Fraser, Clifford Douglas

Fraser, Clifford Douglas "Doug"

April 1st, 2020




Clifford Douglas (Doug) Fraser

March 23, 1929 – April 1, 2020 

It is with such a sense of loss that we announce the peaceful passing of an incredibly kind, loving man, Doug Fraser, in his 92nd year, at Victoria Hospital, holding his daughter’s hand.

Doug was the devoted husband and constant companion to Audrey for almost 65 years and the most extraordinary dad to daughter Chris and beloved son Doug Jr., who passed in 1992.

Doug lived a full, active and rewarding life.  He was born in Oshawa in 1929 to Harold and Kathleen (Elliott) Fraser, and grew up in Toronto with older brother Ray (2016).

He will be greatly missed by wife Audrey, daughter Chris, son-in-law Bob DesRoches, sister-in-law Joan Thurgarland, step-grandkids Judith DesRoches (Dave), Shawn DesRoches (Janine), step great-grandkids Sidney (Matt), Zack (Abby), Emily, Denika, Lucas and Nathan; nieces Lorie Hollingworth (Conrad), Janet Hollingworth (Clyde), Kathy Johnston (Peter), Janet Weir, nephew Bob Thurgarland (Cheryl), cousin Tanja Kilpatrick, special family friend Jackie Shum, and many other friends, neighbours and colleagues.  So many kind words have been shared by friends and family – Doug is described as “an incredible loving man”, “a beautiful light who had a unique way of making everyone around him feel special” and having “a one-of-a-kind laugh that was absolutely infectious”.  The years of love, support and memories for Doug and Audrey by so many people are gifts to our family. 

Doug and Audrey’s paths crossed when Doug gathered with other kids in Audrey’s family’s living room when they were the first in the neighbourhood to have a television (8 inch!) and played ping pong on the family’s dining room table.  But the sparks didn’t fly until Audrey met her sister Joan at the bowling alley where Doug also happened to be.  From the bowling alley they went ice skating, and the rest is history.  In Toronto on October 8, 1955 Doug and Audrey were married. 

Doug attended Maurice Cody Public School and North Toronto Collegiate High School.  In his earlier years he was an accomplished athlete, having held championships in middle-distance and cross country running, tennis, curling and hockey as goal tender.  He often joked that it took him 7 years to complete 5 years of high school because he was on two hockey teams.  He recounts fond memories of his time as Director of the Granite Club in Chatham and the curling tournaments there.  He served as Director and President of the London Western Track and Field Club and was an enthusiastic supporter at all of Chris and Doug Jr.’s track and field and other athletic endeavors.  He loved music; in earlier years he played “a cool tenor sax” in an orchestra and sang bass baritone in a quartet. 

At the age of 19 Doug started in the mail room with Imperial Oil in Toronto which led to roles in other departments that took Doug and Audrey to London, Chatham (where Chris was born), Dawson Creek, British Columbia (where Doug Jr. was born) and Edmonton, Alberta.  In 1969 Doug and Audrey took a leap of faith together, returned to London and established a successful business in oil and natural gas exploration.  Doug was an owner and officer of several corporations including C.D. Fraser Land Services Ltd., Lovat Land Consultants Ltd., Oilfield Cleanup Services Ltd., and Petroland Ltd. Much to Audrey’s chagrin he never actually retired, continuing to manage Petroland Ltd., until his passing.  Doug served as Director and President of the Ontario Petroleum Institute promoting ethics, education and environmental awareness in the Ontario oil industry.  He was a speaker for the Ontario Petroleum Institute, Ontario Federation of Agriculture, Ontario Appraisal Institute and guest lecturer for the Faculty of Geology at Western University.

Doug supported many charities as a donor and leader.  He was vice chairman of the United Way campaign in Chatham in 1966 and was quietly proud that 107% of the goal was achieved that year.  Doug and Audrey annually sponsor a gift for the recipient of the Male Athlete of the Year Award at Saunders Secondary School created in Doug Jr.’s memory.  He and Audrey sponsored Southwest Optimist hockey programs for many years.  Doug established a bursary at the Pine River United Church in Ripley, Ontario (birthplace of his father) to support scholarships for students pursuing agriculture and environmental programs.  He was Secretary-Treasurer and fund raiser for the local chapter of the Canadian Spinal Research Organization and has been a supporter of Parkwood Institute and St. Joseph’s Health Care London since 1988 with a special place in his heart for spinal cord injury rehabilitation and research.  He was the co-creator and administrator of the Possibilities Project, without whom this important initiative supporting persons with spinal cord and brain injuries and amputations at Parkwood Institute would not have been possible. 

