Malcolm Fruin
Malcolm Fruin
Malcolm Fruin

Obituary of Malcolm George Fruin

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We are saddened to share that our father, Malcolm George Fruin passed away on Sunday, September 24th, in Cranbrook BC, at Joseph Creek Care Village, in his 91st year. He was pre-deceased by his devoted wife of almost 65 years, Joan, in June 2022.  He is survived by his children, Sally Piitz (Neil), Russell (Lorrie Ann), and Neal (Dora).  Proud and adoring Gramps of Tyler, Malcolm, Carter, Nicolas, and Oliver Fruin, and step-grandchildren Kevin, Brad, and Andrea Piitz.  

Malcolm was born on February 15, 1933, in London, England, to Percy and Kitty Fruin, within the sound of Bow Bells as he loved to tell us - a true Cockney.   He was pre-deceased by his brother Gordon, and sister Muriel, with whom he was very close.  He leaves behind many cousins, nieces, and nephews in Canada, England, Wales, the US, and Australia. 

Dad was sent to the City of London Freeman’s School in Surrey at 8 years old, to be in a safer place during the bombing of London at the start of the Battle of Britain.  He loved being an “Old Freeman”, and kept in touch with the organization his entire life.  He excelled at sports, particularly cricket and rugby, where he was captain of both teams throughout his school years.

He studied economics at London University, followed by his 2 - year national service in the army corps where he met Mum.  They emigrated to Canada in 1958, looking for a better life.  They settled in Montreal, where Sally and Russell were born.  Dad began his career in Market Research with International Surveys.  He joined Eli Lilly & Company in 1964, moving the family to Toronto, where Neal was born in 1965. Dad found his niche in marketing and moved quickly up the ranks within Lilly.  A transfer to Indianapolis in 1966, was followed by another to Johannesburg in 1969, where he held the position of General Manager.  Dad loved South Africa and maintained many friendships, and a membership with the Nomads Golf Association until his passing. 

We returned to Canada in 1972, where Dad took over as VP and General Manager of Lilly Canada.  He was president of the Pharmaceutical Manufacturers Association of Canada, as well as the Canadian Wholesale Drug Association.  Dad was a born manager and believed in delegating responsibilities and letting people make decisions without repercussions.  He knew everyone’s name who worked for him and loved showing appreciation for jobs well done.

We moved to Bowmanville in 1973, and the homestead on Mearns Avenue was established.  So many happy memories and friendships were made there.    Dad left Lilly in 1980 and founded Fruin Consultants Inc.  He started out as a management consultant within the pharmaceutical industry, branching into over-the-counter product distribution.  He and his business partner, Dave Hankinson, established Kingswood Canada, cultivating the business into a multi - faceted entity providing product distribution, temporary sales forces, marketing solutions, and consulting. 

Dad retired from full time work when they sold the company in the early 90’s.  He was on various boards of directors until he “really” retired, and they moved to Qualicum Beach on Vancouver Island.  After a couple of years, they decided to move to Kimberley in the BC interior, to be closer to Russ and Neal and their growing families. 

Malcolm fell in love with Kimberley, and everything to do with south eastern BC.  He volunteered at the Helping Hands food bank, which became a passion for him.  Running the (then) annual Duck Race down the St Mary river on July 1st weekend was one of his favourite events.  He did his turn on their Strata board, and was interested in local politics and civics. 

Our father taught us the value of maintaining friendships for life, no matter how far apart geographically they might be.  Even an annual Christmas card was enough contact to be a dear friend.  He loved all animals, swing music, marmite and cucumber sandwiches, steak and kidney pie, gin and tonics, South African wines, house exchanges in Australia and New Zealand, spending winters in Titusville when they first retired, and most of all his family. 

His passion was playing golf. One of his proudest achievements was playing over 600 courses during his lifetime, #600 being at Shadow Mountain in Cranbrook BC.   He loved the highs and lows following the Blue Jays (ok…not the lows…) puttering in the garden, “chockie” bars, Pisco Sours, Walls ice cream, Mum’s Christmas cake, and having a kind conversation with everyone he came across.  

We remember Dad for the man he was, and how bravely he battled dementia at the end.  We would like to extend our deepest thanks to the caring staff at Joseph Creek Village in Cranbrook for their kindness, gentleness, patience, and respect.  A special thank you to Dr. White and her team for looking after Dad over the past year.

We will miss you, PM!  Thank you for everything... rest in peace knowing you “made it happen”.  Hit it straight not often…. we love you. 

Dad requested no funeral or service.  Family cremation has taken place.  Memorial donations to your local food bank or animal rescue are greatly appreciated.

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