Our family is heartbroken to announce Frank’s passing on Wednesday, June 23, 2021, in the Regina General Hospital Medical ICU. He was surrounded by loved ones during his last five days. We are grateful the entire family had a chance to say goodbye.
Frank was born on March 14, 1933, on the family farm near Stockholm. He attended Pilchak School from Grades 1-8, walking, or biking to school in the summer and travelling by sleigh in the winter. He enjoyed playing ball at the field day in Atwater. He walked 4.5 miles to Stockholm for catechism. When he got thirsty, he stopped at the big slough, pushed the bugs out of the way and took a drink.
After school he worked on the farm from age 14 to 20. He loved farming and was the ultimate hard worker. He liked waking up early in the morning before anyone else to clean out the barns. He told us his first set of horses were all crazy and would take off the minute you put the lines down. One good team was very fast and that was thrilling for Frank.
In 1953, he set out for New Westminster, BC where he lived with his sister Mary and her husband Geza while working on the waterfront loading ships and putting goods like lumber, aluminum, lead and fruit into storage. He worked there for two winters, returning each spring to work on the family farm.
Frank and Audrey started dating in May 1956. They were officially engaged on Valentine’s Day 1957 and married on July 2 of the same year. They rented farmland from Laddie Dlouhy (Uncle Laddie) for 12 years. Frank loved Uncle Laddie and said it was a pleasure to work for him. In the fall of 1968, Frank and Audrey purchased her parents’ farm and the following year, they purchased Laddie’s farm.
Life was a bit of a struggle in the early years, but Frank persevered by working day and night to sustain a good living from mixed farming. He grew wheat, canola, mustard, oats and barley. He raised cattle, hogs, chickens, and several dogs and cats. He was an excellent farmer, the kind of man that helped his neighbours seed and harvest while completing his own work. It was not unusual for him to combine 24 hours in a row. Audrey once stole the grain truck at 4 a.m. so she could force him to come home. He came home, slept for 15 minutes and resumed combining.
Frank was not such a good mechanic. We were never confident of the grain truck brakes when going downhill. He solved many problems with a bit of spit and bailing twine. Audrey was often involved in helping him figure out a mechanical problem.
Frank loved to barter and thought he should never pay full price for anything ranging from a new tractor to a case of fruit. We remember him haggling with the fruit vendor in Yorkton and usually coming out on the winning side.
Frank was a Wheat Pool board member and credit union director. He worked tirelessly as a Minor Hockey board member. He once fundraised for the rink by selling over 40 corporate advertising signs and was instrumental in ensuring admission for children was free.
After retiring to Stockholm, Frank continued to grow a big garden and share produce with relatives and friends. He took immense pride in his yard with the most colourful flowers in summer and plentiful Christmas decorations in winter. His job as the Silver Social Club janitor was followed by his dream job at the landfill, where he was the “garbage dump cop.” Frank loved the dump. All day, he talked to people and scavenged for treasures to bring home. After he could no longer drive, he rode his three-wheeled bike all around town. Stockholm’s fine citizens looked forward to watching him go by on his daily rides.
Throughout his life, Frank loved playing cards. He knew what his competitors had in their hands before they did. He had an ace in his pocket at all times and a poker face, though Audrey knew how to read him. When Frank’s sight deteriorated, he was still a better card player than most with full sight.
Frank was friendly and loved to socialize, talk and laugh with people young and old. Anyone who sat beside him on a Walmart bench had better be prepared to chat. He had lots of friends and was a good friend in return. He was a fixture at Valley Social Club for Saturday night dances, the junction and Dubuc for coffee, and the Silver Social Club for fellowship, shuffleboard and cards over the past 38 years.
But most of all, Frank LOVED his family. Life was good for us kids because of Dad’s labours and dedication to family. Dad flooded the front yard to make us a skating rink, played ball with us, took us swimming at Round Lake, surprised us with new motorbikes and snowmobiles. He had integrity, a strong sense of fairness, and believed in defending the underdog. By his example, we learned generosity, honesty and the importance of helping each other and our neighbours. He was happiest when his children, grandchildren and great grandchildren came to visit and welcomed each new addition to the family with open arms and love. Little ones learned to drive sitting on his knee. There were countless card games and rides on the big tractor, garden tractor and in the basket of his bike. At age 88, he could still get down on the floor to play with the great grandkids, slide down slides and jump in bouncy castles. He always told us he loved us, and we told him right back.
Frank was one of a kind. We will love and miss him forever.
Frank was predeceased by his parents, Nicholas and Mary; brothers Albert, Alfred, Rudy and Wilfred; sister-in-law Nellie; brother-in-law Geza; niece Carolyn and three infant brothers. He is survived by his wife Audrey and children Mary Lou, Michael (Janice), Colleen, Steven (Kim) and Glenn. He also leaves to mourn grandchildren Michael (Melissa) and children MacKenzie, Griffin, Hudson and Mila; Andrew (Jalissa) and children Madilyn, Kade and Grace; Adam (Desiree) and children Falyn and Paige; Alicia; Keegan (Shelby); and Bryn and his daughter Rosalie. Frank is also survived by his sister Mary, brother Raymond (Marge), sisters-in-law Doreen and Gloria, as well as many nieces, nephews and friends.
Our sincere thanks to all the medical professionals at St. Anthony’s Hospital Esterhazy and the Regina General Hospital who cared for Frank and showed so much compassion to our family: Dr. Carandang, Dr Naji, nurses Shannon and Natasha in Esterhazy; Dr. Byker, nurses Amanda, Joanna, Jody, Jason and Dustin at the Regina General Medical ICU; and all the other kind people who cared for him in his final days.
There will be a private service for immediate family followed at a later day by a public celebration of Frank’s life.
Donations in Frank’s memory may be made to the Regina General Hospital Medical Intensive Care Unit, 1874 Scarth St., Regina SK S4P 4B3
To send flowers to Frank's family, please visit our floral store.
Regina General Hospital Medical Intensive Care Unit
1874 Scarth St., Regina SK S4P 4B3