Advanced Search:

Regular Search
❮ Go Back to Listings


Born: Aug 05, 1941

Date of Passing: Nov 08, 2021

Send Flowers to the Family Offer Condolences or Memory

Adjust Text Size: A+ A-

August 5, 1941 - November 8, 2021

On a clear morning, surrounded by jazz and his family's love, David Grant Frayer passed away peacefully after 80 remarkable years of life. Father, grandpa, husband, and the finest man, Dave was the proud cornerstone of our family. There are few words that can rightly describe his courage and strength, and we are incredibly grateful for the privilege of loving him.
For us and his friends (and there are many), Dave will be remembered for his spirit and trademark humour. A skilled and respectful listener, he loved jazz and blues, the law and community service, and enjoyed Winnipeg Folk Festivals, dog walks, and backyard barbecues. He was a loyal Jets and Bombers fan, did annual trips to Chicago with friends to see his beloved Cubs at Wrigley Field, and played Oldtimers hockey until his knees said otherwise. Dave looked forward to spending the racing season at Assiniboia Downs where with friends he was an owner of Silver Mane Stables, and for decades he was a fixture at the Winnipeg Winter Club. There was regular travel to Detroit Lakes for golf, Puerto Vallarta for dark rum and popcorn, and he saw most of Canada from coast to coast. He took cruises around Alaska, the Mediterranean and the Caribbean, floated in the Dead Sea and looked over the Sea of Galilee in Israel, walked among the ruins at Petra, Jordan, and stood on the Great Wall of China. Still, having grown up in Wildwood Park, Dave was perhaps the most content at home in Winnipeg.
But Dave's world mostly revolved around Jane, his true love and wife of 51 years. They shared a life of laughter and love, of dancing and travel. Their dedication to each other was, and remains, humbling. Dave was a best friend to his sons, Chris and Kevin, and always provided guidance, honesty and understanding, and he loved their partners, Miriam and Janis, like they were his own daughters. His companionship will be sorely missed in the lives of the Frayer grandsons, Isaac, Ivan, and Jetsun, and by his extended family, Lubo and Toni Jezik, and Verna (Frayer) and Doug Danylchuk. Dave's closest friends had truly been friends for life and travelled closely alongside him in his final journey.
Dave's roster of professional achievements was shaped by his extraordinary career as a litigator, including a 20-year tenure as Director of the Winnipeg Regional Office, Department of Justice Canada. Masterful in the courtroom, Dave was also a mentor to lawyers who fondly called him, 'The Chief'. He had two Queen's Council designations - a rare achievement - as well as numerous awards and citations, including the Royal Military Institute of Manitoba's Twice the Citizen Award for his military and legal career. From a young cadet in 1960, Dave went on to serve in the Navy's JAG Reserve Branch as a military judge, retiring in 1996 with the rank of Commander.
This genuinely kind man was a giant to anyone who knew him, even as the cruelty of ALS diminished Dave's ability to move and speak. We are profoundly grateful to MAiD and their team for showing such compassion and clarity, in offering Dave his choice and the dignity and peace he so richly deserved. We would like to thank the staff at Deer Lodge Centre and Seven Oaks Hospital for providing comfort and care. His strength and resilience were striking, and while we are impossibly sad to lose him, we could not be prouder to love him and to feel his love.
Dave did not want the fuss of a service, and instead of flowers we encourage donations to Rossbrook House Foundation to support their work in the spirit of his good heart:
Or, as a tribute to Dave's lifelong love of music, please consider supporting the Winnipeg Folk Festival:
There is a quote about grief - author unknown - that resonates with us as we find comfort in honouring a life so incredibly well-lived. It says, "Grief never ends but it changes. It is a passage, not a place to stay. Grief is not a sign of weakness, nor a lack of faith. It is the price of love."

- the Frayer family


As published in Winnipeg Free Press on Nov 13, 2021

Condolences & Memories (20 entries)

  • Dear Jane and family: I am saddened by the news of Dave’s death. He was such a wonderful man and I will always remember his quick wit and his kindness. Dave hired me as an articling student and then again as a young lawyer. In addition to being an excellent lawyer, Dave was a wise and kind manager, mentor and colleague, and I learned a lot from him. My deepest sympathies to you all. - Posted by: Pam Clarke (colleague) on: Nov 24, 2021

  • My dear Jane and family, Still having difficulty processing Dave’s passing. There are so many memories that we have had over the years. My husband Reg met Dave in Winnipeg and knew each other through the UNTD. When Jane and I entered the picture the four of us became good friends and always had such a great time together on so many occasions. “In life we loved you dearly and that will never change. In our hearts forever until we meet again“ God Bless you all and help you through this very difficult time. Love and hugs, Doreen 🙏🏻 - Posted by: Doreen Kowalchuk (Friend) on: Nov 21, 2021

