Basiuk, Frank Elmer

Frank Elmer Basiuk, was born September 28, 1929 on the farm homesteaded by his grandfather near Foam Lake, Saskatchewan. He grew up in the nearby small town of Parkerview with his two brothers, Henry and Joseph and his twin sisters Eleanor and Evelyn.

Always active, from a very young age Frank had a penchant for wandering away from the family home, often accompanied by his dog. These early explorations earned him some punishment, but were perhaps indicators for his later willingness and interest in travel.

Growing up in Parkerview through the 1930’s during a time of shortages fostered in Frank a deep respect for resources and a sense of ‘making do’ with what was available. These are values he carried with him throughout his life and his workshop was testimony to his ability to fix, repair, improve and build things.  Karen considers her house to be the house that love built as Frank and Uncle John (Thelma’s brother-in-law) were at the ready and quick to to lend their considerable skills.

Frank started his schooling in the Chiselhurst one room school located 2 km from Parkview, Saskatchewan. When the school enrolment increased, the school was subsequently moved to Parkerview where he completed his elementary education. He continued his high school education at the Yorkton Collegiate, which required boarding as Yorkton was some 70 km away from Parkerview. After completion of high school he traveled to Winnipeg, Manitoba to take a six-week teacher’s permit course.

He started his teaching career with a one-year assignment in Roblin, Manitoba following which he returned to Chiselhurst, Saskatchewan to teach for a year in the school he attended as an elementary student. In 1952 he enrolled in Normal School in Winnipeg to obtain his teaching certificate. Upon graduation he took a position as principal in Elva, Manitoba teaching grades seven to eleven. Then in 1955 he moved to Manson, Manitoba to teach there until 1958. Frank taught for a year in Lyleton, Manitoba before moving to the Reston Collegiate in 1960. During the four years in Reston, he commuted to Brandon University taking courses to complete his Bachelor of Teaching degree as well as his Class Four standing with the Department of Education. He moved to Hartney, Manitoba in 1967 where he was principal of the elementary school and taught in various positions until 1987, when he retired. The highlight of his teaching career was an exchange he accepted to spend a year teaching in a school in Maitland, Australia in 1982 – a trip that changed his perspective on teaching, travel and life in general.

Frank’s life-long partner was Thelma Banks who he met and fell in love with while teaching in Elva. She was a registered nurse who had returned to Elva to care for her sick brother. Frank and Thelma were married in 1956 in a small ceremony. Together they had three children; Robert born in 1957, followed by Karen in 1959 and Grant in 1964. Thelma passed away in 2016 and Frank never stopped thinking about her or loving her.  In his words, she was the love of his life

Products of small towns, Frank and Thelma endeavoured to make positive contributions wherever they lived. This was done as a matter of fact and in a manner that was unconditional and carried out in a selfless, quiet manner. Whether it was volunteering at the rink, driving kids to hockey, sports, band or scouts, contributing to community projects or simply being available to help, they were willing. Always active in the church Frank was unable to refuse when asked to serve on any number of committees, boards and associations.

Frank’s other love (after Thelma and family) was music. Self-taught, he played the accordion, guitar and violin and was a member of several orchestras over the years. Playing for socials and gatherings throughout south-west Manitoba gave him a joy that was perhaps matched only by dancing with Thelma. A lasting memory will always be their beaming smiles while dancing the ‘hop polka’. After they moved to Brandon in 2002, he continued to play and entertain on a regular basis at the personal care homes; playing as he put it, “For the old folks.” (himself being well over 80 at the time).

Family was very important to Frank and he kept in touch with not only his own brothers and sisters, but also those of Thelma’s family. Christmas at home was unknown as it was always celebrated with Frank’s parents in Parkerview and then on to Thelma’s sisters in Regina. Summer holidays found the family in the car, driving and camping to visit relatives in Ontario one summer and British Columbia the next. Just as all were welcome in the house, there was never any hesitation to get in the car and drive to visit a relative or family friend; including weekly visits to those sick and in need of cheer.

This willingness to travel never diminished and the year spent in Australia fuelled a desire for even more travel. Australia was followed by trips to the US, New Zealand, Malaysia (8 times), Borneo, Singapore, Hong Kong and to the Orkney Islands to explore Thelma’s origins. Frank and Thelma would have continued to explore new destinations but Frank’s dialysis made it challenging.

Throughout his life, Frank kept active, whether it was walking to and from school each day, playing floor hockey, or curling. It helped that Thelma was also an active woman and always up for a walk, skate, ski or cycle depending on the season. They seldom just sat as there was always a deck of cards handy for a game of cribbage or, if friends were over, a game of hearts, 31, or an invariably noisy round of “Oh Hell!”.  In later years they enjoyed playing dominoes.

A true prairie ‘boy’, he enjoyed the winter, continuing to walk to school no matter what the weather. And when spring came, out came the boat and the golf clubs for his two summer passions: fishing and golfing. Those who played Hartney’s 1st hole will appreciate the irony and maybe the order should have been golfing and fishing for his ball!

