In Memory of




Obituary for Stewart Jeffrey Fraser

"No, the journey doesn't end here. Death is just another path, one that we all must take. The grey rain-curtain of this world rolls back, and all turns to silver glass, and then you see it." Gandalf.

Stewart Jeffrey Fraser left us on the morning of Saturday, November 18th, 2023, traveling on to his next great adventure. Initial findings are that he died quickly of heart failure and likely did not suffer, he had blockages that enlarged his heart three and a half times its normal size. Like Dr. Seuss' Grinch, Stew’s heart grew large to encompass all the love he gave.

He had a passion for planes from when he was a boy and watching him gazing at the sky it was easy to see that boy in the man. He worked three jobs to earn enough to get his pilot's license at the age of 17, toiling in the sugar beet factory on graveyard shifts while still in school. In a recent trip to Spokane for a concert he befriended an airplane idol of his (without his knowing it at the time) at the local air museum, they discussed the finer points of the collection and when John T. Sessions offered him a job as a host for the exhibit he started contemplating what the commute would require - he was never one to shy from an opportunity despite a 12 hr drive!

Growing up in Winnipeg, he was surrounded by friends and family. Son to David "Dyke" and Bernice Fraser, he cherished his dad's legacy and spent his free time researching WW1 and WW2. This obsession spawned many airplane models in our basement that Poppy (our current ginger cat) has spent many enjoyable hours knocking to the floor. As a boy he spent early mornings with his dad and best friend Cirk smoothing the ice at the local rink and would often tell me stories of his dad’s attention to detail in this community centre which eventually became known as David Fraser Hall. He remembered his mother Bernice fondly, an excellent bowler, loving mom, and one of his cherished memories of her was the summer she took him to Toronto for her Accounting job - he was always so proud of his mom and delighted at the chance to explore the city and spend quality time with her.

Stewart (Stew insisted on the traditional spelling) is survived by his older siblings Peggy and Charlie "Chuck" Fraser and Chuck's kids David and Hailey. He loved his niece and nephew and kept their photos in his wallet to this day, proud to be an uncle. He learned the finer points of stopping on one skate from his brother and Peggy always looked out for him throughout his life, ensuring he was always up to date on all the local news. Many fond memories included family, neighbors, friends, and schoolmates; Eggo waffle lunches, dad's fried bologna dinners when mom was away, big house parties, "borrowing" dad's car and playing at “The Dump” out back of the house.

Also survived by Aunt's and Uncles, brothers and sisters in-law, nephews and cousins. He attended the Lefley golf scholarship tournament annually and always made time to see his aunts and uncles and take care of things around the family home. Uncle Ron's Jeannie's cake was an important tradition to him as was trading friendly barbs on the fairway with his favourite line being “You’re not really good enough to get that mad!"

He moved across the country to Saskatoon with his work in the lumber industry and there added to his list of life-long friends. Growing up he never thought he'd ever leave his hometown, yet he somehow ended up on the west coast, another step closer to his dream of living next to a real mountain – “The Dump” just didn’t offer enough vertical! He spent his first years moving all over the suburbs of Vancouver until he finally settled above the King's Head Pub which was his "Cheers" dream come true but eventually had to end for the sake of his liver and for the call of the mountains. He joined the Whistler cabin where he met many great friends and spent every weekend on the slopes gathering more friends and spending quality time après ski at the GLC. Finally leaving corporate life, he started his own business and bought his beloved pad at Cambie and Broadway where for three years he lived without a fridge (Stew was a consummate bachelor). He spent the next few years catching up on travel with his friends and a European tour with Peggy filled with wrong turns, 3 flat tires, a pub that kept pet sheep indoors, and finally arriving via tow truck where Stew’s official nickname of “The Canadian” was cemented.

A sportsman through and through, he played hockey and golf to his final days and was competitive, but it never got in the way of his being kind. His gear and equipment were always banged up and well used mementos like his too short golf club hand-me-downs left to him by his dear friend James Hum who passed not too long ago. Despite these handicaps he could keep up with the best of them! He ran so many races, 10km, half and full marathons and was most proud of his Berlin marathon. He knew how to dream and how to make those dreams real!

I met Stew just before Christmas of 2014 and immediately saw a truly genuine man behind his half smile. Spontaneous and fun loving you couldn't help but get swept up in his enthusiasm for life. Sometimes the things we need the most find us in unexpected places, all we need do is welcome them in. He taught me how to ski, ice skate and ride a bike, how to keep moving forward when things get tough, and he was always there to pick me up and dust me off. Our first trip together was a series of misadventures, visiting the Grand Canyon during a whiteout blizzard, getting trapped in an 8-hour traffic jam on the way down the mountain and finally, truly getting to see his generous nature amidst all the stress. We got married by Elvis with the largest ever Las Vegas wedding surrounded by friends and family. There's nothing sweeter in life than marrying your best friend!

His love was true and loyal and stable. He always reached out to friends, popping up to grab lunch, have a chat or a game of golf. His death leaves a chasm that was created by thousands of single drops of love; phone calls, texts, words of encouragement, items checked off honey-do lists, lunches, love notes, spontaneous adventures, laughs, homemade cookies, the list goes on.

I call him my Man of Mystery because he loved to keep us all guessing, hiding his driver's license from his friends from the cabin so they still don't know his true age after 25+ years. Never really admitting what he does for a living while tantalizing us with his views from the office. When someone needed boots on the ground in the middle of the night to search for missing loved ones Stewart was the person you'd call. He was there to offer his car or his service or his back breaking Ikea sofa bed when times got tough. He listened to your woes and had a way of letting you know he understood with compassion and humor. He would do what needed doing and never speak of it again. His personal hero Winston Churchill had a quote that calls Stewart to mind. “We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give.”

His work for Structural Engineers meant he had to ensure the safe build of every design without alienating clients and ensuring the homeowner’s safety. In 20+ years he inspected thousands of residences all over Vancouver, BC, and Western Canada. Sometimes heroes don't wear cloaks.

In loving this man I've come to understand greatness and I am grateful to have been a part of his particular brand of it. So, when I'm stuck or unable to make a decision, I just ask myself "What Would Stew Do?".

In loving memory of Stewart, by his wife, partner in crime, and most devoted fan, Mayu Fraser.

We will celebrate Stewart J. Fraser with the following Celebrations of Life:
- In BC at the Centennial Lodge in New Westminster April 7th, 2024 from 1PM to 6PM with drinks and appetizers
- In Winnipeg at the David Fraser Hall June 1, 2024 from 2PM-6PM
- At Vaccapalooza in Michigan with Stewart's US crew in early August.

In lieu of flowers donations can be made to the following organizations that were important to Stew:
• Royal Aviation Museum of Western Canada -
• Kiva – micro loans -