Wayne Friars
Wayne Friars
Wayne Friars
Wayne Friars
Wayne Friars
Wayne Friars

Obituary of Wayne Murray Friars

The family of Wayne Murray Friars, 79, of Cambridge-Narrows, New Brunswick, sadly announces he passed away on February 26, 2024. Wayne endured a long battle with dementia and cancer. He spent the last ten months of his life at the Veterans Health Unit in Fredericton, New Brunswick.

Wayne was born on April 1, 1944, to Murray and Jessie (Osbourne) Friars, in Sussex, New Brunswick. He was very active, loved the outdoors and spent as much time out of doors as he could all of his life. He was a Queen scout which he received from Queen Elizabeth herself.

Wayne and Gaila married in Calgary in November 1976 after a time together, and honeymooned in Banff while posted to Cold Lake, Alberta. Family was most important to Wayne and everything was always about the family. Gaila brought two sons into the marriage, Jason and Darcy. Wayne was a devoted and much-loved Dad.

Wayne joined the RCAF in 1962 at age 18 much to his parents’ chagrin. He had already embarked on a huge adventure by riding his motorcycle from Sussex across continental USA through the Mojave Desert and back again. He left Sussex in April of 1962 for St. Jean Quebec began basic training and it was there that he began to make lifelong friends. As one friend described “we were teenagers on an adventure together”. Wayne loved adventures, loved going places. He completed his basic trades training as a photo technician in Camp Borden Ontario. Then followed postings to Cold Lake Alberta, Germany which he thoroughly enjoyed and took the opportunity to travel broadly around Europe and then back again to Cold Lake. He returned from Germany briefly to successfully do winter survival training in northern Alberta. Then eventually followed postings to Summerside PEI, Ottawa, Gagetown New Brunswick where he retired after 30 years and 54 days, as he liked to say, in the CAF. Wayne’s trade as a photo tech including satellite tracking in Cold Lake and allowed him to fly as crew on many types of aircraft which took him to Bermuda, USA, Scotland, and Reykjavik, Iceland. He loved to fly on any aircraft and took every opportunity to fly including jets, helicopters, and everything in between. His favourite was the Argus, long range patrol aircraft flying sovereignty patrols, hunting Russian submarines.

Wayne was a classically trained violinist from age six to seventeen and was once the guest virtuoso at the Halifax Symphony. All of which he put aside for a few years for the military and then began fiddling with gusto in later years.  He could read and write music so one of his ventures was to transcribe old recorded fiddlers on PEI to written music to be preserved. He thoroughly enjoyed playing with the Saint John old time fiddlers and performed regularly. He valued his many fiddler friends and loved performing together.

Wayne was an accomplished woodworker and cabinet maker. He had a major hand in building our house and then made furniture. He had built a cedar strip canoe in Ottawa which we used to go wilderness canoeing as a family. After retirement from the CAF, he also had a framing shop as well as the woodworking shop. In later years he was a self-taught luthier, he made several violins and repaired stringed instruments. He was teaching himself to play the cello and had every intention of someday building a cello.

He was also a skilled mechanic which he learned racing stock cars in Cold Lake and racing snow mobiles. Winter in the north was just another adventure.

Wayne was always a very active man. We were a boating family and towed that boat all across Canada. He was an expert slalom water skier and also loved downhill and cross-country skiing and snowshoeing.

Wayne is survived by his wife Gaila (nee Deveau); sons Jason and Darcy (Sue MacQuarrie); sisters-in-law Connie Friars, Sherry Ann Deveau Reiger (Wayne), and Lorraine Deveau Arsenault (Gordon); brothers-in-law Michael Deveau (Barbara) and Jerry Deveau (Brenda); twelve nephews, and three nieces.   In addition to his parents, he was predeceased by his brother Bernard and sister Audrey (Carmen Kelly).

Wayne received consistently excellent nursing and medical care at the Veterans Health Unit in Fredericton as well as kind, compassionate care from all of the staff. The family is most grateful that we were able to entrust his care to them and know that he was well and lovingly cared for every day of life.

Arrangements have been entrusted to Oromocto Funeral Home. In keeping with Wayne’s wishes, no visitation or funeral will be held. For those who wish, memorial donations may be made to the Oromocto Food Bank or any local Food Bank or SPCA, or a charity of the donor’s choice. Online condolences are gratefully accepted at www.oromoctofh.com.


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