In memory of those who have Crossed the Bar
FRYMIRE, Walter John - Peacefully on Dec 27, with family at his side, Walter Frymire quietly passed into the next life. After nearly 94 years of laughter, teasing, and the joys and sorrows of 8 kids, he leaves behind a multitude of grateful people who were glad to have felt his love and affection. Walter was pre-deceased in 2008 by his wife of 54 years, Marguerite (Nee McKay) a proud Metis woman. He was married a second time at age 84 to Lorraine Manson, a proud Tk'emlups te Secwepemc elder who brought much love in his later years. Lorraine died in 2017. Walter also outlived 2 of his children, John, who died as a newborn in 1968, and Randy, who died at the age of 57. Walter was the last of his generation predeceased by his parents, Beth and Bernard Frymire, brother Ed, and sisters Barbara, Lenora, Betty, Angie and Bunny. Left to mourn him are his children, Tanis Haviland (Bill), Tim (Debbie), Drew (Maureen), Scott (Lu), Eliot (Catherine), Bill (Alana). His 18 grandchildren, many nieces and nephews. All will all miss his ready smile and hearty laugh.
Walter began life as a mischievous rascal growing up in Weyburn Sask. The Frymires were a musical family, as his father Bernard played fiddle in a band, and recruited Walter to be a drummer as a teenager. With 5 sisters and a brother, dad often sang and played together with his siblings. Music marked nearly all Frymire gatherings. Walter played in various bands and military groups throughout his life, giving his last drum performance at a family reunion at the age of 90.
Walter attended Notre Dame in Wilcox, Saskatchewan for part of his high school and was a lifelong fan of the Hounds, and Father Murray. He left Weyburn to join the navy in 1948 serving for 5 years and seeing action in Korea aboard various destroyers, such as the Sioux and the Algonquin. He was a proud veteran and taught weather to air cadets in Kamloops for many years.
In 1954, he met the love of his life in Lytton BC where he was a new weatherman and Marguerite McKay was a nurse. They married and moved to Prince George where Marguerite had 7 babies in 10 years, a typical Catholic family in those days. Dad was promoted to oversee the Kamloops weather office in 1967. Walter Frymire became a well-known name in Kamloops during the 70s and 80s as he was on a local radio station several times a day with weather updates and even had a cable TV show called “What’s the Weather with Walter Frymire”.
Life was busy in Kamloops and Dad was active in many extracurricular activities. Somehow, he got each of his 6 sons to their hockey, soccer and rugby games and his daughter to her piano and voice lessons. (most of the boys were forced to endure a few years of piano lessons as well). Dad also gave back to the community, playing various roles on the Our Lady of Perpetual Help (OLPH) Parish Council, The Knights of Columbus, and singing in the church choir later in life. He was on the Brocklehurst Recreation Commission, taught Air Cadets, and of course was a drummer in various bands. When he was honoured with the Knights of Columbus’s “Family Man of the Year” award, our long-suffering mother quipped it should actually be called, the “Man Most Away From his Family” award.
Dad completed the last 6 years of his career becoming the superintendent of all BC weather offices and moving to Richmond. However, he kept his house in Brocklehurst and retired there in 1988. He loved gardening and was proud of his many types of roses, bounteous fruit trees and ever-expanding vegetable area. Winning Dad’s annual “Biggest Tomato” contest was a hotly contested and sought-after honour. Drew, who lived nearby, was a frequent visitor helping with the lawn, garden and house upkeep as dad slowed down. Dad teasingly accused Drew of sabotaging his prize tomatoes so Drew could steal the title.
Dad and mom were very happy to greet summertime family and friends to their home. Their door was always open, dad was ready with a cool beverage and mom had prepared a tasty meal. Walter valued time spent with both immediate family, extended family and his large network of friends. His infectious laugh and interest in your inner most thoughts allowed him to get close to many people.
Gregarious, outgoing and friendly, Dad improved any gathering he was part of with his gift of creative embellishment and teasing those he cared for. Always young at heart, he was the “Fun” Uncle for family and friends, often laughing with his head tilted back and his gold fillings on display for all to see. He loved to beat his sons and others at tennis, ping pong, cards and board games, cackling with glee when he prevailed, much to mom’s dismay. He never lost his playfulness, even days before he died, when a game of balloon toss in his wheelchair would awake the old cackle and glee.
Dad had his own unique expressions, many of which have now made it into the Frymire Family vocabulary. Most of his kids have carried on some version of “Pass me the flipper dipper”, “Whip whap way you go”, “Get to your cart mart”, and on birthdays or Father’s Day, “Okay, Cough it up”. We can now appreciate and sympathize with dad’s failed efforts to name the child he wanted, incorrectly listing all 6 other kids and sometimes even the dog, before finding the correct name.
Dad’s faith was also part of his positive, hopeful approach to life. His cheery “Hey Hey” when greeting arrivals was heartfelt and sincere. He was able to see the good in each person he met and his interest in their lives made them feel welcome and appreciated. Always rooting for the underdog, he was a strong supporter of the Canadian Catholic Organization for Development and Peace (CCODP) and even took a trip to Chiapas, Mexico with this group to learn more about relief efforts.
Dad’s nine decades on this earth were marked by kindness, laughter and generosity. While he faced hardship, pain and loss, it never diminished his persistent optimism and enjoyment of others. Even when Vascular Dementia took away his memories and ability to communicate in his last years, he remained a favourite of care staff. The family would like to thank those special folks who cared for dad when he was most vulnerable and dependent on the care of others. Staff at Chartwell, an assisted living facility, were wonderful to dad during his 3 years there. Thanks to the Ponderosa Adult Day Centre staff where "Uncle Walter" was a beloved part of the program. Gemstone, a Long-Term Care facility and dad’s home for his final 3 years, went above and beyond during the worst of the Covid-19 lock down and kept dad and other residents safe and well cared for. Nurses and care-aides were exceptionally loving and recreation staff were instrumental in keeping his spirits up and engaged.
Due to Covid restrictions, a funeral and reception is planned for later in the spring. In lieu of flowers Walter would be pleased if a donation were made to our mom’s bursary at Thompson Rivers University Foundation for indigenous Nursing students. Choose the “Specific Scholarship or Bursary” option and type in Marguerite Frymire Memorial Bursary. Either that or the charity of your choice. (The Kamloops This Week 04 Jan 2022 / Schoening Funeral Services)
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