OBITUARY

Frank "Fridgie" Christopher Gaudreau

August 19, 1975July 23, 2018
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Frank grew up in Douro among his many aunts and uncles in a house just off his grandparents farm. His neighborhood friends all close cousins. From a young age he loved playing hockey and later dedicated time to coaching. He was affectionately known as “Fridgie” by his close friends, the name he had inscribed on his toolbox given to him by his Dad Hank. After high school he graduated from Humber College as a licensed Funeral Director and worked at funeral homes in the Peterborough area, Toronto and in Thunder Bay where he met his wife Emilie. Frank became a very proud Dad to Kameron in 2006. Frank and Emilie bought their first home in Thunder Bay which he lovingly restored. The family moved to Sioux Lookout after Emilie graduated from college and with a new home again Frank was knee deep in renovations and loving every minute of it. Frank decided then to begin a new career as an independent building contractor and eventually went into the trades to become a Master Electrician. Frank loved music and lugged his guitar along with him, that one possession he wouldn’t think of leaving behind no matter where he travelled and lived. During his life Frank valued family more than anything else. He was very proud of his Douro roots and the Gaudreau and Barry family in which he was raised. Later in life as he was away working he loved keeping in touch with family and friends on Facebook, posting pictures and favourite songs and sharing old memories. Frank never “liked” something on Facebook, he was quick to comment and tell everyone that he loved and missed them. He was always so proud to post pictures of his son Kameron, the one closest to his heart. He will be missed by his son Kameron Gaudreau, his mother Mary Anne Connor, his sister Tammy Rutter (Michael) and niece and nephew Holly and Charles Horton. Fondly remembered by Emilie, his aunts and uncles and many cousins.

Services

  • Visitation Tuesday, July 31, 2018
  • Visitation Tuesday, July 31, 2018
  • Mass of Christian Burial Wednesday, August 1, 2018
REMEMBERING

Frank "Fridgie" Christopher Gaudreau

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Nancy McCarthy

September 1, 2018

I just recently learned that Frankie had passed away. I was principal at St. Joseph's School in Douro when Frankie was in Grade 8. I got to know Frankie that year and although there were some challenges, it was obvious that Frankie was a capable learner and had a very likeable personality.

About 10 years later, when I was principal at St. Teresa's school in Peterborough, Frankie came as part of a team of people to teach some of our students First Aid. Frankie quickly introduced himself and was very quick to tell me he had, "turned his life around" . He did an excellent job with the students; showing great patience, humour and teaching them the necessary skills. It was a pleasure to see him and that is the memory I have had of Frankie all these years. He was very happy and I was very happy for him.

I extend my sincere condolences to Frankie's immediate and extended families. It is clear he was dearly loved.

Amy Wrigley

August 31, 2018

It was suggested I share what I posted on my Facebook on your birthday on here...so here goes my dear Frank...

You always said you loved everything I ever picked out for you, so when I was in Vegas last month I searched for the perfect baseball hat for your birthday, and found it. A little spot of Irish for my Irish Partner in Crime. I was excited to give it to you when you came to see me on what would have been your 43rd birthday today. Instead, I travelled to Sioux Lookout this weekend to celebrate your birthday with your Sioux family and give the hat to your son. We swapped stories, watched videos of you, ate your favourite meals and cake, and prayed for you in church. I asked Mamma Den to save me your favourite shirt I bought you so I can wear it when I need a hug from you. We had a one-of-a-kind friendship that made me feel truely loved, supported and appreciated. You were always my biggest cheerleader. I really hope I made you feel the same way. I planted a tree in your memory in our backyard. It blooms beautiful half heart flowers every spring. I sure do miss you my "Kijiji" friend! Happy Birthday Frank ❤

Dana Frances

August 16, 2018

He used to pick me up and take me for a trip like in that song "come on I wanna take you away from this and what has got you ..."

One time he saw me walking in the rain from my school placement and gave me a ride in a city where no one saw me. This was at a time when I had nobody and nothing.

He wrote me an interesting love letter once while relaxed that now makes even more mysterious sense. His handwriting was so beautiful; I kept it.

And when I started coming to Sioux Lookout, I looked him up and saw he lived here. Now I see we had our children in the same year.

The only thing I don't know is what all recently happened and am kind of scared to know.

He isn't in pain now anyway and that is for sure.

