In the early hours of February 4,
2019, the inimitable Tom Fraser
passed on peacefully at the
age of 93. A lifelong resident of
Magnolia, he enjoyed a full life
while always living within a mile
of where he was born. Preceded
in death by the heartbreak of
losing his daughter, Sandra
Anne, and his wife of 57 years,
Nadine Hazel, he is survived by
sons Ross, Paul, and David.
        Tom attended Magnolia Grade
School and Queen Anne High
School. He later enlisted in the
Navy, serving during World War
II. Besides being a man of Scottish
descent who grew up during the
Great Depression, the Navy had
the most profound impact on his
life. Tom later went into the used
car business with his father, and
then opened a dealership of his
own that he operated until age
85. In this capacity he worked with
African-American community
leaders, immigrants and Native
Americans to get people their
first car.
        Hobbies included hunting and
fishing until he gave up hunting
for emotional reasons. He did,
however, continue to pursue
salmon with singular and
murderous intent. There was no
silver lining for a day spent on
the water that didn’t yield fish
death at his hands. It was even
worse if someone else caught a
fish. However, if he did catch
a fish, you were rewarded with
a smile resembling that of a
“jackass eating thistles.”
        He took in stray dogs and stray
people. In doing so he saved
lives. He was a man who had a
dollar bill signed by Jack Benny,
grew a handlebar mustache,
audit i o n e d f o r a b a r b e r ’s
quartet, took a calligraphy
class, and came home one
day to find a ‘65 Mustang
in a near vertical position
between the driveway and his
house ... and didn’t bat an eye.
        Snow was falling and the end
was near. Having played the
musical soundtrack to his
life, we now play the hypnotic
steam and steel pulse of an
engine room. He dreams of a
ship. The iron rudder doesn’t
skip. No heat from slipping rope,
no failing hands, no failing hope.
There is only peace, love and
forgiveness as he leaves to enlist
in the afterlife’s branch of the
Navy. Ascending the gangplank,
he regains youth and sheds a
lifetime of cargo with every step.
As he reaches the apex he is
saluted. His shipmates at once
proclaim “Come aboard Tommy
.. we’ve been expecting you.”
        There will be an informal
memorial at the Discovery Park
Visitors Center from 1:00pm to
4:00pm on Saturday March 16,
2019. All are welcome.