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BALFOUR, Robert “Fraser”

December 6, 1944 – October 22, 2012

After the most valiant of fights, Fraser Balfour passed away from complications related to head and neck cancer on Monday, October 22, 2012.

Born in Calgary at the Holy Cross Hospital to Margaret and D.R. on December 6, 1944, Fraser lived all of his life in the Calgary area. He remained at home and in love with the prairie and the ranch lands of Alberta and spent some of his happiest days tramping the country fields.

Fraser attended Western Canada High School and completed his MBA at the University of Alberta before eventually taking the helm at Cronkhite Supply Ltd. from his dad. He successfully ran this business for more than twenty-five years before embracing retirement in 1998. His energetic youth was spent partly at Invermere Lake, barefoot skiing, hosting corn roasts and living it up. He learned to fly, and then scuba dive, and travelled the world to many far flung and fabulous destinations as a dive master and happy tourist. He loved the Calgary Stampede, and dinners and trips with his children and finding the perfect unique gift. He loved and collected art, sculpture and treasures from afar and for a quiet man, he amassed a vast collection of friends and contacts.The finest epoch of his life began with his twenty-eight year marriage to Armande, his companion and heroine, who shared every adventure in travel, diving and hunting. Armande helped him find his core of steel and realize a life of calm contentment. Together they have shared the happiest of days at their farm house, the Shuswap Lake cottage, and surrounded by their beloved friends and family.Fraser’s seven year war with cancer was a fight to the finish. He faced pain, fear and loss with proud courage and a graceful acceptance that left us all speechless and a little braver. His last week was spent tramping the fields with Armande and his wonderful friends Toots and Bob Machum, hunting field birds. “I am so happy I’m here” he scribbled to Armande, defining that moment and what kept him going, looking to squeeze out one more moment, one more experience.

Fraser was predeceased by his father Dave, his mother Margaret, and his infant son Robert Fraser. He leaves to grieve with Armande, his children Jennifer (Harry) and Michael (Alison); his cherished grandchildren Lainey, Isla, Cleo and Fraser; his sisters Jill (Dennis) and Shelly, and his beloved dog, Sunny.

Grateful thanks to Dr. Nicola Chappell, Dr. Wayne Mathews, Dr. Joe Dort, Dr. Chandaranna, and Dr. Tomas Godinez for providing the most difficult of care with skill, wisdom, and compassion. The kindness and support of Dr. Dort and the ICU staff in Pod A on the last day are beyond words. Tremendous thanks to the Emergency Staff at the Oil Field Hospital, and to the Air Ambulance, who allowed the end to come with dignity, grace and the presence of family. Thank you to the Home Care Team of Oil Field who supported the last months.

A Celebration of Fraser’s Life will be held at McINNIS & HOLLOWAY’S Park Memorial Chapel (5008 Elbow Drive S.W. Calgary, AB) on Friday, November 2, 2012 at 2:00 p.m.  Condolences may be forwarded through In lieu of flowers, Fraser and Armande wish that you might consider supporting the foundation of research in Head and Neck Cancer that works to prevent and to cure this dreadful disease with cheques please to the Calgary Foundation (#700, 999 – 8 street S.W., Calgary, AB T2R 1J5) cheque memo: Ohlson family endowment fund. Consider alternatively the Tom Baker Cancer Centre,, and all public efforts to educate on the dangers of tobacco.

In living memory of Fraser Balfour, a tree will be planted at Fish Creek Provincial Park by McINNIS & HOLLOWAY FUNERAL HOMES Park Memorial Chapel, 5008 ELBOW DRIVE S.W. Telephone: (403)243-8200

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Condolence Messages

  1. Armande,

    So sorry to hear of Fraser’s passing.Our thoughts and prayers go out to you and the family.


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  2. Wayne and Ruthann Turnbull :

    Armande and Family:

    You have left us the fondest of memories, while moving on to the next stage of forever. Please know our thoughts and prayers are with you.

    Ruthann and Wayne

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  3. Steve and Cathy Turko :

    Dear Armande
    We are very sorry to hear of Fraser’s passing. We are thinking of you at this time and wish to send you our deepest and most sincere sympathy.
    Steve and Cathy Turko

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  4. Simon and Linda Cumming :

    We are so greatly saddened to hear of Fraser’s passing; although we only had the pleasure of meeting him on a few (and far too short) occasions, we certainly appreciated his humour and “joie de vivre”. We have been blessed to know and grow very fond of Fraser’s daughter Jennifer and her family, and our hearts go out to Armande, Jennifer, Harry, Lainey, Isla and Cleo at this difficult time.

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  5. Armande,
    I was very sorry to read about Fraser passing on, especially as I had put off phoning to say hello. It was about a week ago I was thinking of you wondering how Fraser was doing. I had it on my mind to call you but didn’t. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family.

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  6. Words cannot express ones loss at this time. My thoughts are with you and as we have grown apart in years past, fond memories of being with Fraser and family at Windermere, learning to water ski and watching him barefoot ski was a special time in my life. It is always sad to lose someone and to lose someone so young. We are sorry that we cannot attend the memorial as we are now in Arizona, but our sincere thoughts are with you at this time.

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  7. Gilles and Mary :

    For us, it was an honor and a privilege to have known Fraser.
    He was a man of great courage facing his illness with much dignity.
    Our thoughts are with you always.
    Big hugs!

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  8. Heard of Fraser’s death both from the notice in the Globe and Mail as well as from my brother who lives in Calgary. Fraser and I were real good friends a LONG time ago (in the mid-’50’s) when he lived 3 houses away from us on Mulvey Ave in Winnipeg for a couple of years. I got to know Fraser’s parents well as they often took Fraser and I to movies and other events. As noted in the obituary his life appears to have been successful/interesting/too short.
    My condolences to all.

    Mort White

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  9. Tannis,Dave and Jessica McMillan :

    We are very sorry to hear of Frasers passing, and are sending you our condolences and lots of love. Jessica has special memories of you both and the summer trips to your cabin with her Grandma Laurel and her cousins. Our thoughts and prayers are with you.

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  10. Tracy Grayson :

    Armande. My heart is breaking, for you have lost your soul mate. The genuine love you shared was so special and obvious to all you came into contact with. Fraser will be missed.

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  11. Roderick H. McCloy :

    Armande and Family,

    I had the pleasure of working with Fraser and many other people at Cronkhite Supply Ltd. over many years from the 1970’s to the late 1990’s. My condolences on Fraser’s passing.

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  12. Lynne Nielson (Howland) :

    My heartfelt condolences to the Balfour family. I knew Fraser during our teenage years, and have wonderful memories of summers spent at Lake Windemere. I remember well his prowess as a water skier. I was so sorry to read of his passing and feel blessed to have known him.

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  13. Eric Larouche et famille :

    Chère Armande,

    Nous t’offrons nos plus sincères condoléances. Nous sommes avec toi en pensées. Bon courage. xxx

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  14. Armande and family,

    Clive and I were very saddened by the news of Fraser’s passing. We send our condolences and please know our thoughts are with you. We remember you both with much fondness from our years as neighbours.

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  15. Ken and Susan Anderson :

    Dear Armande,

    We are so sorry for your loss. Unfortunately we could not attend the service for Fraser but please know that we were and are thinking of you. Cherish your memories.

    Best regards from Ken and Susan

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