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Born: Jun 16, 1937

Date of Passing: Jun 21, 2023

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Frank Floyd Clair English passed away at the Brandon Regional Health Center on June 21, 2023. He is lovingly remembered by his daughters Debbie English (Art), Eileen (Jim) Harrison; son Brian (Leanne) English; son-in-law Leonard (Beth) Gregorie; grandchildren Christine English, Letitia (James) Seeber, Ryan Gregoire, Melissa (Jordan) Vollmer, Matthew Harrision (Natalie), Sean (Ellise) Harrison, Connor (Kyla) English, and Brendan English (Haley); four great-grandchildren, and sister in-law Victoria English.

Clair was predeceased by his wife Beth, daughter Patricia Gregoire, parents Fred and Bessie English, and brother Rev. Robert English.

Clair was born on the family farm on the NE of 18-12-22W in the Municipality of Daly, on June 16th, 1937.

Clair attended school in Bradwardine, and continued his education in the first year of Agriculture Diploma program at the University of Manitoba.

He was an avid curler at the Bradwardine Curling Club, loved to hunt deer, and was a member of the local 4-H club. With 4-H, Clair was fortunate to be able to travel to the Royal Winter Fair in Toronto, where he judged pigs at the fair.

Clair married Beth Harrision, of Oakner, in February 1959. They were blessed with four wonderful children, Debbie, Patricia, Eileen and Brian.

Clair started farming with his dad, Fred, quickly took over the farm and ran a pig operation, cream separating dairy, and grew grains, oilseeds, and feed for his livestock.

Clair was an avid gardener. He was known to be the one that started all of his tomatoes and peppers in the greenhouse, and would always have extra seedlings ‘just in case’ he needed to re-plant. He found joy in the tedious jobs of weeding, thinning, and picking berries in the garden. He loved to share all the produce he produced with family and friends.

Clair served on numerous boards and committees throughout the years, such as the Manitoba Pool Elevator, the Bradwardine Hall, United Grain Growers, The Forresters, The Masonic Lodge, Brandon Shrine Pipes and Drums, the original Rivers Pipe Band reunion, and the Bradwardine History Book Committee. He was also the organist for the Ancrum Church, but he had to play the pump organ as there wasn’t an electric organ in the church. Participation in all of these organizations firmly set the groundwork for his children to be community minded, and to also volunteer.

Clair was a collector of memorabilia and artifacts of the area. He took great pleasure in displaying his collections of antique wrenches, sheet music, and local items to all who visited.

Clair continued his passion for history by contributing to the research of the English family genealogy, and assisting our cousin who was writing our family history book. Years later, Dad convinced many from the district to help him write a history book for the two wards in the RM of Daly that included Bradwardine and Tarbolton.

Clair and Beth were able to travel on many adventures during their lives together. Trips to England, Scotland, The Dominican Republic, Mexico, and all of the states of the United States were well enjoyed, but they loved to come home to Manitoba.

Music played an important part of Clair’s life. Besides playing the organ at church, Dad accompanied many of Mom’s violin students throughout the years. He, along with Mom, entertained in many senior citizens homes throughout Westman. He was also a member of the Fiddle Faddle, always smiling away as he corded on the piano for the violin group. Clair, along with Beth, taught old time dancing at the Bradwardine Hall. He helped organize Dine and Dances at the Bradwardine Hall, and then later the old time dances. Once the old bands started to disappear, he helped to play for those dances and along with Mom, Ron Radford, and Bob Johnson, formed the Friendly Four. Clair was sadly the last of the original members.

Clair found his love for the Pipe Band after he joined the Brandon Shrine Club. After years of listening to his kids practice pipes and drums, he was then in the band playing the tenor drum. He later joined the Westman Band and finally his second family, the 26th Field Regiment Pipes and Drums.

The entire family would like to thank all of the neighbours, family, and friends for all of the visits, and phone calls made to help Clair this past year after the passing of Beth in 2022. The time spent meant so much to all of us, helping Clair transition to his life in Brandon.

We would like to thank the staff and residents of Victoria Landing where Clair lived for 10 months, as well as the excellent care he received from the doctors and staff at the Riverdale Health Center and Brandon Regional Health Center.

A graveside service was held at Ancrum Cemetery, in the RM of Riverdale.

As published in Brandon Sun on Jul 22, 2023

Condolences & Memories (1 entries)

  • I'm sending deepest sympathy to Claire's family. Beth, Claire, and Debbie have been long-time family friends. I think they played music at almost every anniversary celebration that my parents had in Minnedosa. May their memory and music live on in the hearts of all who knew them. Much love to all. - Posted by: Doreen Delgaty (Friend of the family) on: Jul 22, 2023

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