Above all, Frank was a great Dad and a loving husband. He and Thelma provided a supportive, love-filled and nurturing household in which to grow up. Always there, always willing to listen, not always willing to give in (thankfully – in retrospect), always a gentleman; he expected little, but always acknowledged and appreciated simple gestures. In so many ways, Frank set the example for his family as a true class act.

Frank is survived by his twin sisters, Evelyn Gillander of Brandon and Eleanor Wowk of Saskatoon, sister-in-law Barbara Maher of Bellingham Wa, brother-in-law John Young of Calgary, as well as his three children Robert (Josephine, children Danielle and Donovan) of Kuching, Sarawak, Malaysia, Karen (Ken) Barrows of Hartney, and Grant (Suzanne, children Holly and Toban) of Calgary.

Lovingly remembered but sadly missed.

In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to the Kidney Foundation of Manitoba in memory of Frank.    www.kidney.ca

Due to the Covid-19 restrictions a funeral service will be held at a later date. Notifications will be posted prior to the service.

33 thoughts on “Basiuk, Frank Elmer”

  1. Our sincere condolences go out to Bob, Karen and Grant, and of course their families. I have many fond memories of family times spent together.
    Doug and Cathy Cowan

  2. Our caring sympathy to Bob,Karen,Grant and families as you remember a very special Dad and Grandpa. Frank and Thelma were the salt of the earth couple -their love for each other,their children and grands.,other people and earth defined them.We are honoured to have known them and give thanks for their lives well lived. Hold those memories in yours and our hearts❤️

  3. We are very sorry for your loss. We had many good times together over the years. So we cherish those good memories as you all will to.

  4. Thinking of you all and extending our sympathy.
    May wonderful memories bring you comfort and peace. Your dad taught us in Reston and our friendship lasted many years . Mostly recently when we attended Trinity United Church in Brandon with our daughter and family.

  5. Sincere sympathy to the Basiuk Family on the passing of your Dad. The last time I saw him he was at Riverheights & still enjoying his music. Your Mom & Dad were very special people – cherish your precious memories.

  6. Dear Bob, Karen, Grant and Families,

    With my most sincere sympathy on the loss of Dad and Grandpa. “Mr. Basiuk” was a formidable presence in our Grade 6 classroom, but “Frank” was a friendly, soft-spoken man who genuinely cared about everyone. My parents thoroughly enjoyed attending dances with your parents and considered them friends.

    My thoughts are with you as you navigate this difficult road.
    Laura (Watson) Wright

  7. Our sincere condolences to the Basiuk family. We have many fond memories of working and socializing with Frank and Thelma with the Souris Valley Principal’s Association.

  8. Sincere condolences on the loss of your dad.
    Our thoughts are with you during this difficult time.

  9. Deepet sympathy to Karen, Grant and Bob and their families on the
    passing of your Dad. Your memories will always keep you close.

  10. Bob, Karen, Grant and families,

    Sorry to hear of your loss. I will always remember your dad as our Principal at Hartney elementary where he undertook the enviable task of keeping all of us students on the straight and narrow and helped shape our lives for the better. After losing touch with your parents for many years our paths crossed again when my mother was a resident of Fairview home in Brandon and your dad was there occasionally playing “For the old folks”. We had some good visits there with your mom and dad. Take care and may they dance together for eternity!

  11. Lots of fond memories with the Basiuk family. Souris Playboy or was it the Buckaroo’s band years, card games, and dinners at each other’s home for many years. As kids we enjoyed a full farm life with tree forts, baleing, ponies and school sports.
    As a teacher “Mr Basiuk” was given total respect but as “Frank” it came naturally.
    Audrey and Wes traveled to Australia to experience down under with their friends and this bond continues for years.
    Hugs to Bob and Jo, Karen and Ken and Grant and Suzy and their families.
    Frank Karen Lang
    Jared Lang and family
    Riley Lang and family

  12. To Bob, Karen, Grant, and Families,
    How saddened we are to hear of Frank’s passing. Our Mom and Dad would have been totally devastated to know, if they were still with us, as well. He will be with your Mother, now, and hopefully together with them all, again, having a great time, and playing music. He and your Mother were such close friends of our Family, it’s hard to think of them, both being gone.
    May your fond memories help you through this difficult time, once again.
    Our heartfelt sympathies are with you, all.

  13. Condolences, Blessings & Prayers to Bobby Karen & Grant & families. Our hearts are heavy with the loss of Uncle Frank but we know he left this world making it a better place for having been in it. The same went for Aunty Thelma. Their memories will live on in the hearts & memories of all of us that loved them. Their love will continue to blossom in the hearts of their children & grandchildren.
    Love Wendy & Riley Basiuk

  14. Bob, Karen and Grant,

    Our hearts go out to you in your time of sorrow and grief on the loss of your dad. We are sharing in your loss of our wonderful and loving Uncle Frank and will keep him in our memories and our hearts.
    Some of our favourite summer vacations were to travel through to or on the way back to visit with Aunty Thelma and Uncle Frank, myself as a child and then for my kid’s on our family vacations. We are sending you our love and may your loving memories help to heal your aching hearts. ❤️
    Love
    Jody, Bailey and Madison

    & Floreen Basiuk

  15. Sincere sympathy to Frank’s family. My mother and dad Aubbie and Helen Patterson had great times at Elva dances, etc with Frank and Thelma. I knew them too and enjoyed their company. Thinking of you all in this sad and difficult time.

