Francis Boyd Haldane (Frank) journeyed home on May 11, 2021, he was 94. Born June 21, 1926, in Metlakatla, Alaska, two months premature, weighing only three pounds. His parents kept him alive on a hot water bottle by the wood stove feeding him with an eye dropper.
While recuperating from one of many illnesses, his mother brought him a model airplane to build, launching his lifelong passion for model airplanes and sailing ships such that in the 1950s he had his own business on Annette Island.
Frank attended high school at Sheldon Jackson to grade 11. In 1945 he joined the Army, transferred into the Army Air Force and trained in surface-to-surface communications. He was Honorably Discharged in 1949 and went to work for the CAA in Kotzebue and on Annette Island. In 1960 he transferred to the FAA’s ARTCC in Anchorage, serving as Air Traffic Controller, Supervisor, Senior Instructor, and EEO Counselor, retiring from the FAA in 1983.
In 1953 Frank met the love of his life, Mary (Kathy) Fisher, a teacher from Independence, Missouri, who had ventured to Wrangell but later taught in Metlakatla. They married in 1954 and lived in Metlakatla until 1960 when he, wife Kathy, and their three young children moved to Anchorage.
Frank was not shy to talk about substance use and abuse as he himself had struggled with alcoholism, crediting AA for saving his life and helping him to live over 40 years sober. In 1986 he obtained certification as a Chemical Addictions Counselor and for over 20 years worked at numerous Alaska Native recovery centers in Anchorage and in his home community of Metlakatla.
Frank was an expert speaker, crediting his 20 years in the Greatland Toastmasters Club of Anchorage. He was active in the Presbyterian Church and a student of the Bible, spirituality, and metaphysics. Frank was a respected elder of the Laxgibuu (Wolf) clan of the Tsimshian. His family considered him fluent in his Native language of Sm’algyax, as he took every opportunity with his family to teach them words and phrases. He was the elder dancer with the Lepquinm Gumilgit Gagoadim (LGG) Tsimshian dance group for almost 16 years, well into his 80s, time that brought he and Kathy pride and joy as he was able to share his love for Tsimshian culture.
Frank was preceded in death by wife Kathy of 62 years, parents Lucy Verney and Boyd A. Haldane, siblings Martha Williams, and Boyd Haldane. He is survived by his five children Mark, Sandra (Arthur), Steven, Corbin, Mona Kinder (Joseph), nine grandchildren Cole and Steven Anderson; Mikaila Haldane; Jasmine, Erin, and Raven Haldane; Jason, Garret, and Travis Kinder; three great-grandchildren Dylan Haldane, Tiffany and Hiro Strong; sisters Eleanor McGlothlin and Florence Bradford, and numerous nieces and nephews.
A service celebrating Frank’s life will be at Immanuel Presbyterian Church in Anchorage on May 22 at 11 a.m. In lieu of flowers the family requests donations be made to LGG Dancers of Anchorage and Hyaak Foundation of Metlakatla. A full obituary can be seen at Janssenfuneralhomes.com.