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JOHN (JACK) WILLIAM FRATER
Born: May 23, 1936
Date of Passing: Jan 08, 2021Send Flowers to the Family Offer Condolences or Memory
JOHN (JACK) WILLIAM FRATER
May 23, 1936 - January 8, 2021
Jack will be lovingly missed by his grandchildren, Haley, Carly and Chad; son-in-law Mike; his special nieces, Beverly and Robyn; nephews, Scott and Jimmy; his great-nieces and nephews; and sister-in-law Dot. He will also be missed by his extended family, goddaughter Jennifer Mazur Burnell and family, Linda and Nancy Mazur and family.
Jack was born in Winnipeg where he grew up and attended George V. Grade School and Lord Selkirk High School. He excelled in athletics during his school years. At completion of high school, he was awarded a scholarship to McNeese State University in Lake Charles, Louisiana in track and field.
In his years at McNeese he won many track and field events, distance races and was one of their foremost track stars on the college running team in the 1956 Gulf State Conference Championships.
His awards in athletes during this time are far too many to mention, however, he also earned honourable mention on the Dean's List which helped him in his post graduate work in physical education.
Jack continued his education at Southern Illinois University and completed his PH.D there.
After graduation Jack returned to Winnipeg and taught physical education in the River East School Division until retirement with the exception of a hiatus teaching for the Canadian Forces Base in Lahr, Germany.
After Jack went to Germany, he and Irene decided to tie the knot and Irene flew to Germany where they got married. The four years they spent in Germany, their vacation time was spent travelling Europe, Russia, Egypt and on an African Safari. They enjoyed much cross-country skiing and wine tasting. They made many lifelong friends during their time in Germany.
Physical fitness was an important part of Jack's life. He continued to work out at the gym three or more hours a day up until months before he passed. He was an avid cross-country skier, cyclist, canoeist, and rollerblader. He ran marathons in several cities across the continent including The Boston City Marathon (by invitation we must add). However, Jack was most proud of the last two marathons he ran in Winnipeg and Minneapolis when he was 76 years young.
Jack was an avid reader who belonged to a very special book club with close friends until his passing. He also continued to meet with his classmates from McNeese who lived in Winnipeg for coffee about once a month. He enjoyed bird watching, building bird houses, walking his dog, eating ice cream and enjoying the odd glass of brandy.
Above all else was Jack's love of Grand Beach at his family's cottage, Frater's Corner where many wonderful memories were made. As a young lad, Jack spent all of his summers at the beach. Some of his jobs there were delivering papers, delivering blocks of ice, and carrying suitcases from the train. His recollection of these simpler, romantic times always brought a twinkle to his eyes, a grin to his face and a tone to his voice that was saved for these special stories.
Jack was passionate about the Grand Beach Community and over the years accomplished much for the area. He helped organize the very first Bike rally, the Frog Jumping Contest for the children and helped establish the basketball court. He organized and was head of The Legends of Grand Beach Committee. A gathering was held at the end of each year which included a dinner, the awards ceremony and a dance. The year Jack retired from the committee he was awarded and became a Legend himself.
He truly was a Grand Beach legend. The beach was his happy place. Jack lived his life to the fullest. He will be greatly missed by all but never forgotten.
The family is grateful to the nurses and doctors who cared for Jack during his months on 3 North at Grace Hospital. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the St. Boniface Hospital Foundation or to the Winnipeg Humane Society in Jack's name.
Due to Covid 19, a celebration of Jack's life will be announced at a later date.
