Frank Resek – 1928 – 1999
‘Keep it short and leave them with a smile.’ was the statement Frank would say to the Priest. The statement is indicative of his personality.
In the last couple of years, anytime I wanted to locate Frank or Clarence, all I had to do is appear at the Crestwood Hotel about 8:00 in the morning. Sure enough, Frank was holding court, just like the magistrates of old. While Norm Keil participated, it was a 3-way world-crisis-solving debate and it was ongoing. They debated Iraq, Yugoslavia, taxes and the codfish situation in Newfoundland.
To me Frank was more than a partner in a business, more than a friend, in some ways closer than a relative. Our relationship began when Frank arrived with his mother from Yugoslavia in 1937. My parents and their friends welcomed them to Mountain Park with a reception in our home. We then, for many years, celebrated Christmas and New Year’s alternately at each other’s homes.
Frank took his two cousins and me on our first fishing trips, teaching us how to clean the fish. We managed to do this on our school Easter holidays. Frank went to work at Home Food Market in Edson in 1947. His father and Steve Rukavina opened a butcher shop there. In 1955, we opened the first Freson Market butcher shop in Hinton. I operated the store for seven years while Frank worked in Edson. Pete Chalick joined us in 1956 and he and Frank operated Hinton on my departure in 1962. The Hinton store was our first store and we built it on skids, which we moved to three different locations. The moves consisted of a hook-up to a Cat and an electrician to disconnect and reconnect the power.
When Frank came to Hinton, we bought the present location, purchased the Credit Union building next door and Frank and Art Bauer expanded the building from 8,000 to 12,000 sq. ft. They were such a good pair of builders that we had them expand Hinton Valley another 5,000 sq. ft.
Frank was the patriarch of the Freson Market in Hinton. I was once asked if we were vulnerable to union organization in the Hinton Hill store. I said ‘Resek’s staff would be insulted if someone suggested that they weren’t getting fair and equitable leadership’ and it’s true, most of his staff called him ‘Papa’.
It is sad that he couldn’t, as he said to me in March, hit a few more golf balls this summer. There is a saying, ‘There are only two things you ‘have to’ do in life. You ‘have to’ die and you ‘have to’ live until you die. You make up all the rest.’
Frank’s life was a success because -
He lived well and laughed often and loved much.
He gained the respect of intelligent men and
The love of his children and grandchildren.
He filled his niche and accomplished his task;
And he leaves this world a better place.
He always appreciated the earth’s beauty and the communion of friends.
Without fail he looked for the best in others and gave the best he had.
His generosity and concern for others was as big as was his stature.