Frank P. Farkas, a resident of Pleasant View Retirement Community since 1996, passed away at his home on Monday, December 22, 2014. He was born in Budapest, Hungary on September 22, 1921, the only child of Ferenc Pal and Emma Farkas. Due to the invasion and occupation of his country at the start of World War II, he relocated to Bavaria. There he met an American soldier named Dr. Ross E. Long. After spending several years in England, Frank and his wife Molly emigrated to the United States in 1951. This avenue to a new life was facilitated by Dr. Long and his wife Betty Cooper Long. As a result, the families were close for sixty years. Although on paper Frank became a citizen in 1956, he stated “I never looked back, I was an American.” He was one of the many European immigrants whose love of freedom, respect for the rights of others and belief in the work ethic for achieving success contributed to the building of this nation.
One of his favorite memories occurred shortly after his move to the city of Lancaster. One day the mailman delivered a notice to appear at the police station on a specific date and time. As a recent immigrant, he was on his best behavior certain he had not violated any laws. On that fateful day at the station, he was told the chief of police wanted to speak with him with no further explanation. The suspense and anxiety subsided when the head officer appeared and introduced himself as Al Farkas. It was simply a friendly gesture to discover if the newest Farkas in town was a relative.
Frank’s engineering training enabled him to secure a position for thirty years with the Radio Corporation of America (RCA) upon his arrival here in the states. He worked in the color picture tube division within the equipment engineering department and later supervised the machine shop in the development lab at the Lancaster plant.
Frank sustained a great loss when Molly succumbed to cancer in 1979. Misfortune continued to plague his family in the years after his 1981 retirement. The same dreaded disease struck Addie Spece Farkas and Helen Griesemer Farkas. In 1995, Frank and Dorothy S. Heinaman were married and became active residents at Pleasant View. Dorothy (“Dottie”) passed away on November 2, 2013.
At an early age, Frank’s father introduced him to the art of woodcraft by hand-cutting and assembling many of his toys. This sparked his life-long interest of turning bowls and plates from exotic woods for the enjoyment of many. His expertise earned him a juried membership in the Pennsylvania Guild of Craftsmen. When he moved from his home in 1996, he gifted his equipment to Pleasant View and established its first wood shop which exists today for residents to share his avocation. It was recently dedicated as the Frank P. Farkas Craftsmen Corner.
Frank was an avid outdoors man enjoying boating, water skiing and fishing on the Susquehanna River. Trips to Canada and a number of states to hunt occurred in the nineteen seventies. Playing and watching tennis brought Frank much enjoyment particularly in Hilton Head, SC where his family vacationed annually.
Frank’s mission was defined by service. It began as a soldier in the Hungarian military and continued throughout his life. His selfless dedication to helping others never ceased even up to the time of his death. From repairing a resident’s lamp or chair to creating a prop for the Community, Frank was always ready to contribute with his skill and knowledge. In consideration of the turmoil in his mother country during 1944, his survival was a seventy year gift to all who knew and loved him. As life neared its end, his admonition to those who visited him as they were leaving: “It’s not goodbye, it’s see you later!”
At the request of Mr. Farkas, there will be no service or burial. He made a commitment many years ago to donate his remains for medical study and research. You may kindly remember Frank through the Pleasant View Benevolent Care Endowment Fund, 544 North Penryn Road, Manheim, PA 17545 and Hospice & Community Care, P.O. Box 4125, Lancaster, PA 17604-4125.