Diane, David & Family…
I regretted to hear about the passing of your father and do offer my heartfelt condolences.
I first met distant “Uncle Frank” when he returned east to help his mother with the passing of her second husband, some time around ’59, give or take. Circumstances allowed me to witness many discussions during that short time between them, and even at my then young age understood the strong and consistent rudder-ship he was providing her through it all. Though I was very young, the steadfastness and strength he encouraged her within those few weeks would always stay with me.
I would know and converse with “Uncle Frank” sporadically over the years, and I too (along with my family) would be guests of 832 for a couple of days while transiting Calgary on our way to a new life on the west coast. His thoughtful inquiring questions always impressed me, as did his light, quick wit. He will be sorely missed.
A Tribute to my Dad – Frank Douglas Hallas Nov. 21, 2022
Thanks everybody for coming out. Dad would have appreciated the turnout. I don’t think he really understood all the how’s and why’s of Covid, but he did experience the isolation and he would be happy to know that for this ceremony for him, you all turned out.
As you can tell from the size of the font and all the small type on the Handout-Folder you’re holding, there is no shortage of words that can be said about my dad Frank. I’m sure that most of you could add a tale or two of Tribute if we had the time, and were sitting in a cozy pub somewhere.
I won’t repeat the life and times of FRANK that is covered in the obituary. I’ll just relate a few items that give us a sense of the flavour of his soul.
Frank was a man of his time: he believed in conservative, traditional values. (he REALLY liked Archie Bunker) His psyche was shaped by being a boy growing up in Lachine during a time with a war raging overseas. His family did without many things, but they persevered and both he and his sisters all had families, some of whom are scattered around this room.
Dad was a responsible man. He steadfastly provided for our family, and while we had few extravagances, we were never without what we needed.
He was a family man. Mom and dad encouraged and hosted a number of his family to move out west. I doubt any of you regret that decision. And those of you too young to remember the great migration, the family gatherings of the 70’s and 80’s were occasions of legend. At least to us. (cue Tom jones and Englebirt humperdink... okay don't)
Dad was a Reader and a Thinker versed in many interests. He followed politics and world events. And a mind for History - Just last summer we sat out in the shade and he related much of the Winston Churchill version of WW2. He didn’t remember yesterday… but 1940 – no problem. I loved it when he told his stories, both of history, and sometimes his childhood. Just last month he confessed to Tina that 8(?) year old Frank and a friend, having procured a match, accidentally started a small grass fire. It was extinguished before any great harm, but he went home and confessed the deed to his mother. I guess that relates back to “Dad the Responsible Man”
He was thoughtful and he was considerate and he was a great help to those of us when we needed it.
I could go no further if I did not mention Dad was a fun guy (no, no pun); he had a great sense of humour, sometimes witty, sometimes cynical, sometimes it was, just a really bad pun.
He had many friends and loved to socialize. Everyone was Welcome at 832.
He was law abiding and probably never had a library book out beyond it’s due date.
While pondering the last point I mentioned, a small, very ancient memory surfaced from the sea of my swirling thoughts.
I’ll just call it 42 (42MPH) .
When I was just a wee lad I belonged to a Wolf-Cub-Pack, like a pre-scout troop, that met weekly in the basement of our church in Renfrew. Dad was involved with church matters and he was one of the plain-clothed adults running the Wolf-Cubs.
We lived in Mayland Heights and back in the years before anyone ever even imagined Deerfoot Trail would be built, there existed a huge gully between Mayland Heights and Renfrew, with a little bridge and a windey road at the bottom.
This is in the 1960’s and back then both sides of the gully were steep inclines. And the family car was a clunky 1962 Pontiac.
On the particular occasion that my memory has sparked, dad was driving me and another Wolf-Cub from Mayland to Renfrew, for Cub-Night.
For everyone in those days, in order to make it up the hill, one had to cross the little bridge, then gun-it to build up some momentum.
On this particular evening, dad gunned it as usual. We were probably going 42 MPH … I know that because at the top of the hill was a police car and that’s what the cop wrote on dad’s ticket.
