There are two things one got right away when they met Charles “Greg” Frank: no one laughed louder or more heartily at his own jokes than Greg himself; and, his smile was as wide as an ocean and that smile put everyone at ease.

Frank, a former chief of the Keizer Fire District and a community leader, sadly passed away on Nov. 5 after a long and courageous battle with cancer.

He may have departed this mortal coil but his legacy will outlive him. He emulated his father and started to volunteer for the Keizer Fire District in 1981. By 1990 he had been hired as the district’s chief, a testament to his work ethic, his leadership skills and his management vision. Frank served as chief until his retirement in 2007.

The Keizer Fire District greatly changed under his leadership. He oversaw the construction of a new state-of-the-art fire hall that continues to be the pride of the district.The station’s large meeting room has hosted a number of community events.

Ambulance service was established with the requisite paramedic staff. That service now accounts for more than 90 percent of all calls answered by the district.

Hundreds of Keizer’s youth—male and female—got a taste of what a fire district does when they enrolled as an Explorer Scout, another Frank legacy. The Scouts were established, in part, to have a pipeline of future firefighters and paramedics. That’s vision. That’s a legacy.

Not one to stand on his laurels, Greg went back to the fire district two years later as an elected member of the Keizer Fire District Board of Directors, serving one term. That’s dedication.

Greg’s passion for service was evident as a member of the Rotary Club of Keizer, of which he served as president in 2010-11.  

A man of faith, Greg and his wife, Jan, were dynamos with their church’s children’s ministries. It is easy to think that hundreds of kids have a firmer hold on their own faith because of Greg and his wife.

In his post-fire district years he ran the family’s two hardware stores.But the store seemed to be a sideline to his real passion: travel. Personally, Greg never met a travel itinerary he didn’t like. He, with family members, posted photo after photo of their global destinations. He might travel the world but he always came back home to Keizer.

The memory of his laugh, his ready smile and the legacy he leaves behind makes us thankful that Keizer had Greg Frank, even for a short time.