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McTighe, Francis Paul

Francis Paul McTighe passed away Monday, Nov. 8 in the Tom Baker Cancer Centre just 10 days shy of his 75th birthday after a brief, intense battle with lung cancer.
Frank was born in Calgary in 1929 to Imelda and Patrick McTighe. Frank spoke lovingly of a childhood in the Bridgeland-Riverside district spent playing hockey and baseball, fishing with his father and brothers, swimming in the Bow and Elbow rivers, and hanging out with friends.
Frank was blessed with an incredible work ethic, which saw him out hustling on the streets of Calgary at an early age, selling newspapers and shining shoes. After a broken leg kept Frank out of school for several months, he ended his formal education in Grade 6 and went to work, taking on several jobs before being hired at the age of 16 by Gallelli Construction Ltd., where he would fashion his first career.
Frank started out as a labourer and quickly progressed to more responsible positions in the company, eventually becoming one of just five or six dragline operators in the city. Frank’s skill at operating the huge machine would draw crowds to watch as he dug basements for houses and such larger buildings as the Highlander Hotel and Central United Church. Later he ran the dragline in gravel pits as the company built many of the early highways in Alberta.
Along with other men of his generation, Frank worked tirelessly to build Gallelli Construction Ltd. into a major company which eventually sold to Canada LaFarge, rising to the position of general superintendent.
Then, showing that same entrepreneurial spirit he exhibited as a boy selling newspapers and shining shoes, Frank left the construction industry to establish his own lawn care and snow removal business. Frank’s Lawn Care became a success, as the owner’s dedication and attention to detail earned the respect and loyalty of customers, many of whom retained Frank’s services for more than two decades. Frank continued to work full-time until the cancer that would eventually take his life forced him to stop working in August.
Frank was an avid sports fan, a passion which he passed on to his son by building a hockey rink each winter in the back yard of their home and coaching hockey in the Triwood Community Association, one year leading his team to the Calgary Minor Hockey Week tournament championship. Later in life Frank maintained his interest in sports by becoming the biggest fan of his grandsons, attending as many of their hockey, baseball, basketball or football games as possible. He also followed closely the fortunes of the Calgary Stampeders, Calgary Flames and Toronto Blue Jays.
Frank had an iron will. Realizing he was an alcoholic quit drinking and later, at the urging of his brother Ebby, joined Alcoholics Anonymous. Frank became a fixture at AA meetings, which he often chaired, enjoying the fellowship and the chance to help others find the sobriety he enjoyed for 28 years. A year after he quit drinking, Frank smoked his last cigarette and quit a two pack a day habit cold turkey.
Throughout his life Frank was popular and well-liked. He had an endless repertoire of stories and jokes, and a caring and compassionate nature that drew people to him.
Francis Paul McTighe is survived by: his son Frank and his wife Emily and their sons Ryan, Danny and Michael; his daughter Cheryl Lockerbie and her son Scott; the mother of his children Susan McTighe; his brother Ebby; his foster brother Larry; his sisters Theresa and Elaine; numerous nieces and nephews; and a multitude of friends.
Frank was predeceased by his father Patrick; his mother Imelda; his brothers Lou, Jock, Garret and Mickey; his sisters Pat, Ruth and Imelda; his son-in-law David Lockerbie; and his grandson Matthew Lockerbie.
A celebration of Frank’s life was held at 10 a.m. Wednesday, Nov. 17 at Foster’s Funeral Chapel. Interment followed in Queen’s Park Cemetery.

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