Wow, the police pulled us over, my dad…… Me and my fellow Wolf-Cub were wide eyed through the whole thing, and for the rest of the drive to the church.
Some form of shock set in as I realized word was spreading around the Wolf pack, of my dad’s misadventures with the law.
I don’t remember being embarrassed but I probably was. But, before the evening ended, the buzz around the pack was that my dad was some kind of James Dean cool bad guy.
I don’t know if my dad ever picked up on those vibes. But I do remember the drive home that night, and despite his breaking the law, I was basking in the glow of him being a real bad-ass.
Well we didn’t use THAT particular word back then. His behaviour was what everybody did to get up the hill, so in terms of the social contract, he didn’t seriously break the law, and he gave me a tiny precious memory.
And like all of us who drive have experienced, - it wouldn’t be his last ticket.
And now, we must talk about .. ……
Well… DAD had Frogs. Those people who did not know dad or had never been to their home might think that that meant an infestation in the basement, or even worse (SHUDDER) a skin infection. NO, at some point, for some reason, he started to accumulate stuffed frogs.
Maybe the first one was hired to hold down the dust cover on the keys of the piano-organ. Don’t know. Over the years more appeared, on the mantle over the fireplace, on shelves, in the yard.
All of us recognised this mild obsession with his amphibious friends, and on the occasion of his birthday and 50’th anniversary, every person at the big party presented him, at his table, a frog or two, frogs of all types and sizes – a tableful mountain of frogs. (pause)
The look of joy on his face behind that table piled high with stuffed green critters is another precious memory I still have of him. You may notice a frog or two from that moment 25 years ago, is here today, to help honour dad on his journey.
With family on both the east and west sides of the country, it became a tradition in the 1970’s for each of the family units out west to contribute to a Christmas album to be send to Granny Pape in Lachine. Filled with photos and poetry they were a time stamp of who and where we all were. In one, dad wrote a poem to his mom, and I’d like to finish my tribute, by reading that poem, and Modifying the last stanza to honour my dad.
“ROOTS” written by Frank to Gran Pape in 1972 FROM THE BRANCH AT 832
THERE’S A SONG ABOUT THE TREE THAT’S IN THE MEADOW,
AND A LOVELY POEM THAT’S SIMPLY CALLED A TREE,
AND WE KNOW ABOUT THE GIRL WHO TIED THE RIBBONS ‘ROUND THE OAK
WHEN SHE MEANT “GIT OFF THE BUS AND HOME TO ME!”
ALL OUR LEAFY FRIENDS OUT THERE WHO WEAR THE BIRDIES IN THEIR HAIR
ARE A REAL JOY TO BEHOLD, WE ALL AGREE.
BUT FROM THE FAVORITE TREE OF MINE, AND FOR THE SAKE OF AULD LANG SYNE,
HANG THE FRUITS THAT MAKE UP OUR GREAT FAMILY,
“THOUGH THE BABE UPON YOUR LAP COULD TURN OUT TO BE THE SAP
THAT TWIGS TO GREATNESS NEVER DREAMED OF OR DESERVED,
THE HEART OF OAK YOUR DAUGHTER MARRIED JUST COULD WELL NEED TO BE CARRIED
SHOULD THE CHIPS BE DOWN AND HE BECOME UNNERVED.
DESPITE THE FACT THAT RISKS ARE GREAT IF WE’RE GOING TO PROPOGATE,
AND ONE SURE CAN’T PICK A WINNER EVERY TIME,
THIS TRIBE OF YOURS IS LOOKIN’GOOD (AND HERE WE RAP THREE TIMES ON WOOD),
THOUGH FEW WOULD RATE THE TITLE OF “SUBLIME”.
IT HAS BECOME APPARENT NOW, AND WE ALL SURE DO ALLOW
THAT THROUGH THE YEARS YOU’VE BEEN THE GLUE – THE TIE THAT BINDS,.
