March 27, 1925 – October 28, 2022
Frank “Papa” Hodgson
Frank Hodgson, lovingly known as Papa, was the quintessential gentleman and family man who will be missed by many. Papa was born on May 27, 1925 in Darlington England. He passed away peacefully on October 28, 2022 in Calgary, Alberta at the age of 97.
Papa lived a full life. At the tender age of 17, he mustered enough courage to join the Royal Navy during World War II. His bravery, even at such a young age, manifested his strength of character that was present throughout his life.
When the war ended, he worked in physically demanding jobs such as laying bricks and boxing even as he pondered and prepared for his future. Soon, he met his soul mate, Edna “Nana” Nicholls, a year or two before they became husband and wife. They were married on July 30, 1949 in Hendon, England. Theirs was a union that lasted until Nana’s death in 2018.
In the early 1950s, Nana and Papa migrated to Ontario, Canada, full of hopes of a brighter future for them and the family they planned to have. They lived in Toronto during the first few years of their arrival in Canada. Eventually, they moved to Scarborough, Ontario where they started a family.
Papa was a hardworking man and a good provider. When he first arrived in Canada, he took on jobs as a cab driver and a butcher but continued to look for better career opportunities. Later, he took on a position as a driver for Canada Post. His hard work and dedication was rewarded with a well-deserved promotion to the coveted position of Transportation Supervisor, a position he held until he retired from Canada Post in the 1990s.
Papa was a devoted father to David and Lawrence. He taught them various sports like swimming and hockey. More importantly, he taught them enduring life lessons by example. One of the most remembered traditions in the family was Papa building a skating rink in the backyard every year for his sons. Needless to say, those happy days are among the most treasured memories for his sons.
As Nana and Papa got ahead in life through their perseverance and tenacity, they bought a lakefront cottage in Head Lake, Simcoe County, about a two-hour drive from Toronto. Many summers and weekends were spent in this cottage which became a second home to the family and a gathering place for friends.
In the mid-1990s, Nana and Papa moved to Orillia, Ontario to be closer to the lakefront cottage. They continued to spend many happy days at the lakefront cottage until they decided to move to Alberta in 2012 to be closer to family.
Papa, never one to be idle, was a reliable handyman. He continued to do all kinds of home renovations into his early 80s. He also enjoyed doing outdoor activities such as cutting grass and shoveling snow. In his downtime, he indulged in hobbies such as watching hockey and boxing and playing cards. Since Papa was an amateur boxer in his younger years, he relished still being a part of this sport in his later years, while sitting comfortably in his living room and watching the fights on television. Papa was also known to relax and have a drink of beer or a shot of whiskey.
In 2018, Nana and Papa moved to a nursing home. True to his nature, Papa became a friend to many of the residents and caregivers at the nursing home. He was aptly known as “the man wearing a suit”. Every single day, Papa dressed smartly in a suit, complete with coat, tie, and dress shoes.
Even in his 90s, Papa would regale his family and friends with stories about his exploits in the Royal Navy during World War II. His story-telling brought much amusement, and awe at the same time, to his eager listeners.
Although Papa gained his angel wings at the ripe age of 97, his loss is greatly felt by his loved ones. The only consolation for his grieving family and friends is that Papa is now reunited with Nana in heaven.
Papa is survived by his children David and Lawrence (and wife Carolina), his grandchildren Shaina and Mark, and his great grandchild Eston.
Papa’s family expresses special thanks to AgeCare Skypointe who took very good care of him.