  16. Dear Bob, Karen, Grant and families
    Please accept our most sincere condolences on the passing of your dad, Frank. He was such a fine and well respected man and I know mom had many fond memories of working with him at Hartney Elementary School. Kudos on the superbly written obituary… an incredibly interesting life story! No doubt Frank and Thelma are reunited, making music and dancing together again. You have so many precious memories to cherish.

  17. My sincere condolences to Frank’s family. He was a great Principal and Teacher at Hartney Elementary School. I respected him for his conduct, discipline and respect for others. He will most definitely be missed.

  18. Loretta Basiuk
    February 2, 2021
    My condolences and prayers are with your family in the loss of a wonderful father, husband, grandfather, friend – and human being. Uncle Frank (and Aunt Thelma) have served as models for how we all should live and treat others. I will remember their smiles, their joyous laughter and their closeness as a couple. May fond memories of good times together sustain you in this time of grief and challenge.

  19. Sending heartfelt condolences to Karen, Ken and families. What a wonderful tribute to read. I can tell that your father had a zest for life and certainly had a life well lived. Thinking of you at this difficult time.
    In deepest sympathy,

    Bev & Richard

  20. We are thinking of you and your family during this sad time. The tribute to your dad is absolutely wonderful. It sounds like he lived a full life to be proud of and many warm memories to remember.
    Much love,
    Lisa and Kelly

  21. To the Basiuk family, please accept our sincere condolences on the passing of your father. It is so difficult to lose a parent and so we hope all your special memories of him provide great comfort to you.

    Sincerely Marie and Gord Matheson

  22. Thinking of you all in the loss of your final parent … our world has definitely been a richer place for having Frank and Thelma spend a good many years in it! They nurtured whatever community they spent time in and brought joy to others as they went about their daily lives. Mom and Dad certainly enjoyed their gift of music in the HCHC for many years, and they were always ready for a visit. Cherish your many memories, and know we are thinking of you at this time.

  23. Frank was always a gentleman and forever cheerful. I will remember Frank and Thelma for the music and joy they shared at the personal care home.

  24. To Karen, Bob, Grant and families,

    We send you our deepest condolences on the loss of your dad. From reading the lovely tribute he was obviously loved, respected and a very good human being while he journeyed on his path here on earth. May you know , and be comforted , that you were blessed to have parents that gave you a safe, secure and supportive home. His love, friendship, teachings, and of good times spent with him — may they comfort you…and even make you smile in the days ahead.

    Sincerely, Darlene and Joe

  25. Dear Karen, Kenny and families, we were so sorry to hear about the loss of your dad. The tribute to your dad was so beautiful. You can tell that he certainly lived his life to the fullest. Treasure all your memories, it helps at the difficult time.

    With our deepest sympathy,
    Brenda and Whalen and girls

  26. The well written obituary for Frank is a testament to the way he lived with his strong commitment to every community where he and Thelma spent many years. Having grown-up in the Elva….. Melita area gave me the opportunity to chat about where Thelma grew up which was 1 mile down the road from where my mother grew up. Many chuckles over the great neighborly times shared as they supported one another. When Frank retired I asked him what he was going to keep busy at to which he said… maybe do some subbing at the school. About a month later I asked him how subbing was going with his reply being I went back for one day which was enough to tell me why I had retired!!!!!! Our condolences to the family. Frank was a Icon in every community he graced. May he R.I.P.

  27. Thinking of you…Bob, Karen, Grant and families.
    So sorry to hear of your Dad. What a beautiful tribute to him. Yes our families had many great memories together as a result of the Playboys and Buckaroos! The band will banding together again to make some sweet music. Your Mom and Dad always had a warm welcome! I hope your wonderful memories and reminiscing will help you through this time.

  28. Frank was a wonderful man and a pleasure to know. Loved his passion for his family, music and travel ! My deepest condolences.

  29. My condolences Karen for the loss of your father. It was a privilege to provide care for Frank these last few years. He was a gentleman and always had a story to tell. Thoughts and hugs to you.

  30. To Bob, Karen,Grant and families- My most heartfelt condolences for the loss of your Dad. The obituary is beautiful and a tribute to a life well lived. It brought back many good memories. Hugs to all of you.

  31. Bob, Karen and Grant and families: Sending my deepest sympathy on the passing of Frank. What a wonderful tribute for him. We enjoyed many hours playing for dances with the Playboys. May the good memories of both Frank and Thelma help you through this time. Stay safe. Eugene

  32. So sorry to receive your sad news today Karen,we have such happy memories of the lovely visit the Banks girls and partners had here in Orkney.

  33. Condolences on the loss of your father! My siblings and I have many pleasant memories of our family associations in three different places of residence. Hoping your memories of your father & mother bring you comfort!

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