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Date of Passing: Jan 30, 2006

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FRANK WILLIAM CHALMERS On January 30, 2006, with his daughters holding his hand, Frank left this world for another. It was a quiet exit, and given Frank's modesty, exactly how he would have wanted it. There is no doubt he's up there, reuniting with family and old friends, sharing some stories and some laughs, but it's difficult to say goodbye so soon. He was 62. Frank had a special relationship with each of his daughters, Allison and Katie. Grandchildren Alexa (his Lexi-Lu) and Mitchell (his Mitchy Boy) will never forget their Poppa. Frank will also be greatly missed by sons-in-law Rich and Jeremy; his brother Jon and wife Rae; and his sister Donna and husband Ian. Born to Jonina Hjorleifson and William (Jim) Chalmers, Frank grew up in Winnipeg Beach, tricking his sister into walking through cow patties, dressing up as the Lone Ranger or Hopalong Cassidy with his brother and horsing around on his grandparents' mink farm. His tremendous talent as an award-winning photographer left behind a legacy of pictures, reminding us how he saw the world. He was an observer: astute, meticulous, with an eye that conveyed more than just colours and composition. He captured emotion. It is fitting that a man so soft-spoken and humble would excel in a medium that allowed him to say volumes without saying a word. His subjects ranged from Queen Elizabeth and her family at Windsor Castle to his own grandkids, who he adored. He was fortunate to start his career at the beginning of a golden age of newspapers in Winnipeg, the late 1960s and 1970s, when the Tribune and the Free Press battled daily. He rapidly became the star of the photography department because he could make pictures with wit and humour, like a much-reproduced image of a hen with her head thrust deep into a chicken noodle soup tin, or with sympathy and pathos, like one of a poor woman, her posture showing utter defeat, leaning against a door on which was posted her eviction notice. He succeeded his good friend and mentor, Gordon Aikman, as photo editor of the Tribune. Under Frank, the department was a wonderful training ground for photographers and many of the best in Canadian photojournalism got early and invaluable experience at the Trib. He was demanding, both of himself and his staff, but his talent and integrity were so unmistakable that he was a pleasure to work for, be the days ever so long and hard. After the Tribune's demise in 1980, he was a founding editor at the Winnipeg Sun, but in his heart he remained a Tribune man. His work appeared in the best magazines and newspapers in the world, including Life and National Geographic. Beyond his skills behind the lens, Frank's most enduring trait was his generosity. He gave selflessly to his family and friends. With his dry sense of humour, he had no shortage of great stories to tell. Frank did not want a funeral. In lieu of flowers, please visit your doctor regularly (all you stubborn middle-aged men) and donate to the Heart and Stroke Foundation. Thank you to the caring staff at St. Boniface Hospital and Health Sciences Centre. If dad were still here, he'd buy you all Tim Horton's coffee and doughnuts. To the greatest dad and Poppa in the world. We'll love you forever. WOJCIK'S FUNERAL CHAPEL 897 - 4665

As published in Winnipeg Free Press on Feb 04, 2006

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