Audrey George Fraser
(December 7, 1927 - January 17, 2023)
With family by her side, Audrey Fraser passed away peacefully in Daysland Alberta on the 17th of January in 2023. She was 95 years old. Audrey George Fraser (nee Lee) was born in Youngstown, Alberta on the 7th of December in 1927.
After her sister June, Audrey was the second child born to Mable Marie Lee (nee Peavoy) and Ernest Eugene Lee. Then came her other brothers and sisters: Ida, Sheila, Ken, Ernie, Art, and Ruth. Audrey was raised on farms in the Youngstown and Lacombe areas. Audrey and June helped with all aspects of the farm work, which included cutting, hauling, and selling firewood to other families. In the winter they used a horse-drawn sled. While not fond of those times, Audrey knew that this hard work helped support the family.
The strong work ethic gained from working on the farm carried over to her first job as a bush camp cook. She couldn’t really cook. A man from the camp, Hughie Hunt, gave her some cooking lessons. Audrey would later marry him on his birthday, the 2nd of November, in 1944. Audrey and Hughie had five children; Glenn, Eugene, Joyce, LaVerne, and Alfred. Eugene passed away in 2020. Audrey and Hughie built a house in Lacombe at 5464 55th Ave. Audrey was shingling the roof while pregnant with Alfred. She organized many weekend gatherings and suppers for friends and family. As you can imagine, with Audrey’s and Hughie’s siblings, there were plenty of friends, neighbors, brothers, sisters, aunts, uncles, and cousins to help at the get-togethers.
Audrey was a masterful canner. She was known for her canned chicken and meats. Audrey’s kitchen went into full-on production when the BC fruit trucks rolled into town. Peaches, cherries, apricots, and pears, she did it all. Hughie built a huge rack in the basement to hold all the canning that was many feet wide and at least eight jars deep. Occasionally an empty jar of canned peaches would be found where there was supposed to be an unopened jar of canned peaches--at the very back, of course.
Audrey was known for her vegetable gardens. Two-thirds of their town lot was planted, weeded, and harvested with the help of her kids. Audrey was a meticulous housekeeper, and there was never a lack of things to do around home. The linoleum floors were kept clean and spotless with manually applied paste wax and polished by the kids skating all over the floors in clean wool socks. There was a manual cast iron buffer (a block of cast iron with bristles under and a handle for pulling) made for polishing waxed floors. Audrey put a piece of sheepskin wool under the buffer that the kids then pulled all over the freshly waxed floor. Sometimes Alfred would sit on the buffer just to get pulled around.
Audrey found time to work at the Lacombe Hospital as part of the cleaning staff.
The entire family travelled to Ontario in the summer of 1961. Hughie built a luggage rack for the Volkswagen Beetle. With the camping gear, clothes, and food for two adults, five children, and a chihuahua named Pet, they set off down the #1 highway for June and Elgin Nunn’s farm in Kakabeka Falls Ontario, a 1250-mile journey. Many adventures took place. A memorable one was the mosquitos at one particular campsite. The mosquitos were so bad that right after setting up camp, the entire camp was packed back up and the family left. It was two o'clock in the morning! Just before starting back home to Alberta, Audrey twisted her ankle. Was it broken? No, but this made for an uncomfortable trip, to say the least--there wasn’t much room to get comfortable in that Volkswagen! The kids were so happy to be on their way home that they rocked side to side, in unison, nearly causing the Volks to crash. Hughie was not impressed.
Audrey and Hughie separated in 1962. Audrey and Alfred moved to Vulcan in 1963. For a short period of time Audrey, Carl Goodkey, LaVerne, and Alfred lived in Brant, Alberta. Sadly, Carl suddenly passed away. Audrey returned to Vulcan and LaVerne and Alfred moved back to their dad’s home in Lacombe for the next year. Audrey rented a one-car garage in Vulcan that she converted into a home. She worked at various jobs including waitressing, clerking in the Robinson’s Store, and nursing at the extended care facility where her mother, Mable, was living.
Audrey’s most famous job in Vulcan was as a professional baker at the Vulcan Bakery, owned by Fred DeJong. She was very happy with this work. Fred and Audrey did not see eye to eye on many things in the first couple of years and she wasn’t certain that she wanted to continue working there. However, a meeting took place between the two, and all issues were sorted out. Audrey worked for many years at the bakery. Audrey and Fred made a good team.
Audrey moved to many rented houses while living in Vulcan. She eventually bought a house on Main Street. Some years later, she sold that house and bought a new trailer in High River. For a short time, she was a line worker in a house trailer manufacturing plant just outside of High River. Audrey started remote camp cooking in the petroleum industry. She was loved for her amazing meals; especially her baking. She was rarely out of work. Audrey was recruited to the most northerly camp in Canada at the time where she made a meal for a visiting federal cabinet minister. Audrey was very proud of this event.
Audrey met Walter Dale Fraser while cooking in a camp at Rainbow Lake. The two settled in Drayton Valley and were known for the incredible yard in the trailer court where they lived. Just one example was their garden, enclosed in a 20’ diameter, three-level high rock ring made from petrified wood. Audrey and Dale gathered the petrified wood from the aftermath of a big flood of the North Saskatchewan River. Audrey welcomed Dale’s children and their children into her life as part of her extended family: Marc, Roch, Cameron (deceased), Michelle, Roxanne, Lorraine, and Selene.
After her partner Dale passed away, Audrey moved to the Westside Manors, a community living space in Daysland Alberta. This was a good home for her. This was living near her oldest daughter, Joyce, and was a great comfort for Audrey. She moved into Joyce’s home in 2021, where she lived until her death on January 17th, 2023. Joyce, LaVerne, and Alfred were at her side for the last few days of her life. Audrey was 95 years old.
Audrey will be fondly remembered by ...
All of her many friends, kids and spouses, grandkids and spouses, great-grandkids and spouses, and great-great-grandkids (there are many).
Please share a kind memory of how you remember Audrey.
No formal service will be held.
If family and friends so desire, memorial donations in Audrey's memory may be made to the charity of one's choice.