Mary Ellen Barry

August 2, 2018

Precious memories of Frank (always "Frankie" to us)
Well-living right next door to the Gaudreau's brought us many many good times in the neighbourhood.
Riding bikes in the driveway, building forts, tobogganing on the green lane, or maybe even roller skating in the basement. Who knew what all the Cousin Clan was up to.
One thing we did know is that the children had a unique and very special situation, growing up together as a clan.
Jay, Frank, Jenny, & Nicole-with Denise and Chad always striving to keep up.
Tammy & Penny always the responsible two, keeping the watchful eye.
(OK-maybe we twisted their arm a bit)
Family picnics at Grandma & Grandpa Barry's farm with all of the cousins - Roseanne, Maureen, Susan, Arlene and Kimmy, Renee, Michelle & Colin. They were not in the hood, but we all spent so much time together during those growing up years.
Brian, Barry & Jane arrived a few years later but the picture is the same-An abundance of love and good times together. Of course there were challenges as there always are in life, but we met them with faith, hope and love together.

We will miss you Frankie.
God's Blessings to you Dear Boy as you find make your place, settling into your new life in heaven , reunited with all of your loved ones who have gone before you. What a celebration it will be !!

Love You
Aunt Mare & Uncle Frank

Amy Wrigley

August 1, 2018

You were a true original. Heart always on your sleeve, with the most powerful charisma, strength, humour, and talent. I will never forget your gentle spirit. Losing you has forever changed me. Rest well my dearest friend. I love you now and forever. ..Your Ames.

Catherine & Mart Leahy

July 31, 2018

MaryAnn ,Tammy ,Micheal, Holly and Charlie
Our deepest condolences in the loss of Frankie. I know your hearts are broken into a million pieces at this time. Cherish all the beautiful, precious memories and times shared and hope it will give you some comfort and your love for Frankie will remain in your heavy heart always and forever.
May he Rest In Peace

Nicole Barry

July 31, 2018

I have so many great memories of you Frank. Growing up in a neighbourhood of cousins has been one of life’s greatest blessings. Family shaped us; gave us a sense of connection and belonging that others envied. We always looked out for each other. You had a protective nature with me that was so comforting when times were tough. I think we were the original "Goonies". You always brought lots of adventure into our lives. You had a great imagination and whether we were playing “house”, “school” or “war”, there was always an exciting twist when you played along. We spent many lively afternoons GT’ing and biking down the “green lane”... you were such a daredevil, often pushing me to face my fears. We loved listening to music, doing air bands and dancing together like a wild tribe! Your passion for music was intense. You felt things deeply and your gift to play was an outlet that was therapeutic for you and anyone listening. With a mischievous smile, a whole lot of charm and a sparkle in your eye, you shared your soul with us and for that, I am truly grateful.

It hurts to say goodbye. Until we meet again, the soundtrack of your life will spark memories and bring me comfort.

Forever in my heart, I love you cuz.

Nicole

Colleen Sandison

July 31, 2018

My heartfelt sympathies to All. I have fond memories of Frank ( still Franky to me ) coming thru his Aunt Christine and Uncle Jimmy's side door with a smile and grin that lit up the entire kitchen. Anyone would be hard pressed not to be able to smile right back. He touched so many. RIP

Terry and Bonnie O'Brien

July 30, 2018

It has been said that our lives are not measured by the years in our life but by the lives of the people we touch. While we never had the opportunity to know Frank personally it is clear from the memories posted here that Frank was dearly loved by many and that he loved deeply. That is the measure of a life well lived. Our most sincere condolences to the Barry and Gaudreau families. Sending thoughts and prayers.

Terry & Bonnie

Shelley Toft

July 30, 2018

Frank you will be missed by many that met you...Frank came to my aid at a time that I needed help...he was a person that would step up if he could help his friends...I will miss your singing voice and tunes you shared...

