Fred Chernoff

Fred Chernoff Obituary

Fredrick Michael Chernoff was born October 26, 1934 in the Kamsack area. He left this Earth in the care of his family and friends on June 14, 2023 at exactly 5:00 PM. Fred was a perfectionist, as many people may know, and made his own decision that it was “quitting time”.

Predeceased by his parents, Mike and Pauline (nee Savinkoff) Chernoff, brother Roger and sister Judy Douglas, Fred leaves behind his wife of 66 years, Norma, son Daryl (Tina), daughter Nissa (Darwin McMaster), and five grandchildren, Michael, Cadence and Aurora Chernoff and Dale McMaster and Casey McMaster, who will be forever grateful for all the things their Grandpa did for them. He taught them many things, told them many interesting stories and showed them how to be creative with what you had to work with. We, of course, can’t forget the numerous nieces, nephews, cousins and in-laws who also had the pleasure of being in his presence.

Fred was born on the family farm and was educated in the Kamsack area at Whitesand School, White School and at the Kamsack Collegiate Institute. He recalled walking as well as riding his horse to get to school. Fred went on to Teachers’ College in 1952 and began teaching others in 1953. He still held a Professional “A” Certificate into the 1980’s when he worked as a substitute teacher. He continued passing on knowledge for the rest of his life to his children, grandchildren, family and friends. He was quite the expert in many fields…from building, planning, farming and just basic general knowledge (including reminding his family how to plant potatoes during May long weekend in 2023. It should also be noted that Fred was in the garden pulling weeds the day before he passed.)

Fred married the love of his life, fellow teacher, Norma Harper on July 15, 1958. Their marriage took them from the Kamsack/Togo area, to Marengo, Asquith, Saskatoon, Calgary, Bragg Creek and back to the Kamsack area. They left the farm to return to Saskatoon in November 2019.

Norma helped Fred return to school to gain his degree in Mechanical Engineering at the U of S from 1964 to 1967. He worked with Saskmont Engineering as one of the senior engineers and designed systems used in the buildings such as the Boundary Dam power project near Estevan, Wascana Hospital (now Sask Polytech), RCMP Depot “C” Block in Regina and the Cancer Clinic to name a few. He was elected a lifetime member of The Association of Professional Engineers of Saskatchewan on February 9, 1995.

From their time teaching together, Fred and Norma developed close friendships with teachers and others, including a very close friend group who called themselves “Viva la Companie”. Stories of parties, dances and sing-alongs are something the group will remember forever. They actually have their own songbook that is kept somewhere in the house to this day.

In 1975 Fred and Norma, along with their children, returned to the Kamsack area to farm with Fred’s brother Roger and father Mike. Fred and Norma built their dream home on the Chernoff homestead, where Fred was born, and toiled with his Dad and brother on the farm while Norma continued to teach at Victoria School.

In the 1980’s after deciding to leave farming to others, Fred could not sit still for long. He moved onto building houses (including his sisters house in Ontario) and other renovation jobs, providing tiling and other services for the local area – from garages, kitchens and bathrooms to full size swimming pools for a hotel.

Fred gave back to his community in various ways, volunteering to manage/coach hockey and spearheading the Assiniboine Rural Pipeline Association cooperative in Kamsack which supplied water to local farms and acreages. He started on the board as Treasurer and kept that title until he retired from the board after 25 years or service that also included planning, installing pipelines and after getting his certifications, operating the water system. Fred was a lifelong learner.

Fred was a great Dad and Grandpa and will be missed for all he did to help his family learn and grow. From building robot costumes for figure skating, rocket ships out of old oil cans, paper airplanes and gardening to just simply watching a movie with his grandkids. The grandkids have great memories of special times over the years from visits at “the farm” and Saskatoon to look back on.

He always had fond memories of camping, hunting and fishing trips and loved telling the stories of all the fun he had with his family and friends on those adventures. But we can’t forget his sharpshooting skills of hunting rodents in the yard who messed with the garden and bird feeders.

Fred blended well with the neighbours after moving back to Saskatoon. It was always easy for him to engage with people and make new friends throughout his life. There are still many close friends of 60 + years who can say with certainty that he was a good, caring person who loved to tell stories. It was also a real blessing, having him closer to family to be taken care of right next door.

Our sincere apologies to the local owners, CEO’s and shareholders of The Home Depot, Lowes, Home Hardware, Princess Auto, Lee Valley and Canadian Tire among others that will see an immediate drop in profitability. Dad enjoyed finding sales and buying tools and gadgets right up to the end. Fred liked having “the right tool for the job” and just in case, bought several of the same to ensure anyone else who needed one could borrow it. You could always ask him the question, “Do you have something that can do this?” And he would disappear downstairs or into the garage and bring back exactly what was needed.

Fred requested that there be no funeral. The family will plan a small celebration of life at some point when it works best for Norma. Fred told Nissa near the end to “have a party” and we will respect his wishes.

Fred dealt with lung cancer (and “rang the bell” earlier this spring), heart issues and COPD over the past decade. If anyone wishes to donate on Fred’s behalf, please choose a cancer fund like “Helping Families Handle Cancer Foundation” (one granddaughter works for the organization) or the Heart and Stroke Foundation. He also would have loved to have planted a forest on his home quarter if he ever won the lottery, so planting a tree in his honour would be a wonderful gesture.

He will certainly be missed by many.

To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Fred Chernoff, please visit our floral store.

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