Celebration of life September 30 for Dr. Robert T. Fraser, 1946-2023

Family and friends will gather September 30 to celebrate the life of Dr. Bob Fraser, and they’re sharing this remembrance with his community:

Dr. Robert (Bob) T. Fraser, 76, passed away at his West Seattle home on May 12, 2023. Bob was a loving husband, father, son, brother, and grandfather and dedicated advocate for people with disabilities. Bob was the first born of four children to Hugh and Mary Fraser; July 9, 1946, Staten Island, NY. After graduating Lemoyne College with a BA in English, he served in the US Army as a decorated Sergeant in Vietnam.

He then returned to further his education, earning a MS in Rehabilitation Counseling from University of Southern California, a PhD in Rehabilitation Counseling Psychology from the University of Wisconsin – Madison and a Master of Public Administration from Seattle University. He was a certified rehabilitation counselor and certified life care planner.

Bob’s distinguished professional academic career began at the University of Washington in 1976 as consultant for the Department of Rehabilitation Medicine. In 1977, Arthur A. Ward MD hired him as an Assistant Professor in the Department of Neurological Surgery, where he established the vocational rehabilitation program. This program grew to become the non-profit Neurology Vocational Services Unit within the UW Epilepsy Surgery Program and now treats people with various neurological conditions. In 1991, he was promoted within these two departments to Professor, and eventually Professor Emeritus.

He has served on the Boards of numerous professional organizations. His scholarly work includes authoring more than 140 peer-reviewed journal articles and book chapters. His leadership, competence, and abilities have been recognized by numerous federal grants that span the National Institutes of Health to the Veterans Association to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC).

Not only a scientific scholar, but Bob was also very active in the Seattle community. He was a long-time member and past President of the Emerald City Rotary, as well as contributor to Our Lady of Guadalupe Parish, and a beloved and well-known local in West Seattle.

He lived life with gusto as an ardent lover of food and culture, especially the language, art, and food of Italy. Most of all, he loved his friends and family, all of whom have been deeply touched by his kindness, modesty, compassion, enthusiasm, wit, humor, drive, and humble dedication to improving the lives of others.

Bob is survived by his wife Nora Gibson (West Seattle), daughter Simone Bruyere Fraser and husband Miles Forgette and grandson Fraser Forgette (West Seattle), stepdaughter Anne and husband Stewart Moore and children (Ethan and Isla) (Edmonds, WA), stepson William and wife Shannon Stabler and son (Christopher) (Portland, OR), brothers John Fraser (Brooklyn, NY) and Tom Fraser (Seattle), and sister Virginia Fraser (Chicago, IL).

Commemorative services for Bob will be held September 30th at 11 AM at Our Lady of Guadalupe Parish in West Seattle. If you would like to make a donation in memory of Bob, you can do so to the Neurological Vocational Services within the University of Washington Rehabilitation Medicine Department (nvsrehab.org) or the Foundation for Rehabilitation Psychology (rehabpsych.org).

(WSB publishes West Seattle obituaries and memorial announcements by request, free of charge. Please email the text, and a photo if available, to westseattleblog@gmail.com)

3 Replies to "Celebration of life September 30 for Dr. Robert T. Fraser, 1946-2023"

  • Mikey September 13, 2023 (12:18 pm)

    Thank you for your service to our country and community.

  • Cali Ave September 13, 2023 (8:44 pm)

    I’m so sad to hear this. A few years ago I was given the number to call from my doctor and make an appointment with the clinic. To my shock (and his), Dr Fraser himself answered the phone.  We had a very long and thoughtful conversation about planning on how to start my help. What a magnificent person he was. I am forever grateful for knowing the world he helped make better. 

  • 4thGenWestSide September 14, 2023 (9:53 am)

    Bob was a very kind and generous person.  My daughter worked for him prior to medical school.  He and his wife, extended family have all of our prayers. All of them, equally wonderful human beings. 

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