YOU’RE “MR, ROOTS” TO ALL US FRUITS, YOU’VE SEEN ‘SOME OF OUR BIRTHDAY SUITS
SO THANK YOU DAD, YOU’VE BEEN THE PERFECT KIND.
THANK YOU !!!
In memory of Uncle Frank
Hello all, I am Frank’s nephew Todd (Rita’s youngest). I bring with me the thoughts and condolences of my brother Hal and his family some who could not be here in person today.
Fist memories – I first met uncle Frank when he and Jean traveled back to Montreal for a vacation. There was a party at our home on Saturday night and being young I went or was sent to bed early. When I got up next morning Frank, Jean, Irene and Moe were just leaving while serenading the neighborhood to “The Blue Canadian Rockies” That was my introduction to Frank’s love of music. One other thing I remember about that trip was how loud Diane could whistle.
Around the same time Montreal and Calgary met in the Grey Cup and a bet was placed and Montreal won. The bet was $5.00 (big money back in the day) Montreal won and not too long after a package arrived from Calgary. Inside was a glass bottle filled with honey and a $5.00 bill rolled up in it. On the outside was simply written Victory is Sweet. I think that bottle survived until the flood of 2013.
When we decided to move to Calgary in ’75 it was a big deal and lots of organizing Dad and myself by car, mom and Hal by train and the dog flew. We got to Calgary we like many other family members stayed at Frank and Jeans. They made it most welcoming. There were 4 of us and a dog, Frank, Jean, Dave and a dog. On weekends Diane and her family (yes including a dog) at McLeay road. Oh and 1 bathroom!! If anyone remembers a show called the Walton’s saying good-was just like that. We had fun, card games, laughter at dinner table, great meals and so on.
As we moved out to our own place, the large gathering continued Christmas, New Year’s, Grey Cup, Stampede Breakfast’s. As you can tell I seem to remember the food the most. Having hosted some of these things ourselves gives us a perspective of what it takes and Frank always seemed so happy and welcoming.
As the families got older and all the children moved away from home – mom and dad holidayed with Frank and Jean in their motor homes and enjoyed a trip to Hawaii. It was on that trip we got the story about Jeff and Frank, after a few rusty nails, having a small accident on the rocks.
These are the things that I have as memories and they were always positive and faded by age, a big part of that was seeing (through a child and teenager’s eyes) how important family was to Frank.
We will all miss Frank; there are so many good memories. For now, our thoughts are with the family as we all celebrate his life.
Our love and condolences are with you.
Todd & Karen
The first time I actually met Uncle Frank was in 1967 when he brought the family east for expo 67. Mom had talked about him a lot and when we finally met, I remember his puns to this day. My middle name came through Frank as mom liked his nickname (Hal) in school. We had no idea then we would be joining him 10 years later in Calgary.
When we arrived in Calgary, Frank and family were our hosts for several months as we stayed with them on McLeay road. My dad and brother were there for a month before my mom and I joined. Dad did update us about the long evenings, beautiful scenery and a new drink called a Caesar that Frank poured so well.
We spent a lot of time together over the following years – holiday festivities, stampedes, marriages and births. As the families got older and all the children moved away from home – mom and dad holidayed with Frank and Jean in their motor homes and enjoyed a trip to Hawaii. It was on that trip we got the story about Jeff and Frank, after a few rusty nails, having a small accident on the rocks (pun intended Frank).
We all appreciated the support Frank and family gave us when we moved to Calgary. Without Uncle Frank as the older brother in Calgary – I am not sure how easily we would have settled in.
As often happens though, the families slowly drifted apart and many moved to different cities. Despite that, dad who is now in a senior facility would often enquire about Frank and Jean.
We will all miss Frank; there are so many good memories. For now, our thoughts are with the family as we all celebrate his living.
All our love and condolences.
Gordon Hal Jackson and family
Diane and Daryl and family,
I am so sorry to read of your fathers passing. I only had the honour of meeting him a few times Diane when you and I worked at Chevron together so many years ago. I remember he was master of ceremonies at your wedding. He had such a talent to public speaking.
Please accept my heartfelt condolences.
Please take care.