Biography

Hey Frank- it is your big sister Tammy. You are home little brother, in the Douro church where you took your sacraments. You were baptized right here with your Godparents. You stood right there taking your first communion and confirmation and served on the altar as altar boy. You proudly walked me down that aisle. You stood here at the podium to give Grandma’s eulogy- you were always so good with words, offering comfort and wisdom laced with your great humour. You told the story about grandma getting pulled over by the police for speeding and that the only person who left with a ticket was the police officer – one for the Douro Doings Quilt Raffle she happened to be carrying around in the car. Again you stood here to say goodbye to Uncle Johnny and painted the beautiful picture of him arriving in heaven to stop at the Pearly Gates to ask St. Peter what gauge of steel them there gates were made of. You visited this church many times over the years in your job as a funeral director, looking after all those little details that were such a comfort to the grieving families. You looked so professional and so handsome all dressed up in a suit….and you knew it.
Your old colleagues and friends from Comstock's arranged to bring you home Frank. You will be proud to know you had one of the longest funeral procession ever- 4000 km round trip. Country roads taking you home. God sent the rain to make everything beautiful and green for your trip. I imagine you would have loved every minute of it, you had made that trip so many times. I bet you would have wished you could have driven it one more time in that shiny truck you loved so much. You loved the north and had many friends from here to there. People who shared their home with you while you were away from yours. People you had helped and loved.
When you arrived home you found Mom had planned a great celebration for you. With every small detail looked after from the music to the flowers. She forgot nothing right down to the clean socks you are wearing today. Such is a mother’s love- to worry about things like that. Your niece Holly Bear worked on a beautiful tribute putting together pictures and videos to share at the celebration. So much of it we found on Facebook, it made us smile and laugh and cry. Always the joker. You loved to connect with people through Facebook, always sending messages of love. We are so grateful to have those memories now.
Emily has made the long trip Frank from Sioux Lookout to bring Kam home to the people who loved you and knew you first. You always spoke so fondly of her, you bragged about what an incredible mother she was. You were grateful that she was there for Kam when you couldn’t be. Kam has turned into quite a handsome young man just like his dad. I know how proud of him you are. I know you would love to see Kam and Charlie hanging out together, our boys born only 1 day apart, that cousin bond was so important to you. Last night as a family we received friends and family at the funeral home you used to work in. Kam brought your guitar home Frank. He knew his dad would want it next to him. You loved your music and could make that guitar sing. When you moved from place to place you sometimes needed to leave some things behind, but never that. I remember getting a call from you that you were leaving town and you needed to drop something off at my house. I walked in the front door to find your grandfather clock…yah I am still not sure what to do with it.
Today you were on the road again as you made your way to this church. On the way you passed by grandma and grandpa’s farm where we had those family reunions you loved. You couldn’t wait for the races and were a fierce competitor for those little red ribbons. You weren’t above tripping a cousin or two on the way to the finish line to get one either. The farm is the place you first discovered your love of building, and honed your skills with cousin Jay to build a fort complete with a skylight at the age of 11.
The car slowed next past the house you grew up in and the houses of all the Aunts and Uncles where you played for hours on your Big Wheel or GT snow racer, where you tore up the Douro dirt on your dirt bike with your friends in your “Bad Boys Club” and had to be dragged in the house at night. You drove by the place we waited for the school bus- all 8 cousins. I remember one school morning I decided to pull a prank on you and I got up early and painted your finger nails while you were sleeping. I woke you up one minute before the bus came, I told you I had your lunch and bag ready and we had to run for the bus or we would be late. We tore out of the house and as the bus pulled up you looked down and saw the ruby red polish. By the time I got home from school that day I was a little more than worried about what might be coming my way. But you surprised me. You acted like nothing had happened and offered me the last slice of left over pizza. When I finished eating it you let me know that you had licked it before you put it in the fridge the night before. Sometimes the best way to describe our relationship was survival of the fittest. But we always loved each other no matter what. I know you would have liked to stop there on the Boundary Rd for a little while longer Frank but we had to keep on going.
Next you reached the Douro arena where you played and coached hockey. You loved the game and you were good at it…and you knew it. I remember us laughing at Mom coming to your games wearing a full length fur coat. Try as she may she didn’t really fit in with the other hockey moms. We loved her for it. From the arena you had only a few more kilometers to go.
As the car pulled up to the church, your old school St. Joseph’s Douro was in sight. There were good memories for you there. You were a very intelligent boy, so smart and sometimes just a little too smart with your teachers. Always the class clown. Someone shared with me that you had one particular French teacher who became quite frustrated with your antics and in a very French accent said “Frank take the door” and in true Frank style you proceeded to try to take it from his hinges on your way out.
Finally as you looked away from the school you saw that you were here at the church, your cousins and friend waiting to carry you up the steps you had climbed so many times before. You found your friends and your people waiting in the church for you here Frank, the Gaudreau’s and the Barry’s gathered together for this last celebration of your life. There were times in this life you seemed to be chasing peace Frank. I know that you would want to tell the ones closest to you not to have any regrets, that you are grateful that they were part of your journey and that they helped you find moments of peace and happiness and great joy along the way. The table has been set for the reception later where we will fete in true Irish style with triangle sandwiches and tarts, a guitar and fiddle. Together we will sing you back home.

Today you will climb that stairway to heaven, yes the one you played over and over and over again on your guitar. I know God will be there to welcome you and our dad will be first in line to greet you. It will be a sweet reunion I know for sure. You will have uncles and grandparents there and dear friends you have been missing. And I know you will find peace Frank, everlasting peace. Rest easy little brother you are home. Love you