TRAVERSE CITY [mdash] John Frederick Fraiser, 63, of Traverse City, passed away Saturday, Sept. 7, 2019 at his home. He was born on June 28, 1956 in Owosso the son of Carole Sovia.
He grew up in Beulah on Crystal Lake and graduated from Benzie Central High School in 1974.
On Aug. 20, 1977 John married Merrilee (Hodgekins) Leatherman. They were married for over 42 years.
John retired after 35 years with the Traverse City Parks and Recreation Division, retiring as city forester. He implemented an Urban Forestry Program that went from reactive to proactive and with the help of his co-workers, planted over 5,000 trees along the streets and in the parks of the city.
He was a member of the International Society of Arboriculture (I.S.A.), Society of Municipal Arborists (S.M.A.), Arboriculture Society of Michigan (A.S.M.) and the Botanic Garden at Historic Barns Park. He was also an internationally certified arborist.
His favorite quote was, “I speak for the trees, for the trees have no tongue,” by the Lorax (Dr. Seuss).
The most important thing in John’s life was his family. Throughout his life he spent summers with family and friends at cookouts, tubing, canoeing and enjoying numerous gatherings. He enjoyed working in their many flower beds, vegetable garden and doing landscape and installation for family and friends. John loved to travel to different locations in Central America, the Caribbean and the annual jaunts to Las Vegas. From tropical beaches, islands, jungles and rainforests to the sites and sounds of Vegas, he enjoyed them all.
He is survived by his wife, Mary; mother, Carole; daughters, Victoria (Michael) Shank and Dawn Fraiser; grandchildren, Derrick, Brooke, Amanda and Courtney; great-grandchildren, Colten and Lilly; brother, Fred (Diana) Fraiser; sister, Kelene Fraiser; and numerous nieces and nephews.
John was preceded in death by his father, Frederick Freeman Fraiser; and brother, Ted Isham.
Cremation has taken place. An informal memorial gathering will be held from 4 to 9 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 12, 2019 at Life Story Funeral Home.
His preference, in lieu of flowers, is to have memorial contributions made to the Cancer Patient Needs at Cowell Family Cancer Center, 1150 Medical Campus Dr. Traverse City, MI 49684.
Please visit to sign the guest book, share your thoughts and memories, view the digital film and more.

View Original NoticeFRAISER, John Jun 28, 1956 - Sep 7, 2019