Nova Scotia

Slain Halifax man remembered as devoted family man, passionate musician

A Halifax man who was killed Thursday is being remembered as a passionate family man who loved playing music and interacting with customers at Insight Optometry.

Tony Nader died Thursday after he was attacked at work at Insight Optometry

People are mourning Tony Nader, who died Thursday. On social media, they traded stories about his clear passion for his work, and the delight he took in helping people. (David Burke/CBC)

A Halifax man who was killed Thursday is being remembered as a passionate family man who loved playing music and interacting with customers at Insight Optometry.

Police say Tony Nader, 55, was attacked and killed at the optometry business where he worked. Friends and colleagues expressed shock at his death and praised him as a warm, friendly person who cared deeply about others. 

In a post on social media, Insight Optometry posted "we are broken beyond repair."

Nader was a best friend to everyone he met, the post said, and embodied everything that was good in the world. 

"Tony would go to the end of the earth for you and the bottom of the sea for his patients. If you've been to the office, you've likely had the pleasure of meeting Tony; for that, you are a better person," the post says.

"The loss of Tony creates a void that will never be filled."

Will Hansen said he and Nader met about five years ago and bonded over a shared love of guitars. Both bought, sold and traded instruments as a hobby.

"He was a beloved musician in the Nova Scotia community as well, having done his own projects as well as having been part of bands in the area," Hansen said.

"From the moment I met Tony, it was apparent to me that his enthusiasm was infectious, and that his generosity and kindness were there for everyone."

Hansen said when the two "talked shop" it was about music. Hansen said Nader was a man of integrity and honesty. 

"When you met Tony, you knew you had a friend for life," Hansen said.

"I did not know his immediate family personally, but I know he was a devoted family man and that he would have done anything for his wife and daughters. He will be dearly missed, and I must offer sincere condolences to his family and friends over this senseless tragedy."

Nader left a wife and two young children. 

Talented musician

Susan Pfeiffer knew Nader for 30 years. They were friends, but she also saw his professional passion.

"Tony was the man responsible for keeping me in high-eyeglass style," she said Friday. "I think he enjoyed the challenge of choosing my frames to match my eclectic artist style."

She said she was devastated to hear of his death. 

Nader joined the Ultimate Online Nova Scotia Kitchen Party's COVID-edition last year, and contributed this video, showcasing his musical skills.

CBC interviewed Nader in 2016 for a feature about the pressure to always have the latest mobile phone. At the time, he didn't own one. 

He said people spend far too much time engrossed with their phones, when they should be engrossed in the world around them. 

"I admire kids and dogs because kids and dogs live in the moment and as a society, I don't think we do," said Nader. 

"We record the moment. I think we take pictures of the moment and put them on Facebook, I'm not sure we're all living in the moment. But I try to live in the moment." 

Police say they responded to the call at Insight Optometry on Brunswick Street around 9:15 a.m. AT on Thursday, where a man had entered the clinic and attacked Nader. A customer attempted to intervene and was injured.

Cymon Felix Cormier, 25, of Halifax, has been charged with first-degree murder in Nader's death.