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Date of Passing: Apr 16, 2012

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FREDERICK GEORGE CHAFE Frederick George Chafe died on April 16, 2012 at the age of 82. Fred was predeceased by his wife, Katherine Elspeth (nee Paterson) and his brother, Herb. He is survived by his sisters, Allison and Audrey (Eldon Ash), nieces and nephews, and by his children: Jennifer (Serge Fandard) and their children Frederique and Max; Susan; Valerie (Chris Hinsperger) and their children Nic and Dan; Rick (Martine Friesen) and their daughter Charlotte; Daniel (Jennifer Partridge) and their children Chloe, Ben, and Luke, and by his loving partner of the last 11 years, Vida Daviss. Fred was born in 1929 in St. John's, Newfoundland, attended McGill University in Montreal. He was the Bureau Chief of the Canadian Press in Winnipeg where he and Katherine raised their five children. He subsequently worked with the Canadian Press in Toronto and Vancouver where, following Kate's passing, he retired. He returned to Winnipeg in 2001 to live in The Waverley Retirement Home, where he met Vida. He loved hunting every fall, and continued fishing, sailing, and tennis well into retirement. He served as president of the Winnipeg Press Club and spent many late nights writing for Beer and Skits. He was a patron of all the arts. He will be lovingly remembered for his sharp mind, dry wit, and for his performances with the Waverly Warblers. He could be counted on at family suppers to break into Lukey's Boat , Grandma's Lye Soap , or Great-Grandpa When the West Was Won . Family and friends are invited to gather at the Qualico Family Centre in Assiniboine Park, located next to the duck pond for a reception on Monday, April 23, 2012 from 2:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. Parking available at the duck pond or East Gate Zoo parking lot. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations to the community art centre, Art City would be appreciated ( A private service will be held at a later date with family.

As published in Winnipeg Free Press on Apr 21, 2012

Condolences & Memories (15 entries)

  • Thank you so much for all your wonderful comments about my Dad. I often went to him for advice about my career, his grandkids and just life in general. It is heartwarming to hear how well he was respected by all of you and please know that your comments help to let us know him better. Val - Posted by: Val Chafe (daughter) on: May 07, 2012

  • I worked at CP Winnipeg, mostly as a desker, when Fred was bureau chief in the 1970s. He taught a lot by example and was inevitably eager to join the fray. The rest of us would shudder whenever we got a Canadian Wheat Board announcement on grain quotas, a matter of great obscurity. But Fred was always keen to tackle the subject and would quickly turn out a story easily understood by farmers and urban folks alike. He was a great boss, a fine journalist and a true gentleman. - Posted by: Conway Daly (colleague) on: May 01, 2012

  • I first met Fred in Toronto, but later worked with him in Vancouver, where he was bureau chief. He was a great mentor and an even better friend. After he retired to Winnipeg, we talked occasionally by phone and he never lost his sharp wit, nor his love of the arts and the outdoors. He will be missed. RIP Fred. - Posted by: Mike Williams (Friend/Colleague) on: May 01, 2012

  • Fred redefined for me what a bureau chief could be in nurturing a new generation of aspiring journalists. I shall always remember him as a true gentleman and a gentle soul who helped set a better course for my career. - Posted by: Paul Loong (colleague) on: Apr 30, 2012

  • My condolences to both family and friends. As bureau chief in Vancouver, Fred taught me how to write by being a great editor. He was a compassionate, ethical and wise journalist. After he applied on my behalf (and without my knowledge) to be CP's legislative bureau chief during the Vander Zalm era, Fred told me that if I ever claimed to understand B.C. politics, he would fire me. I've never made that claim and nor should anyone else. He's also the only boss I've ever had who went fly-fishing before work. He was a wonderful man. - Posted by: Daphne Bramham (Colleague and admirer) on: Apr 30, 2012

