A ceremony of life for Dr. Wendell Grasse (Poppa) will be held on August 5th from 10 am until 12 pm at 50 Penny Lane, Charlottetown, PEI. Speakers will begin at 10:45 am, light refreshments will be served. All are welcome to join and celebrate Wendell’s life. We hope to see you there.
Private family gathering for the burial of ashes will occur on August 5th at 238 Ferguson Landing Lane, Rocky Point at 5 pm.
A couple of weeks prior to his 84th birthday, Wendell passed away peacefully and pain free at home as he wanted on March 21, 2023.
The youngest of a large farming family from Douglas, New Brunswick, Wendell was raised by his loving parents Edith and LeBaron and his siblings Rose, Clifford, Clarence, Murray, Bud and Betty. Wendell enjoyed his childhood in the country, fishing with his pals, learning animal stewardship through 4H and playing hockey on the pond.
Upon graduation from Fredericton High School, his academic and athletic skills afforded him the opportunity to attend Nova Scotia Agricultural College (NSAC) and then Ontario Veterinary College (OVC), graduating in the Class of ‘64. While at OVC he played varsity hockey, enjoyed an active social life and was involved in many clubs. A lifelong hockey fan, Wendell played in the gentlemen’s league and coached minor hockey for years. He played floor hockey 3 days before he died.
He met his wife Marion (née Blaikie) at an NSAC dance while she was attending NS Teachers’ College. Married in 1963, they subsequently moved to PEI to begin their family in the “Kentucky of Canada”. On PEI Wendell built an active career, expanded his family and shared his love of horses. Together with Marion, they made Penny Lane Stables a welcoming place to be. Visitors were always amazed at the beautiful grounds, the variety of riders around the barn and everyone was invited into the kitchen to enjoy a cup of coffee.
Over the years Wendell took many leadership positions in organizations associated with animals, agriculture, the veterinary community, horses, the Charlottetown Driving Park, minor hockey and the PEI Loyalists. He occupied a central position in the horse community and was known for his ability to find quality horses for equestrian enthusiasts of all kinds.
In the early 1970s there were few equine veterinarians in PEI, with Wendell being one of the first to provide large animal services across Queens County. Being a lover of desserts, Wendell coordinated his vet visits with the baking schedules of the farm wives. The twinkle in his eye got him many sweet treats.
Wendell was instrumental in having the Atlantic Veterinary College established in Charlottetown and ended his professional life as the Director of the Teaching Hospital at the AVC.
Committed though he was to his career and family, Wendell took any opportunity to have a little fun. He hid dead rodents in riding boots, wrestled over pieces of pie, soaked people with buckets of water and dressed up in a bear suit and ran around the yard.
He cherished his friends from FHS, NSAC and OVC. Well into his 70s Wendell and OVC pals got together in Alberta to drive cattle out of the foothills on horseback, and lead them down to summer pastures.
Wendell was a fantastic father and although he loved his children: Holly (Patrick Mason), Kip (Shannon Johnson), Jason (Wanida-Allie) and Aaron, he adored his grandchildren: Phoebe, David and Henry Mason of Fredericton and Charlottetown and Harrison and Piper Grasse of Halifax, and by extension to Jacqui, Ally and Greg Scaman. He loved being called “Poppa” and would endlessly boast about the accomplishments of his grandchildren. Wendell cherished the visits he had with numerous nieces and nephews, so many were so special.
Later in life Wendell acquired a property in Rocky Point which became his retirement project, giving him even more lawn to rake and mow. He spent wonderful days planting, renovating buildings and walking the beach. At the end of long gardening days he sat back and enjoyed a glass of wine on the deck while watching the world go by.
Wendell experienced several health challenges in his later years but never lamented. Despite the challenges he faced, when asked, he always said he was “fine and dandy.” Through the generosity of friends, family and PEI HomeCare, he remained active and happy, living at the top of Penny Lane, his home for over 50 years.
Resting at Hillsboro Funeral Home. In accordance with Wendell's wishes, there will not be a funeral service. Instead, he asked for a celebration of his life to occur during the summer. (A date and place to be announced).
In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to Operation Smile. Condolences may be sent to Marion Grasse, 50 Penny Lane, Charlottetown, PEI C1E 1V5.
Wendell always had one hand on a rake and one hand on the reins.