In a letter to Chris in 2002, Doug wrote, “Mom and I tried to convey to you and Doug a sense of honesty and integrity, wisdom, intelligence, understanding, compassion, kindness and patience, courage, determination, perseverance and strength, and love for others and for yourselves.”  These attributes describe perfectly how Doug lived his life personally and professionally.  Despite, or because of, the challenges our family has experienced, Doug lived his life with appreciation and gratitude.  He so often said, “We are the luckiest family in the world.”

Our family wishes to express our heartfelt gratitude to the extraordinary nurses, PSWs, physicians and support staff in the Acute Care for the Elderly (ACE) unit and the physicians from the Sub-Acute Medicine Unit at Victoria Hospital.  Their expertise, kindness and caring for Doug will always be remembered. 

Our love goes out to friends and our “Parkwood family” for your support over the past weeks.

Doug never liked to say goodbye – his signature sign-off was always “toodle-oo”.  Toodle-oo, Dad, until we meet again. 

Cremation has taken place.  A private family interment will be held. 

Those wishing to make a donation in Doug’s memory may consider London Health Sciences Foundation (please request that your gift be directed to the Acute Care for the Elderly Unit) or to The Possibilities Project, c/o St. Joseph’s Health Care Foundation, London -, 519-646-6100, ext. 64562 or by mail to St. Joseph’s Health Care London, P.O Box 5777, Station B, London, Ontario, N6A 4V2.

Charitable donations may be made to:

