Nicholas “Nick” Anthony Vandergragt

On January 25, 2024 at Victoria General Hospital.

Nick was living on his boat Summersong in Sooke, BC and had just celebrated 40th anniversary with his wife and very best friend Alison. He is remembered by his 8 children, Katherine Schutt (Daren), Peter (Andrea), Jordan (Emma), Alyssa Hanlon (Jamie), Andrea Uí Mhaolagáin (Diarmid), MarkAnthony (Mariah), Gabrielle and Michaela (Mitchel); 4 grandchildren, Hailey, Emily & Samuel Schutt, Phillipa (Pippa) Hanlon; brother to Angela Reaume, Jacquline, and Laura (deceased 2007 with her son Dylan); parents, Peter and Carole Vandergragt (both deceased 1983).

Nick was a 10 year Navy veteran, Marine Engineer served mostly on HMCS Saguenay at CFB Halifax in the 1980’s. He spent 22 years in the Ottawa Valley raising their family on Vanderbrook Farm, known as the gathering place for family and friends and the occasional person needing a soft place to land and a place where Nick always referred to as ‘the best place to raise kids, animals and lots of weeds.’

He worked for 14 years in Ottawa as a talk show host of CFRA’s popular ‘Nick at Night’ and ‘Sunnyside Nick’ where he was active in the Food Aid Ottawa, a yearly BBQ and fundraiser for the Ottawa Food Bank. An advocate for Canadian Veterans, Nick wrote and did voice overs for the popular “Answered the Call’ vignettes features for CFRA and The Landowner Magazine where told the real life stories of brave Canadian veterans. He also advocated for Canadian property rights, speaking and advising landowners in Renfrew County and all of Ontario.

Nick was a recipient of Queen Elizabeth 11 Diamond Jubilee Medal; volunteered with Lions Club and Knights of Columbus and was a choir member at Church where his motto was ‘If you can’t sing good, sing loud.”

Recently he purchased his passion project, Summersong, a 50 year old 38 ft cabin cruiser. Spent the last 9 months getting her ready for adventures on the Pacific Northwest Coast of BC and Alaska with Alison.

Funeral Mass is February 17 @ 11am at St. Andrews Catholic Church, in Killaloe, ON, Fr. Shalla will officiate.

A very special thanks to the ICU and 5th floor trauma teams who worked unceasingly to help recover from his injuries, Mantoa and Fr. Scott Whitemore for their daily prayers and almost daily visits to support both Nick and Alison and their families during this difficult time. Special thanks to the Sooke community members whose support is tremendously appreciated as well

In lieu of flowers, donations to your local legion or veteran support group would be appreciated.

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Condolence Messages

  1. My deepest condolences to Alison, on the loss of your cherished husband and best friend and to your children and grandchildren on the loss of a beloved father and loving grandfather! Nick left an impact on everyone he met or encountered and I’m sure heaven will never be the same now that he’s arrived! You were planning a different adventure than the one you are experiencing right now Alison but Nick’s adventure to heaven has only begun! May all of your cherished memories bring you comfort in these difficult days and the days to come! If there are radio shows in heaven I have no doubt Nick would be at the mike!❤️🙏

    Psalms 34:18

  2. I’m so sorry for your loss, my deepest condolences to you and your family.
    I’m sorry I can’t make it but my prayers go out to you all especially on this day~

  3. In over two decades of knowing Nick, I can honestly say he was never in a bad mood or, if he was, it passed quickly. Nick taught me, and I’m sure others too, that time spent with friends and “not-friends-yet” was always time to be considerate, listening, honest and hospitable.
    Thank you, Nick, for modelling these excellent qualities for us all.
    You are missed.

  4. Clifford Parmeter

    Sorry for your loss Nick was a stand up Guy a wonderful person.

  5. Alison and children, grandchildren and extended family. Your loss is a tremendous burden and my prayers for you all will be that you find each other during the times when grief takes over.