  • To this day I live off the avails of journalism, in large part, because of Fred Chafe. My first job was as an editorial assistant at Canadian Press Vancouver, where Fred was bureau chief. The 2+ years I would spend at the bureau, with Fred at the helm, were instrumental in my future success at newspapers in Canada. I'm grateful. He was very knowledgeable and helpful. But, most importantly, he was a very decent and kind human being. R.I.P., Fred. - Posted by: Brendan Nagle (co-worker) on: Apr 30, 2012

  • We've lost a truly lovely person with the passing of Fred. Working with him in Toronto and visiting the Vancouver and Winnipeg bureaus was always a pleasure. Condolences to his family. - Posted by: Lee White (Worked with Fred at CP) on: Apr 30, 2012

  • I worked with Fred when he was CP's bureau chief in Vancouver. My wife, Dina, wrote freelance entertainment copy for CP at that time. We are sorry to hear of his passing. Fred was a gentle soul in a business than can be cruel at times. He was a mentor and a good friend. His credentials as a journalist were well known as Fred was often chosen to a panel that selected winners of local writing awards. Many of my memories of Fred are away from the office --weeklong sailing trips to Desolation Sound or the Gulf Islands. Or on the tennis court before a beer or three. Dina once teamed with Fred to become the Trivial Pursuit champions of the office. It wasn't even close. He was always the life of any party, including a Christmas gathering at our place where Fred was belting out Come On Baby, Light My Fire at 4 a.m. while one of us was trying to get some sleep before an 8 a.m. shift. - Posted by: Ron and Dina Sudlow (work colleague) on: Apr 30, 2012

  • I remember Fred, when he was Bureau Chief in Vancouver, as a very fair, kind person and a gentleman. My sincere condolences. - Posted by: Oswaldo Ferreira (My Chief of Bureau, Vancouver) on: Apr 30, 2012

  • I worked with Fred for several years when he was bureau chief at The Canadian Press in Vancouver. It was a bustling place in those days, especially for someone transferring in from a two-man correspondency in Calgary, but I remember well Fred's laid-back attitude. My sincere condolences to his family and friends. - Posted by: Steve Mertl (former colleague) on: Apr 30, 2012

  • Fred was my boss at The Canadian Press for a few years in the mid-80s. Wonderful man and a joy to be around. Occasionally, he and I and the news editor at the time, Mike Williams, would go fishing in Howe Sound, out of West Vancouver. Fred was a real fisherman, and always put up with us. We never caught anything but it so much fun being with Fred. Fred retired as bureau chief in Vancouver and his retirement party at a place in Stanley Park is still well remembered. Many people will miss Fred. - Posted by: Greg Joyce (Friend) on: Apr 30, 2012

  • Fred was my first boss, on the night rewrite desk in Toronto, when I joined The Canadian Press as a summer intern in 1957. His leadership and the example he set with his great work ethic got me off to a good start at CP and led me to decide that was where I wanted to make my career. I'll be forever grateful. I'm so sorry to hear of his passing. - Posted by: Keith Kincaid (co-worker) on: Apr 30, 2012

  • Fred was a very good friend of my father, Harold Morrison who also worked at the Canadian Press as Foreign Editor in Toronto. He and his family would often visit my parent's home in Rosedale. He seemed like a very nice man. Sad to hear of his passing. - Posted by: Jane Gallagher (Friend) on: Apr 30, 2012

  • Truly sad news. I knew Fred from The Canadian Press and remember him as a very gentle soul. Loved our conversations. RIP Fred - Posted by: Deb McCartney (former colleague) on: Apr 30, 2012

  • I am so sorry to hear about Fred's passing. I loved working for him at CP Wpg (eight years) where he taught me so much about journalism (most of which today's journalists couldn't even begin to understand), ethics, honesty and character. I will always remember those Friday afternoons in the backshop, sipping scotch (which I strongly dislike) from paper cups and listening to Fred's stories. He was a true journalist and a wonderful, wonderful gentleman. I consider myself lucky to have known him and had those eight years to watch, listen and learn from a master. - Posted by: John Korobanik () on: Apr 22, 2012

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