While at Trinity, he met Frances Brittain of Ottawa whom he married in 1940. Fred won a scholarship to Oxford University, but WW2 broke out and he was unable to continue his studies. Fred enjoyed his 65th reunion from Trinity in 2001, meeting many old friends.
Fred was ordained Deacon in 1936; Priest in 1939. He served at St. Clement’s, N.Toronto; All Saints, Collingwood before becoming Chaplain to RCAF 1942-47. During the war he was in England and Germany. He returned to St. Matthew’s Cathedral, Brandon 1947-52 where he established Diocese of Brandon Memorial Camp at Clear Lake.
Fred & Frances returned to Ontario to be close to aging parents & served at St. John’s Peterborough 1952-62. Fred was appointed Archdeacon of Peterborough in 1956. In 1962 they went to St. George’s, Oshawa and retired from there 1977. Fred was appointed Archdeacon of Scarborough 1970, later Archdeacon of Durham.
Wherever he lived, Fred was always active in the community, serving on numerous boards and committees, especially those involving children and families.
He was also actively involved in the Diocese of Toronto (on Executive; General Synod; Provincial Synod) for many years, serving on various committees including Exec. of General Board of Religious Education. He advocated strongly for Church Union and ordination of women.
After “retirement”, Fred served half-time in the Training & Education Dept. of Diocese of Toronto as well as interim priest for several parishes (St. Matthew’s Cathedral, Brandon; Saanichton, BC). He taught at Bishop’s School in Pangnirtung, Nunavut and spent as much time as possible in the Far North.
Fred’s reputation as an eloquent, inspiring preacher allowed him to exercise this ministry as guest preacher in many parishes across Canada. His last sermon was at age 89 at the 175th Anniversary of St. John’s Peterborough in May, 2001.
Fred lost his wife of 52 years, Frances, in 1992. After her death he found life too lonely in their retirement home in Buckhorn, Ont. so at age 80 he became honorary assistant at St. John’s, Peterborough & priest in charge, Lakefield, Ontario.
In 1994 Fred and his first childhood girlfriend, Agnes Copple Simpson, met in Ottawa. In Nov. 1994, they were married and moved to Comox, BC to be close to family. Fred nursed Agnes until she died in 2000.
Deeply loved, Fred is survived by his children, Edwin (Montreal), Catherine Veale (Whitehorse, Yukon), Britt (Courtenay, BC); foster sons, Waldo (Calgary) and Eric (Bangkok); 10 grandchildren, 4 great grandchildren and many, many friends. He is also survived by his younger brother, Albert Ongley (Kingston). He is predeceased by his 2 beloved wives, Frances and Agnes and by his older brother, David.
We praise God for this very special person: for his love, his faith, his courage, his integrity, his humour, his many great gifts so freely shared; his life-long ministry.
In his final instructions to his children regarding his death, he wrote, “Keep things simple and joyful. It’s been a great life!”
A Memorial Service of Thanksgiving for Fred’s Life will be held at St. John’s Anglican Church, 99 Brock St., Peterborough, Ontario on Sunday, October 6, 2002 at 2:30 PM.
posted by: Catherine Ongley Veale
Interested in keeping up-to-date on news and information from the Anglican Church of Canada? Sign up for our email alerts and get our stories delivered right to your inbox.