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Book of Condolences

Todd GilbertOur deepest condolences to the extended Fraser family from the Gilbert family. It seems like a lifetime ago when we had the opportunity to spend time at the Fraser house as neighbors and friends through many years of school together. A warm hug goes out to Audrey and Chris from my brother Jeff and I. Rest in piece Mr Fraser, and say hello to Doug for me.
Mary Ann ReganChris I was saddened to hear about your father’s death. Please accept my condolences and know you and your family are in my prayers.
Cathy and Don PearsonWe are saddened by the loss of a wonderful neighbour, friend, and a true gentleman, and offer our condolences to Audrey, Chris and Bob and the rest of the family. We had many laughs with Audrey and Doug during our time as next door neighbours, and were sorry when they moved away. We know how much Doug will be missed by his loving family, but his legacy and his memory will live on.
Kathy RobertsOn behalf of the London Western Track and Field Club, I would like to extend my deepest condolences to Audrey and her family. I only recently had the pleasure of meeting Doug, over the phone, to inform him that he had been chosen as one of the inductees of the club’s hall of fame, in celebration of its 50th anniversary. An anniversary that would never have happened, had it not been for Doug’s generosity and insightfulness that helped establish the club. Doug was humbly surprised that we would want to recognize his efforts from so long ago, but was touched nonetheless. In reading his tribute, I am sorry that I did not get to meet him in person. He was an outstanding human being who gave more to life than he took; something that we all should aspire to. Kathy Roberts London Western TFC--President
Isabelle SimlerOn behalf of my Mother, Daughters and myself we send our deepest sympathy to you and your family on the passing of Mr. Fraser. He was a kind and sweet man, ready to greet us with a warm smile and hug. His bright light continues on in his family.
Hillary Glass and FamilyJust thinking of the Fraser's makes me smile. A family of such distinguished grace, kindness and humility which was echoed in every interaction we were each blessed enough to enjoy during our times together. Audrey and Chris, you are in our thoughts, as we do think of you all often and fondly. Mr. Fraser and Doug are one of a kind people and are missed by our family dearly. Carolyn, Jeff, David and Hillary
Joanne FordhamDear Audrey and Chris! Just today I read of Doug's passing and want you to know How sorry I am for you. Will always remember what wonderful neighbours you were on Fox Mill,and the friendship of our children. I know the loss you will be experiencing,and the void in your life you will have, but may you be given the strength to carry on.May all of your wonderful memories keep you strong. My deepest sympathy! Hugs Joanne
Pamela & JanetWhat a great tribute written about Doug Fraser. We cherished any time we could spend with him. His stories about shared Scottish heritage and the Fraser clan, were so interesting. We will always remember his booming voice and fabulous laugh. What a wonderful man
Jim and Dianne KehoeJim and I were saddened to hear about Doug's passing. Such a wonderful tribute about him. As long ago neighbours on Fox Mill Grove we remember fondly Doug's friendly greeting always, his wonderful smile and our street gatherings. Our kids were so young then but they were fun times. Our deepest condolences Audrey and Chris. Our thoughts and prayers are with you at this difficult time. May all your wonderful memories sustain you and give you strength.
Karen and Mike McGrailDear Chrissy, Bob, Audrey, Shawn, Janine, Lucas, Nathan, Zack, Abby and families, We met Doug on several occassions, and from our interactions, we knew that he was a charming, polite, and kind man. After reading the beautiful tribute above, we have an even better understanding of how he came to be the wonderful man that he was. Chrissy, our hearts go out to you on the loss of your loving father, who obviously inspired you to be the adventurous, determined, friendly and kind person that you are. Bob, you are in our thoughts as you grieve and reminisce the loss of your dear father-in-law along with his daughter. Audrey, we offer our condolences on the loss of Doug - the man who you journeyed alongside of for so many special years, offering support and being supported - together a wonderful pair. Shawn, Janine, Lucas, Nathan, Zack and Abby, we extend our sympathies on the passing of your dear grandfather/great-grandfather who was so special in your lives. And to all of Doug's family and friends, we hope you continue to find comfort as you mourn Doug's loss and joy as your reflect on your time together. God Bless.
Kathy McLellan LantChris my heart goes out to you and your family as you remember your Dad. What an inspiring tribute! I know his love for life and values are a legacy that you share and celebrate too. Know that my thoughts and prayers are with you.
Corinne & John HamAudrey,Chris,Bob and family,Sorry for your loss of such a loving husband,father and father-in- law. He will be missed. May the comfort of knowing he is in your son's brother's arms be a comfort for you at this time.
Corinne & John HamAudrey,Chris,Bob and family.Sorry,for your loss of such a loving husband,father and father-in- law. He will be missed. May the comfort of knowing; he is in your son's, brother's arms be helpful for you at this time.
Joe MetronAudrey & Chris and Family. Please accept my sincerest condolences and the WARMEST of EASTER GREETINGS. Your tribute to father Doug & their pictures together brought back a flood of memories for me and our many joyous times at Saunders. Your family was a role model for me and Ginger and I treasured the meetings we had with you all. Doug's kindness and gentle nature and his warm and inviting smile have lingered with me since we met. Your tribute to Doug in the obit, speaks volumes of the love you all shared as a family. May God give you all Peace and may your Love for each other continue to grow and rebound into our world. We all need it. LOVE AND PEACE Joe and Family
Jay and Cathy FisherAudrey and Chris So sorry to hear about Doug’s passing. We have so many great memories of all the times spent with you. He was such a kind man . I can still hear his wonderful laugh.
Harry MurrayMy wife, Shirley, and I were neighbours of Doug and Audrey at 665 Commissioners and then later at Inspirit Retirement Home. I always liked Doug and enjoyedn chatting with him. He was a kind and considerate person, a class act, a straight up, no BS type of guy. I think he had a good life and a good family. He faced a lot of hardships but faced them well. Will miss you in peace.
Maureen HoustonI’m sorely saddened to hear of the passing of Doug. My heartfelt sympathy goes out to Chris and Audrey. We were very fortunate to have the Fraser family as our neighbors on Fox Mill Cres. What a beautifully written obituary - he truly was an incredible husband, father, neighbor and friend. May he Rest In Peace and the fond memories of Doug be with you always . Sincerely, Maureen
Mary Pounder and David LatourSo saddened to hear of Doug's passing. Much love to you both, Audrey and Chris. I will always remember Doug's kindness and humour.
Gloria WrightBlessings to You. I have fond memories of years ago. Your family had a very positive influence on our children. Love from Gloria and family
Alice, Vicky, & Eric Martin (Vic Martin’s family)We send our love and sympathy to Audrey, and to Chris and her family. Doug was an excellent man, a true gentleman. He demonstrated honesty, integrity, compassion for others, kindness, intelligence, courage, and a love for life — a man to emulate! He loved his family. It was always a joy to visit with Doug and Audrey. They were a team.
Chris StewartDear Mr Fraser Thank you for being such a supportive fan of me. You were always so kind to check in with me and ask how my sports were going. You were also so considerate to ask each time about my family. Thank you for being such a great gentleman at all times. Mr Fraser, Thank you for being an amazing community member. Your hard work and passion helped to make the world a better place especially London. May you rest in peace with Doug Jr. I miss you both.
Dave, Margie & Kate JohnsonDear Audrey, Chris, and family, We were saddened to hear that Doug had passed away. He was a wonderful man, and our family has fond memories of time spent with him and with you. We are thinking of you at this sad time, and we are sending love your way.
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