Obituary of Dr. Murray MacDonell Fraser
Dr. Murray M. Fraser
It is with great sadness that the family of Murray Macdonell Fraser announce his passing on Thursday, September 3, 2020 at the age of 98 years. He was an extraordinarily kind man and caring physician who will be so missed in the years ahead.
Murray will be lovingly remembered by his children, Wendelin (Ron), Jim (Sandy), Arla (Kevin). Murray will also be fondly remembered by his five grandchildren, Ryan (Megan), Emma, Eric (Amanda), Braden and Bryce. He is remembered by his sister Alma McKinley.
Murray was predeceased by wife Ruth Derges and his parents James and Rebecca Fraser and siblings Philip Fraser, James Fraser, John Fraser, Elizabeth (Bessie) Reynolds, Donald Fraser and Neil Fraser. Murray will also be forever remembered by his nieces, nephews and extended family and dear friends.
Murray Macdonell Fraser, son of Rev. James and Rebecca Fraser, was born in Inverness, Quebec in 1922. His father's ecclesiastic calling took him across eastern Canada and consequently Murray grew up in several small Ontario communities.
Murray said ever since he was a child, he loved to "fix" things. Helping and 'fixing' children became his passion. Murray had a long and distinguished career in medicine and surgery. He was a member of the medical staff at the Plains Health Centre, Chief of Surgery at the Pasqua Hospital, and had a long relationship with the Regina General Hospital that began in 1945. After 62 years of dedicated service, Dr. Murray Fraser retired from the Regina General Hospital (RGH) in 2007.
Murray graduated from the Medical School at Queen's University in 1945. He was on active service with the Royal Canadian Army Medical Corps from 1943 to 1946. After earning his medical degree, Murray and three of his Queen's medical classmates headed west in 1945 where they completed internships at the Regina General Hospital (RGH). He said Regina was an "extremely welcoming community." It was during those internships that he was taken for his first game of golf. And it was at RGH that Murray met the beautiful Ruth Derges, who at the time was heading Hospital Records. Ruth & Murray were married in 1948.
In 1950 Murray completed post-graduate training at McGill University, Montreal where he earned his fellowship in general surgery from the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada. On returning to Regina, he joined the Department of Surgery at the RGH and Grey Nuns in 1954 and was elevated to senior member in 1956. He continued work with the Medical Arts Clinic and launched a specialist surgical practice that would continue until 1982. From 1963 to 1978 he served as Head of Department of Surgery, Grey Nuns Hospital. In 1978, Dr. Fraser was successful in completing the examination of the certificate of special competence in Paediatric General Surgery. He continued to operate a solo surgical practice, specializing in general surgical practice and paediatric general surgery.
Over his long service in medicine, Murray received recognition for years of service in organized medicine at the provincial and national levels. He served terms as President of numerous medical organizations including: Saskatchewan Medical Association (1978-79); Regina and District Medical Society; Saskatchewan Surgical Society; and Western Division of the Canadian Association of Clinical Surgeons. He was also an active member of the Saskatchewan Medical Association Board of Directors from 1968 to 1980, chaired the SMA's Education Committee from 1968-74, was an active member of the Canadian Medical Association's Council on Medical Education from 1968-1978 and served as a member with the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada including Chair of Ethics Committee. He received the SMA's award of Merit in 1979 along with a Leadership Award from the UofS where he was an Associate Clinical Professor. In 1993, Dr. Fraser was appointed to the unified Medical Staff of the Regina Health District and focused his practice on Paediatric Surgery.
While fiercely proud of his '78th Fraser Highlander' roots that began in Canada in 1758, Murray was always quick to praise Regina. His love of family and history resulted in annual epic road trips across the continent which kept him connected with the Fraser family across Canada. There were few family events where Murray did not have a poem he thought poignant to share - one that he could often recite by heart. His keen memory never wavered. Murray loved his cars and he made his children smile when even at age 92 years he purchased a new last big car. Murray was an avid golfer until age 95 years having enjoyed a 60 year membership at the Wascana Golf and Country Club.
A private service will be held due to Covid limitations.
"What we once enjoyed and deeply loved we can never lose, for all that we love deeply becomes part of us. "