  6. Tammy Anne Hart

    My condolences to Alison and all their children and family. This is so sad and hard to believe. Nick contributed so much. Freedom of expression and free speech meant everything to Nick and his followers. Common sense was everything Nick was about. What a loss. Love you Nick. May you rest in peace.

  7. Glenn and Mila Pereira

    We extend our deepest sympathies to you, Alison, and the children, Kate, Peter, Jordan, Alyssa, Andrea, Mark Anthony, Gabrielle and Michaela. We love you all very much like our own family. We remember the good old days when we used to visit you at the farm to play music or just chat over a cup of coffee. Nick used to have an endearing pet name for each of the children. We treasure the times together singing at St. Andrew’s choir. Alison, we had no idea that your visit last summer would be the last time for us to see Nick. We remember how he really enjoyed our homemade canned peaches. We pray that God will give you the strength to bear this loss. Eternal rest grant unto Nick, O Lord and may the perpetual light shine upon him.

  8. Jurgen Vollrath

    It is very sad to hear this news. I will remember the times we shared podiums together to deliver important messages to our patriot community. His insight will be sorely missed and along with my family wish to pass on our deepest condolences to the entire family. Nick was a man of peace through strength and love so let’s honour his legacy by being just like Nick. Rest In Peace my beloved brother in arms.

  9. My very deepest sympathy to your family. Immense love and care to you all during this difficult time.

  10. Catherine & Cleo Souliere

    There are no words to blanket you in this loss. To you Alison and your whole family, take comfort in the love and prayers surrounding you at this very difficult time.

  11. Elliot Finkelman

    May his memories be a blessing to all that know him. He always loved his family and just wanted the world to be a better place. It was great to know you Nick. Proud to have shared the airwaves with you and will miss our great debates.

  12. Rey & Sylvia Francis

    Good bye Nick, go in peace. To your family, remember that life is holding on to what you have, Rick will always be in our hearts. We share your greif.

    Rey and Sylvia, Ottawa. Member of The Landowner’s Association

  13. Dear Alison and family – I never got to personally meet Nick but I spoke with him on the phone and via Facebook…was hoping to meet him at some point. He will surely be missed by all who knew him. My sincere condolences to the family. May he rest in peace. He was a good man and very obviously a caring man.

  14. Nick was the kind of guy you couldn’t help but totally respect. His love for life his devotion to life his respect for life was a total testimony of what it means to be a great Christian a great Catholic. May you rest in peace Nick

  15. To Alison and all Nicks children and other family members, my deepest sympathy.. I enjoyed so much listening to him, and he was as true on air as he was in everyday life. You have many memories Alison, and memories are something not even death can take away. May Nick RIP and May God hold Nick in the palm of his hand.. hugs and prayers Marie Plunkett.. 🙏🙏🙏

  16. My heart goes out to you Alison, and all the family, at this ‘most difficult time.’ It is a phrase I remember from the Late Fr. Grant Neville and his heartfelt words of condolence, offered to many during his days at St. Andrews. Reading over such kind words here, especially from mutual friends like John, and Glenn & Mila, I can certainly echo their words. Your warm welcomes, during all seasons, were gifts to everyone who came down the lane to your farm and I still imagine you both there. This is being written with a few tears. Please know you all have a warm place to land if ever your paths should lead you out this way again and I will cherish the memory of the visit last year. I’m really glad I waved one more time. My prayers are with all of you, and especially this Saturday. Love and peace, Lisa

  17. My deepest condolences goes out to you all.
    Nick and all of you, were a welcoming presence to all. Everyone was welcomed and treated as a loved friend.
    Alison, you and Nick raised wonderful God fearing and talented children, which is quite an accomplishment in this day and age. His legacy will live on in the charity instilled into each one of them.
    I am so grateful to have met him. A deep, thoughtful, fun-loving, creative and talented on so many fronts.
    He will be missed.
    God bless you all.. you remain ever in my heart and in my prayers.

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