Reflections on Frank Coulter
remember talking to the late Frank Coulter (who passed away suddenly Nov. 2) one fall, just after municipal elections.
That year he and his wife Sharon had decided to vote in every election in which they were eligible, mostly because of property ownership.
The poll to poll to poll journey took all day.
He wasn’t boasting, but just telling an interesting story. I never heard him boast about anything. He was humble man, who was a friend to everyone, no matter their station in life.
That anecdote speaks to Frank’s success as a businessman. However, as noted since his death last Thursday, the characteristic for which he was best known was philanthropy.
If every charity, cause and individual that was helped by Frank decided to get together, you’d be hard pressed to find a room big enough to hold them all.
I was blessed to serve on the board of the Owen Sound Hospital Foundation with Frank and his skill at fund raising, plus opening doors for the rest of us, was unmatched.
Without Frank’s hard work and input, the regional hospital eventually would have gotten an MRI. But his work on the campaign helped speed things along in a way that made us all look good.
One mark of his standing in this regard came from the Rotary Club of Tara. Frank was presented with a Paul Harris Fellowship in recognition of his work with the wider community.
This honour is not given to non-Rotarians without a lot of consideration. But Frank Coulter was a shoe-in from the day his name was first mentioned.
Most people in the region know of his Sprucedale Agromart businesses with locations in Hanover, Tara and Manitoulin Island, as well has his part ownership of the Attack hockey club and his involvement with Trillium Mutual Insurance.
What they don’t know is that Frank may well have had an interest in all kinds of businesses with which they deal regularly.
Frank was keen on a deal and thoughtful about making his businesses successful.
However, his aforementioned philanthropy illustrated that it was about much more than just building a business empire.
It was about having resources that he could, and did use to help his fellow humans.
Besides his business and philanthropy activities, nobody enjoyed a game of cards more than Frank. And he loved to watch horse races, particularly when a horse in which he had an ownership stake was in the running.
We used to tease him about how thankful the race industry was for his participation. After all, some horses have to come in third, fourth, etc. It was just a joke. He also saw a lot of success on the track.
Every life is important and every death leaves a hole.
None more so than Frank Coulter.