It is with sad hearts that we announce the passing of Fred on Feb 25th due to complications from COPD. He is survived by his wife and partner in everything, Pat, his sisters Kathy and Donna, his brothers Ken and Bill.
He was predeceased by his father Elmer and his mother Helen. Born in Oakville, ON he spent his youth in Port Credit before attending Brock University where he earned his degree in Geology.
Mining exploration brought him west (and north) and he landed in Saskatoon. Through the geology dept at the University of Saskatchewan, he met his soon to be partner in life, Pat. They were married in 1981 and headed back to Ontario where Fred continued to work in Geology.
Job opportunities then brought them back out west, where they purchased 40 acres of land just west of Saskatoon.
During a downturn in the mining world, Fred decided to head back to university to earn his MBA.
With the option to write a thesis or work on a group project, he chose the latter – and that was a serendipitous decision as the topic was ‘exploring greenhouse growing of vegetable In Saskatchewan’.
Once it was determined that there was a high demand and low supply of locally grown vegetables (predominantly cucumbers) a blueprint in hand AND 40 acres of farmland, Grandora Gardens was born.
Over the past 30 years Fred and Pat have grown Grandora Gardens into a thriving business. It started with one greenhouse and grew from there.
In the early years, a customer asked Fred if they grew peppers, his answer was not now, but check back with us next year – and another greenhouse went up. The following year, someone asked if they grew tomatoes and the answer was the same. As a result, Grandora Gardens now grows nearly one acre of cucumbers, tomatoes and peppers.
Fred was integral to this success, planning the systems, watering, delivering and negotiating with the local co-op stores to ensure they would support a small local food source.
Grandora Gardens and local sustainable food systems steered Fred & Pat to Saskatoon Farmer’s Market where they were early members, vendors and Fred enjoyed many years as treasurer and president.
He became involved with the Saskatchewan Greenhouse Growers Association, also serving as president.
Fred loved the outdoors – whether he was in Maui or the bush he just found happiness outside. There will be many fond memories of him sitting on the porch - just enjoying the moment.
Patient, quiet, introspective all describe Fred, but the one word we continue to hear is kind.Thank you for celebrating the life of this kind man.
The Celebration of Life will be held on Thursday, March 3rd at 2:00 p.m. in person at Saskatoon Funeral Home. If you are unable to attend in person, please join us for the Livestream by clicking the link that will be available at the top of this tribute page.
338 - 4th Avenue North Saskatoon, Saskatchewan S7K 2L7
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