475 Provencher Blvd.,
in care of arrangements, 204-775-2220
As published in Winnipeg Free Press on Jan 23, 2021
Condolences & Memories (8 entries)
Jack Frater was my basketball and track coach as well as Geography teacher at Kildonan East from '71 to'74. It is sad to hear of his passing. I took the initiative to visit him in '96 at Miles Mac while he was teaching a class and he so graciously shook my hand and offered me a seat and took the time to sit and engage in conversation. In August of 2019, my husband and I ran into him at Grand Beach and we stopped and talked and the very next day he waved us over to come and continue our conversation and catch up. In Sept of 2020, we had the opportunity to once again see him at Grand Beach and just briefly talk. There are only a handful of people that cross your path in this journey of life that leave an everlasting impression. Jack was that one person. R.I.P Coach Frater . You were the best. - Posted by: June Hogan (nee O'Donnell ) (Former student ) on: Feb 10, 2021
Hearing of Dr. Frater's recent passing made me genuinely sad. I knew "Jack" (as he was known to everyone else) as a high school student back in the early 70s. I found his passion for fitness and particularly running, contagious and before long, I was as driven as he appeared to be. I remember being on many long runs as a member of the school's cross-country team and one particular run against a few racehorses that his friend owned. There we were - 8 of us totally convinced that we could out-run 2 racehorses! His enthusiasm and ability to reach out to students who needed it has remained with me throughout my teaching career and will remain with me for the rest of my life. Thank you, Dr. Frater - you certainly made a difference! - Posted by: David Mandzuk (Former student) on: Feb 06, 2021
I have lost a great friend, fantastic role model and super mentor. For many summers I enjoyed our runs most mornings through Grand Marais and out on the highway then back to Grand Beach. Then in the afternoons we played Beach Volleyball, as Jack would say, with Hudson Bay Rules. He was my role model and I admired his commitment to a healthy life style but having fun. Ion this days there was no school of Physical Education in Manitoba, so I also went to the USA to pursue a PHE degree and taught high school Phys. Ed for over 35 years in BC. Jack was like the unofficial Mayor of Grand Beach. In his younger years he carried ice to the cottages of many senior citizens, met the train each morning at 11:10 a.m. to carry baggage and in the afternoon sold newspapers. In his older teen years he worked the Merry-Go-Round and Frank's Hot Dog Stand. He was instrumental in getting the Grand Beach Community Club up and running and of course who can forget the infamous Bike Rallies. Jack made Kildonan Est Regional High School a "Lighthouse" in contemporary High School Physical Education Programs, made3 Grand Beach a better place for so many with an active community centre and was always available to help a senior resident of Grand Beach. Besides working hard Jack also knew how to play hard. I sure there were many teachers at the Canadian Armed Forces Base in Lahr over the 4 years that were part of Jack's guided tours of Europe. Jack thank-you for being such a great role model and pointing me in the right direction for a successful and fulfilling life. You were one of a kind, a real treasurer and you will be solely missed by so many friends. RIP and I look forward to our next rune in the life beyond. - Posted by: Bob Jackson (Long Time Grand Beach Friend) on: Jan 25, 2021
So sorry to hear of the passing of Jack. We were neighbors at Grand Beach and mutually shared visits with Joann MacMorran and other "fixtures" between Third and Sixth Avenues. His legacy will inspire many. - Posted by: Carol Heppenstall (Beach neighbor) on: Jan 24, 2021
Frater's Corner won't be the same without you, Uncle Jack. Thanks for all the great adventures we shared. We're going to miss that special look you gave when we asked if it was time for ice cream! Love Robin, Skye & Summer - Posted by: Robin Ritchie (Niece) on: Jan 24, 2021
My deepest condolences, met Jack when we worked at Grand Beach, he ran the merry go round I worked for the CNR. Jack invited me to visit him in Carbondale, Illinois and we went to visit his friend in Dallas. He was a true Elmwood person until he and Irene moved to St James. Loved his liver and onions at Silver Heights. Rest in peace Jack you will be missed. - Posted by: Harry Salamacha (Friend ) on: Jan 23, 2021
So sorry to lose a wonderful guy. We had great adventures with Jack and Irene in Germany, probably too many accompanied with wine and cognac. Jack would wake up the next morning, looking a little the 'worst-for-wear,' and would say, "I hurt myself last night." We shared many X-C ski holidays, Michelin starred restaurants, education philosophy, and trips down the autobahn, with us in a Corvette chasing Jack and Irene in their orange 'pumpkin' van. (actually, he was the slowest driver on the autobahn ) We loved his cryptic sense of humour, his kindness, his thoughtfulness, and it was wonderful to have shared a small part of his life with him. I wish Winnipeg wasn't so far from Ottawa. - Posted by: Jim Schultz (Friend and Jack's 'Best Man' at his and Irene's wedding) on: Jan 23, 2021
It was always a delight to visit Uncle Jack, whether in Europe or at Grand Beach. He was such an inspiration athletically and educationally. Truly a Legend. - Posted by: Beverlee Ritchie (Niece) on: Jan 23, 2021
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