In the early hours of October 14, 2023, Frank Thomas, our husband, father, grandfather, and friend, bid us farewell at the age of ninety-four.
Born on October 1, 1929, Frank grew up in Santos, Brazil. His early years were coloured by the lush landscapes and vibrant culture of Brazil, teaching him an appreciation for beauty in all its forms. These also awakened a boundless curiosity about nature, which he often explored through the lens of a camera or through a good book.
At the age of seventeen he and his family moved to Vancouver, Canada, to begin the next chapter of his life. With determination and perseverance, once Frank learned to speak English, he pursued and received a Bachelor of Commerce from the University of British Columbia. While working on cruise ships, his adventuring spirit took him to many places, learning the value of strong friendships and community along the way.
Shortly after beginning his career in the federal public service in Ottawa, a new chapter in his life began when he met his soon-to-be wife, a young woman from New Zealand, Julia Thomas. They would soon move to Almonte, Ontario, where they embarked on the new adventure of raising their four children: David, Donald, Caitlin, and Paddy. It was this life in Almonte that introduced him to his new family of friends and the community that he called home. It was during this time that he was able to use his economics and accounting background to volunteer as auditor/treasurer/accountant for a variety of community groups such as: The Hub, St. Paul’s Anglican Church, The Lanark Highland Games, The Almonte and District Arts Council and The Almonte BIA to name a few.
His children, now grown and married, brought Frank and Julia their new adventure as in-laws and grandparents. David and Susan with Jessie, Sara, and DJ; Donald and Joanne with Dana, Ella, and Hudson; Caitlin and Jeff with Liam; and Paddy and Álvaro with Alesso provided them with years of new experiences, memories, love, and laughter.
Beyond his love for family, Frank was an ardent book lover and music enthusiast, with Puccini’s “La Bohème” holding a special place in his heart. Frank could be found every Saturday listening to CBC’s Saturday Afternoon at the Opera, where the timeless melodies and touching themes resonated deeply with his soul. He also sang with the St. Paul’s Church choir and the Ottawa Valley Festival Choir.
We will miss Frank dearly. His wealth of knowledge that always made for so many great conversations. His ability, especially in his later years, to take life as it is and still make the most of it. His boundless hospitality and generosity. His absolute gift of knowing just how to cook a roast. All these things and many more make up the memories that we will carry forward from our time with Frank. If, by chance you never had the pleasure of meeting him, ask around, and you will be regaled with all manner of fond memories.
A celebration to honor and remember Frank’s life will take place on Friday, October 20th at The Almonte Legion from 1pm-4pm. We will say a few words at 1:30pm so please join his family to raise a glass and share a laugh as he did not want this to be a sad day but one where everyone comes together to celebrate a life well-lived.
If you cannot attend, please share a favorite memory or tribute to Frank on the www.crgamble.com website. In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation in Dad’s honour to the Betty Neill’s Endowment Fund supporting the Alzheimer Society of Lanark, Leeds and Grenville. Cheques can be made to: Alzheimer Society, LLG – Betty Neill Endowment Fund.
We miss you Frank, but we thank you for having enriched our lives. We will honour your memory by carrying forward your curiosity, generosity, and love of a good story.