Sunday, November 28, 2010

Biography: Bill Fraser



Bill Fraser age 12

I, William Fraser, was born to Catherine and Charles, June 19, 1902 at 2:00 am, on Gladstone Ave. To my knowledge, we lived two years in Toronto--moved to Brampton where my sister Teresa was born on May 25, 1905 on Mill St. In 1908 we returned to Toronto where Kathleen Veronica was born. I attended St. Helen's School on Landsdowne Ave, until 1912. Around that time there was trouble in the family and my father left for Chicago and never returned. I became the sole support of my mother and two sisters. I left school in 1916 and went to work in Langmuir Trunk Factory on King St. West full time and part time at Len Collins Butcher Shop. Then in 1917 I went to work for the T. Eaton Company full time until 1920 when my Uncle Dan obtained a better job for me with the Toronto & York Radial Suburban Cars. I was working there when my mother, aged 46 died from a perforated gall bladder.

Bill Fraser age 20

The following year my sister Teresa married and I gave up the house we were living in and Veronica and I went to live with her (Teresa) until Veronica married.

When World War II broke out, I joined the 15th General Hospital Medical Corps and was sent to England where I met, in Bramshott, Rosanna Shepherd and we were married in June 1942 in Mitcham, Surrey. Our first son, Barry Edward, was born in England in 1943. In June of '43 I went with the army to Africa, Italy, Holland and Belgium, returning to England briefly before being shipped back to Canada at the end of the war where I was discharged, with the rank of Staff Sargent, in 1945.
Unidentified friend, and a very thin Bill and Alfred Renshaw in North Africa, 1943
My wife and Barry joined me here in 1946. We lived at 107 Meighen Avenue, East York, where John and Malcolm were born, moved to 114 Meighen where Keith arrived. We needed larger accomodation, and moved to 94 Kitchener Road, West Hill in 1957, where we still reside.

Bill with wife Rosanna and son John, 1950

I now belong to the Corps of Commissioners for whom I worked at the Supreme Court of Ontario, Osgood Hall, for many years, but had to retire in 1979 due to ill health, and poor vision, as Staff Sargent. I had four eye operations but am legally blind and registered with the C. N. I. B.
Wm. J. Fraser

William (Bill) Fraser died at 84 years of age on May 29, 1987 after many years spent fighting a loosing battle with emphysema, the consequence of a lifetime smoking unfiltered Black Cat cigarrettes, a habit he took up at 12 years of age, on the advise of his doctor, as a cure for asthma! He quit smoking the day emphysema was diagnosed and lived an additional 10 years. A strong man, renowned for his kindness, quick wit and humour. He is deeply missed.