Francis Cleary (Frank) Finn passed away peacefully in his sleep on Wednesday, March 14, 2007 with his family by his side.
Frank was born on June 12, 1921, in Holden, AB, to Jack and Ellen Finn. He then moved with the family to Sheridon, MB, Edmonton, Camrose, Bruderheim and finally Viking as his father was transferred to various CNR stations. Frank was a gifted athlete and as a teenager he played hockey and baseball up and down the “Gas Line” in central Alberta and then for “Pere” Athol Murray when he attended Notre Dame in Wilcox, SK, for his final year of high school. He continued playing sports into his adult life, playing hockey for the RCAF and U of A and baseball semi-professionally in Edmonton. He enrolled in Engineering at the University of Alberta but left after his second year to enlist in the RCAF. He became a Flying Officer and trained pilots for the Commonwealth Air Training Program at bases throughout western Canada. After the war, he returned to the U of A but decided to switch faculties and graduated with a Commerce degree in 1948. It was at the U of A that he met and married Patricia Cave who would be his loving wife until her death in 1980. Frank left Edmonton and moved to Calgary in 1951 to join North Canadian Oil. He was a Director and Vice President of North Canadian and its affiliated company Northwestern Pulp and Power until 1966 and he was directly involved in the establishment of the first pulp mill in Alberta, at Hinton. Frank went on to be part of the founding group to establish Prudential Steel. He finished his formal business career spending thirteen years as Vice President of Scurry Rainbow Oil and then Home Oil. Never one to be idle, he had several successful business ventures in his semi retirement as well. Frank started a new phase of his life when he married Irene Booth in 1981 and they lived together happily until his hospitalization in October 2006. With Irene came a whole new additional family of children and grandchildren that he loved like his own children and grandchild. Frank was very active in the community. He became a shareholder of the Stampeder Football Club in 1954, then a director and ultimately President in 1979 and 1980. He was active in both the Reform Party of Canada and the Progressive Conservative Party of Alberta. He was also very active with the Calgary Stampede. He started as a volunteer in 1963 and became the Chairman of the International Horse Show, the inaugural Chairman of the Stampede Queen Committee, and Chairman of the Lottery Committee. He was elected to the Board of Directors in 1973 and became an Honorary Life Director in 1979. He was a founding Director and then Chairman of the Western Canada Lottery Corp. He was the founding President of the Spruce Creek Upland Club which allowed him to pursue his passion for hunting. He loved to play golf and was a member of the Calgary Golf & Country Club for fifty years. He played in the first Oilmens Golf Tournament in 1951 and was one of the last of the original players to play in every Tournament. He was honoured to be in the first foursome to tee off each year at the D’Arcy Ranch Golf Club. Frank raised Appaloosa performance horses and Thoroughbred race horses at ranches at Priddis, Okotoks and Youngstown in the 50’s, 60’s, and 70’s. He was particularly proud to have been made an honorary chief of the Ermineskin Cree of Hobbema for his work helping their members qualify for federal government benefits in the late 40’s and early 50’s. Frank was predeceased by his wife Paddy, and is survived by his wife Irene; his brother Bill (Muriel) and sister Margaret Yelle; his children John, Shelagh, and Nancy; Irene’s children Bob (Kathy) Booth, Geoff (Tracy) Booth, and Pam (Sandy) Irving; grandchildren, Katie Finn, Tom and Jeff Booth, Daniel, Angela and Shannon Booth, and Tyler, Katie, and Heather Irving.
Funeral Mass will be celebrated at St. Anthony’s Catholic Church (5340 – 4th Street S.W.) on Monday, March 19, 2007 at 2:00 p.m. Forward condolences through www.mcinnisandholloway.com. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in Frank’s name to the charity of your choice. The family would like to thank Barb Clark and her staff, first at Lake Bonavista Village and then at the Beverly Centre Lake Midnapore for the care and comfort that they provided to Frank in his last years. We are also grateful to his special caregiver, Jessica Neily, whose company he enjoyed so much during his last four months.
In living memory of Frank Finn, a tree will be planted at Fish Creek Provincial Park by McINNIS & HOLLOWAY FUNERAL HOMES, Fish Creek Chapel, 14441 BANNISTER ROAD S.E. Telephone: (403) 256-9575.Print This Obituary & Condolences