Man oh man
Today is Frank's father's ninety eighth
birthday. Such longevity alone is more
than an accomplishment. However the
primary reason for celebration today is
the man himself. Frank Valach Sr. is if
nothing else a gentleman and a scholar.
Equally important, he's a living link to
our collective past given he's been here,
done that longer than most others. Add
Add that he's always had an interest in
history and people. Hence his stories
alone are precious treasures. All the
more reasons he's the man of the day!
The son of Czech parents, Frank Sr. has
always cherished his heritage. Growing
up on a ranch at the edge of town, he
personally experienced the devastation
of the Great Depression. Somehow his
family survived and thrived despite their
circumstances. The result of which left
Frank with a deep knowledge of life's
reality mixed with an ability to see the
good in everything. So while there may
have been times when there was barely
enough to eat, Frank Sr. always had a
ravenous appetite for life and love!
While serving his country Frank Senior
suffered under the hands of a misguided
surgeon. During his hospitalization he
awoke to find an "angel" standing before
him. Soon thereafter said vision became
his beloved wife. Frank and Pearl shared
almost seven decades together. During
that time they were known as elegant,
kind, and generous people. So much so
that many aspired to emulate their take
on life. No one was a stranger as all
were welcome into their circle of love.
That legacy alone is beyond compare.
The older, the wiser
Home grown, Frank Sr. has lived his entire
life in Lewistown. Much of which involved
running the family masonry business which
celebrates it's 100th year this summer. Yet
Frank Sr's perspective remains anything but
narrow minded given he's traveled the world.
A passionate Democrat, he served a term in
the Montana State Legislature. Believing that
all men are created equal, his longevity fuels
Dad's confidence that good ultimately prevails
against all odds. And that patience is the best
way to confront life's challenges. Therefore
Dad is living proof that age inspires wisdom.
More than you know
I have personally benefited from his love,
friendship, gentle persuasion, and subtle
guidance. After my parents died, Frank Sr.
asked me to call him "Dad" and since then
I have proudly done so. He has never been
anything but kind and generous to me. For
which I am deeply grateful. However what
I treasure most is his example. One only
has to be with him to gain a lesson in both
dignity and grace. Leaving this at times
prodigal "son" to hope and pray that I'll
have a chance to somehow, someday be
half the amazing man that he is 24/7.
All of the above and much more is reason
enough to celebrate Dad's time on earth
thus far. Tonight our family gathers at
his s childhood home for a traditional
Czech dinner. While his beloved wife
and our Mother will not be with us this
year, she remains in our hearts and will
be with us in spirit. This evening we'll
laud a humble man who has lived as
best he could. The end result being a
shining example of a life more than
well spent. Please join us all in wishing
Frank Sr. a very HAPPY BIRTHDAY!