Frank Edward Jacknicki, 94, passed away peacefully on Dec. 23, 2018 at the Edmonton General Continuing Care Centre.
Frank was born on Sept. 26, 1924, and grew up on the family farm near Chipman, AB. When Frank was age 12, his father Anton died suddenly, leaving Frank, his older sister Daisy, and their mother Karolina (nee Warshawski) to run the farm. The family faced numerous challenges during the ‘Dirty Thirties’, and these experiences had a profound effect on Frank, shaping his entire life of self-reliance, hard work, responsibility, and dedication to family.
While he did not have the opportunity to pursue his dream of post-secondary education, Frank became a very skilled heavy equipment operator. As a member of the Operators Union Branch 955, he worked for various companies on projects, large and small, in Edmonton, Fort Saskatchewan, and elsewhere in Alberta and Saskatchewan.
Later, he drove a grader for the Town of Chipman and County of Lamont. Throughout, he continued to work the farm part-time, until he reluctantly hung up the combine keys in the mid-90’s.
Frank had a strong, life-long attachment to Chipman, with many long-standing friendships. Frank fondly recalled learning to swim in the Chipman Creek, playing hockey in the winter, and attending community dances. He also enjoyed curling at the Chipman Curling club, and at bonspiels elsewhere. He was an active member of the Chipman Lions Club and the Golden Seniors.
His faith, including a strong connection to the Ukrainian Catholic Church and the Basilian Fathers, was particularly important to him. More recently, until moving into the EGCCC about two years ago, he regularly attended St. Basil’s Church in Edmonton, and before that, St. Mary’s in Chipman and St. Peter and Paul in Mundare.
Early on, the influence of politicians like John Diefenbaker convinced him that conservatism was preferable to socialism, and his political activity included serving as campaign manager for Frank Fane, the Progressive Conservative MP for Vegreville in the late 50’s and early 60’s. He fed his appetite for politics and world affairs with subscriptions to magazines like Western Standard, Alberta Report, National Geographic, and Macleans.
Frank met his future wife, Lillian Zalitach, a girl from Andrew, at the Lamont Hospital, where she was working. After they married, in 1951, they lived on the farm, later moving to Edmonton. In the mid-eighties, they returned to Chipman, but when Lillian’s health declined, they moved back to Edmonton and then to Langley, BC, to be closer to their daughters. Following Lillian’s passing in 2012, Frank relocated back to Edmonton.
Frank and Lil are survived by 2 daughters, Debra (“Debbie”) and Carol, son-in-law Peter, granddaughters Beth and Morgan, grandson Alexander, and great-grandchildren Ethan and Lauren.
A Visitation will be held at Serenity Funeral Service, 5311 91 Street, Edmonton from 7:00 pm – 9:00 pm on Friday, December 28.
Divine Liturgy on Saturday December 29 at 1:00 pm at St. Basil’s Ukrainian Catholic Church, 7007 109 Street, Edmonton.
The family thanks the 12Y staff for their exemplary care and compassion.