many years and even up to April, 2012, his team, under his leadership, won the senior division championship.
Paul played local baseball in his younger years. Baseball was a passion of Paul’s and he watched the World Series from his hospital bed this past November and cheered for the Detroit Tigers.
His favourite thing to do in the past was to attend games in Minneapolis, at the Metrodome, with his friend, Gary Hicks.
Paul could be seen at McDonald’s almost every morning enjoying coffee, working on crossword puzzles, and discussing issues like global warming and fish tales with his “Coffee Club” friends.
Paul had a true green thumb and enjoyed his lush garden. His dill pickles were the envy of the town gardeners and many enjoyed his abundant produce because he shared it generously.
Paul looked forward to his annual fishing trip in Dryden on Dinorwic Lake with his sister, Janine, brother-in-law, Rob, and his fishing partner, niece Lisa. He enjoyed the fishing and outdoors, good or bad. It was always an adventure.
Paul loved music. St. Mary’s Parish will remember Paul’s tenor voice as he sang the Psalms. He was an integral part of the choir.
Paul loved to sing and he used his talents in three choirs: the Fort Harmonies, the Choraliers (23 years), and St. Mary’s Choir, as well the local Cantata. He cherished the friendships he made as much as the fun he had singing.
Shirley and Paul delighted in their trips to Chan Hassen Dinner Theatre in Minneapolis, where they celebrated their anniversaries or just spent quality time together. Not many people know that Paul enjoyed the harmonica and taught several children how to play the instrument.
Paul was a member of St. Mary’s Parish, a third degree in the Knights of Columbus, and a member of St. Mary’s Parish Council.
A celebration of resurrection will be held Thursday, Dec. 6, 2012 at 10 a.m. at St. Mary’s Church in Fort Frances, with Fr. Norberto officiating.
The St. Mary’s Choir, directed by Diane Maxey, will provide the music.
The pallbearers will be Frank Ball, Jim Ballard, Dave Evans, Frank Strain, Jim Strachan, and Rod Hinrichs.
The honourary pallbearers will be Peter Wilkins, Jeff Johnston, Henry Miller, Bill James, Keith Gosselin, George Mylenchuk, Wayne McLeod, and Bob Grynol.
In memoriam donations may be made to the St. Mary’s Church Building Fund or the Canadian Cancer Society c/o Northridge Funeral Home, P.O. Box 89, Emo, Ont., P0W 1E0.
Online condolences may be offered at www.northridgefuneralhome.com