  • My deepest sympathies to Jane and the entire Frayer family. For those of us who had the honour and privilege to work with and under the leadership of David, his passing is deeply felt. My memories of my time at the Justice Dept are inextricably linked to what was my affection for him and his defining and recognizable qualities: decency, humour and loyalty. The many kindness he afforded me will always be remembered as will his unconditional dedication to Jane and his family. I will always be grateful for having had the chance to meet and work with David whose influence on me continues to be felt and will never be forgotten. - Posted by: Glenn Joyal (Colleague) on: Nov 20, 2021

  • My deepest sympathies to Jane and the entire Frayer family. For those of us who had the honour and privilege to work with and under the leadership of David, his passing is deeply felt. My memories of my time at the Justice Dept are inextricably linked to what was my affection for him and his defining and recognizable qualities: decency, humour and loyalty. The many kindness he afforded me will always be remembered as will his unconditional dedication to Jane and his family. I will always be grateful for having had the chance to meet and work with David whose influence on me continues to be felt and will never be forgotten. - Posted by: Glenn Joyal (Colleague) on: Nov 20, 2021

  • My sincere condolences to Jane and family on David’s passing. David was my principal during my articling and provided sage mentoring to me when I was a young lawyer. He was the perfect role model of all the good characteristics of a lawyer: intellect, empathy, honour, civility and, importantly, a healthy sense of humor. Like many others I will be eternally grateful to David and will miss him. His life was one well played. May he rest in peace. - Posted by: Christopher Mainella (Colleague) on: Nov 18, 2021

  • I am very sorry to learn of Dave's passing. We served together as Military Judges in the JAG organization. I recall Dave as a very kind, compassionate person with a fine legal mind. It was a pleasure to call him a friend. My sincere condolences are with his family at this sad time. Armand DesRoches. - Posted by: Armand DesRoches (Colleague) on: Nov 18, 2021

  • David Frayer was my mentor as I started out to become a federal prosecutor in Winnipeg. He taught me the importance of being firm yet fair in our prosecution work, and how to reconcile these two seemingly conflicting principles. When our work increased in the courts, Dave simply rolled up his sleeves and dug in to assist everyone. He was truly a role model for everyone in the office. At the same time, he always emphasized the important role that family plays in the life of a litigator, and I enjoyed seeing how Jane, Chris and Kevin played such an important role in his life. His love for jazz and Oscar Peterson was of course legendary. The world was a better place with Dave Frayer; I personally will miss him greatly. He was a true friend in the deepest sense. - Posted by: Bruce MacFarlane (Colleague and friend) on: Nov 16, 2021

  • I was very saddened to hear of David's death. He was "The Chief" when I arrived at Justice, where I learned very quickly that his reputation as a skilled litigator, supportive boss and ready wit were all very well deserved. He was a fine man and I was lucky to have worked for him. - Posted by: Joel Katz (Colleague) on: Nov 16, 2021

  • I was saddened by the news of Dave Frayer's passing. Even though I learned only recently of his illness, the sad news came as a shock. I first met Dave Frayer in September, 1960 when he joined our group of UNTD Officer Cadets at HMCS Chippawa in Winnipeg. There, in training on the coast or at sea, he was always great company, humorous, high-spirited and easy-going. He could always be counted on to lighten otherwise difficult situations and to emphasize the positives. A genuinely kind and caring friend, he will be well remembered by those who had the privilege of knowing him. Lily and I extend our sincere condolences to Jane and the family. - Posted by: Peter A. Brennan (Friend) on: Nov 15, 2021

  • My deepest condolences to the Frayer family. I was a Crown Attorney at the Provincial Attorney-General's Department. Although I knew Dave best from our professional relationship, my background included a stint of about eight years in the Naval Reserve band at HMCS Chippawa, while he was there as well. Whenever we crossed paths, there were always a couple of joking comments passed between us about that obscure pastime we shared, with exaggerated emphasis being placed on addressing one another as "Lieutenant-Commander" and "Petty Officer". We also had a mutual friend (an Ottawa judge in the JAG) who we always compared notes about. I knew him from my old band days, and Dave knew from his judicial duties. Dave was a great lawyer, and an even better person. He will be greatly missed by all who knew him. - Posted by: John Peden (Former legal colleague and shipmate.) on: Nov 15, 2021

  • My sincere condolences to you and your family Mrs. Frayer. I hope God gives you strength during this difficult moments. Ana (CRN) DLC, L7 - Posted by: Ana (DLC, L7 CRN) on: Nov 15, 2021

