J Fryer

Nelson Fryer

Friday, September 11th, 1953 - Friday, March 20th, 2020
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Fryer, James Nelson
Passed away suddenly at his home in Toronto, on March 20, 2020 in his 67th year. He is sadly missed by his brother Barry (Beth), his nephew Cameron (Sonja), and niece Fiona. Nelson’s career spanned a number of civic organizations, including the City of York, the Ministry of Health, and St. Michael’s Hospital, where he was the Director of Employee & Labour Relations for 15 years. He was a respected and deeply valued colleague who was widely recognized for his kindness, practical wisdom, empathy, and support for all who sought his counsel. He was a mentor and a steadfast friend. His family and many friends will miss his presence in their lives. A Celebration of Life will take place at a future date. Online condolences at Donations may be made to the Canadian Diabetes Association or the Canadian Down Syndrome Society.
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Private Condolence

Sharon Sparks

Posted at 06:27pm
I am a retired nursing manager from St. Mikes and worked quite closely with Nelson. It was very upsetting to hear that he passed away. Nelson was outstanding at his job with employee relations and on many occasions kept me out of trouble. His sense of humour was great and his dedication to his profession was amazing. There was never a time he would not help if you needed it. I will miss our impromptu conversations. My sincere condolences to the family.

Larry Miyata

Posted at 08:29pm
Our condolences to you, Beth, Fiona, Cameron and Sonja on the sudden passing of your brother. Our thoughts are with you all during this difficult time.
Larry and Val

Bruce Gardner

Posted at 11:28am
When you’ve known a friend for decades, it’s easy to take for granted who they are and to think that they will always be there. Until one day they aren’t and you suddenly remember the qualities that made them a friend at the start and kept them a friend ever since.

Nelson was: Smart; witty; funny; always good company (over a burger at lunch or on a week-long ski trip); even tempered; open-minded and tolerant (except toward vegetables and other “exotic” foods); self-sufficient; stubborn; full of good anecdotes; creative (recently resuming his youthful interest in creating music); considerate; often wise in advice to others; reliable and trustworthy; honest (except in his extensive use of mulligans in a round of golf); athletic (softball, ice hockey, ball hockey, tennis, golf, downhill skiing, cross-country skiing, biking, even broomball); knowledgeable on a wide range of topics; opinionated on a wide range of topics (but always open to debate); proud of his niece and nephew; willing to overlook faults in his friends; supportive and encouraging; pleased with the success of his younger HR colleagues; (very) unschooled in the culinary arts; unwilling to drive anything but a Volkswagen (apart from a brief, doomed dalliance with a Land Rover); possessed of an encyclopedic recollection of 1960’s TV shows; blessed with a good head of hair (which fact was often pointed out to his more follically-challenged friends); early-to-rise every day; hard-working and proud of taking very few sick days in 40 years; respected; resistant to modernity in sports equipment (his skates, ice-hockey stick and sweater dated from the 1970’s); disdainful of automatic transmissions; modest in his lifestyle choices; happy to meet friends for breakfast, lunch or supper; undeterred by life-long health challenges (eyesight, diabetes) or recent ones (badly broken leg); and always a source of positive energy to others.

The most satisfying part of Nelson’s life was his work in HR, especially his time at St. Michael’s Hospital. He loved the challenges, the opportunity to make things better and, most of all, the people with whom he worked. Many of the HR staff became his friends, whether they stayed at St. Mike’s or moved onto other employers. He took his role seriously and led by example but had fun at the same time. Nelson had the strength of character to root out the bad apples, to stand up to the occasional hospital bully and to provide support to the deserving.

Nelson was a faithful son, brother and uncle; a dedicated HR professional; a mentor to many of his staff; and a loyal friend.

Tish Belza

Posted at 02:26pm
I have fond memories of working with Nelson at SMH. He guided me through many difficult labour issues with firmness and support. He has a unique ability to see the middle road and his quick wit and love of a good fight saved my sanity. I learned to be a better Manager because of his guidance and suggestions. I am sure he is missed by you and his many friends.

The world was a better place when Nelson was here to see the "other side" and not see just our own perspective. My sympathies to the family at this difficult time.

Robert Gordon

Posted at 10:03pm
My deepest condolences to Barry and family on this sudden loss. I knew Nelson for nearly 35 years mainly as part of the Sunday morning ball hockey crew. Over the years we also played other sports together including softball, golf, and broom ball. After our games we would usually get together as a group for lunch and chat about many things. It was a pleasure to have known Nelson over these many years and benefited from his knowledge, advice and wisdom. Nelson was very devoted to his work and derived a lot of satisfaction from his accomplishments. It will not be the same without Nelson. He was a good friend and I will miss him.

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