CKC Mourns the loss of Fred Heese

Alumni, Canoe Sprint
Posted By: Canoe Kayak Canada

It is with great sadness that Canoe Kayak Canada recognizes the passing of Fred Heese, a Tokyo 1964 Olympian and passionate paddler.

Fred passed away on February 28 in his 81st year after a brave battle with colon cancer.

A dedicated paddler, Fred spent his career at many clubs including Cartierville, West Rouge and Mississauga.

In 1964, he was a part of the Olympic team in Tokyo where he came back with 7th place in C2. After his incredible sprint career, he took on a love for marathon paddling and represented Canada at the Marathon Canoe World Championships in his mid 40s.

Leading his life with his love for being on the water, into his later years he turned to competing in dragon boat where he founded the Toronto Dragon Boat Festival.  Fred was both an athlete and coach, and competed at many Dragon Boat World Championships, leading Team Canada to gold. He took great pride in the sport and throughout the years recruited many athletes into the paddling community.  Fred’s dedication, passion and positivity will live on throughout the future of our sport.

One of Fred’s many quotes, which he said to his son, Mark, and to those around him was “somebody’s got to win, why not you?” – a wonderful mentality for both athlete and coach alike.

Canoe Kayak Canada staff and board wishes to express our deepest sympathies to Fred’s family and all those affected by this devastating loss.

Details on the service and donations on Fred’s behalf can be found here.