  • I met David in the early 80s. I was a junior lawyer in the Department of Justice in Saskatoon. He would be in our office working on some big file or talking to the bosses. He was willing to share his wealth of legal experience and was a welcome part of the office social life. - Posted by: Doug Curliss (Colleague) on: Nov 15, 2021

  • Jane: My sincere condolences to you and family on the occasion of Dave's passing. He will be sorely missed by all who knew him. Bill Brown U873 - Posted by: Bill Brown (Fellow UNTD and Naval Reservist out of Chippawa) on: Nov 14, 2021

  • Sincere condolences to the entire Frayer family. I had the privilege of articling under David's mentorship at the Department of Justice in 1981. At the time the Department consisted of only 9 lawyers and 2 students. It was composed of talented individuals many of whom have distinguished themselves nationally and internationally. Everyone was part of David's team (complete with monikers) and we worked hard and played hard when not on duty. The comradery was unparalleled and the Office was a formidable force in Winnipeg's legal community. Hail to the Chief. You taught us well. - Posted by: Vincent Bueti (Friend) on: Nov 14, 2021

  • I was very sad to hear that Dave crossed the bar. We first met in the summer of 1961 as first year naval officer cadets at HMCS Cornwallis near Digby, Nova Scotia. We had joined the University Naval Training Divisions in the fall of 1960 at our universities, Dave in Winnipeg and I in Hamilton. I will always remember him as a very intelligent guy with a great sense of humour and high spirits. It was always a pleasure to share time with Dave because of his indomitable spirit and his wit. He could coin pithy sayings full of wit and sometimes even wisdom. In second year he was in C/C Roger Glassford's division at Cornwallis with Duncan MacRae as Term Lieutenant Those who were in HAIDA division summer 1962 no doubt have great tales to tell. In addition to his many accomplishments as a lawyer and in JAG, he served for several years on the UNTDA Board. He and Jane attended several UNTD reunions. We will have to tilt a few glasses to him at our 2023 reunion. May the wind now be always at his back. Roger Elmes Past President/ Ancien président UNTDA Chair, UNTDA Committee on Naval Reserve 2023 Centenary Président, comité de l’UNTDA du centenaire de la Réserve navale 2023 UNTD Association of Canada L’Association UNTD du Canada 778-294-0211 | 604-880-5873 (Cell) Citizen Sailors - 100 years | Marins citoyens – 100 ans Celebrating Canada’s Naval Reserve Centenary May 9-12, 2023 Victoria BC Célébration du centenaire de la Réserve navale du Canada du 9 au 12 mai 2023 Victoria CB - Posted by: Roger Elmes (UNTD Naval Officer Cadets) on: Nov 13, 2021

  • I am so very sad and sorry to hear of Dave’s passing. To me he was a superb mentor as I was a young and new lawyer with the DoJ in Winnipeg. Back in the days he was always a fountain of knowledge and assistance to me as I progressed in the Winnipeg office. The Chief as we all knew him was truly a gentleman, a scholar and a warm and caring boss and family man. When I was facing personal challenges he was there in a quiet and assuring way. I will always recall his laughter and his strong professional and dignified presence. I learned from him many important professional lessons. I also came to know that Jane was the strength behind the man. She really was the second in command of the Winnipeg office for as Dave would always say, “ Jane thinks …..” or Jane is going to drop by the office while I am away (for work meetings). I will always treasure my time at the Winnipeg office with the Chief as my boss - they were the best hands down. Clyde Bond DOJ 1987 to 2015 - Posted by: Clyde Bond (Mentored and guided lawyer ) on: Nov 13, 2021

  • So sorry to hear of David’s passing As a classmate, former colleague and later adversary it was a pleasure to have known him. I’ll always remember David as the life of the party and he will be solely missed - Posted by: Stanley & SAndra Nozick (Friend) on: Nov 13, 2021

  • David was a leading member of the Bar in Manitoba and a well-respected leader within the Winnipeg Regional Office of Justice Canada. He was always a supportive colleague and particularly helpful to me during my early years with the Department, for which I remain very grateful. My sincere condolences to Jane and family. Donna Miller - Posted by: Donna Miller (Department of Justice colleague) on: Nov 13, 2021

  • A great person liked by all his wit and quick sense of humour were great attributes as well as our mutual love of music He had a prodigious knowledge of jazz and blues My own health and our travels distanced us in later years to my regret as he was one of the best. - Posted by: Derekbooth (FrI end since the 1960s) on: Nov 13, 2021

  • My condolences go out to the family of The Honourable Mr. Justice David Grant Frayer on his untimely passing. - Posted by: A good citizen (Lives in Manitoba) on: Nov 13, 2021

Neil Bardal Inc. (Winnipeg)

Neil Bardal Inc. (Winnipeg)

3030 Notre Dame Ave (Map)
Ph: 2049492200 | Visit Website

❮ Go Back to Listings