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Frank Watt

(British Columbia & Queen's 1950) (1 September 1927 - 15 October 2023)

Frank was born in Humboldt, Saskatchewan, and brought up in Vancouver. At Kitsilano High School and UBC, he thrived at academics, tennis, rugby, football and student politics. He won a Rhodes Scholarship to Oxford, where he met and married June Reilly. They settled in Toronto, where Frank completed his PhD and was appointed to the English Literature department, University College, U of T. His work included pioneering studies of Canadian working-class literature and a book on Steinbeck. His real passion was his graduate Creative Writing seminar, which nurtured many young writers. Frank's own poetry collection, It's Over It's Beginning, was published in 1986 to critical acclaim. Much later, in his 80s, he self-published 9 books in one go, including novels, stories and poetry. In his 40s, he fell in love with show jumping, first as a rider and then as an avid supporter. Frank lived three happy decades on a beautiful farm near Schomberg with his second wife, Emily Brown, helping with her business transporting horses for some of Canada's top riders. Into his 80s, he was a local squash champion. He spent his final two years at Sunrise of Unionville, where he was loved for his cheerful humour and friendly banter.