Frank Yanavicius loved his community, and that passion will last for years to come.
Yanavicius, who died in 2015, left $1 million to the Vernon Jubilee Hospital Foundation, the organization’s largest single donation to date. The funds will go towards expanded surgical services at VHG.
“This generous gift from Mr. Yanavicius will ensure improved health care for North Okanagan generations to come,” said Sue Beaudry, VJH Foundation director of development.
Yanivicius was born in Lithuania in 1927 and at the age of six, he immigrated to Canada with his father and mother. They settled in the Lumby area where he grew up.
A lifelong bachelor, Yanavicius retired in 1984 after a 33-year career as a metal sheet fabricator in Vancouver and Calgary. He moved to Vernon, where he pursued fly fishing and he helped found the Kalamalka Flyfishers Club.
“Uncle Frank,” as he was often called, taught fly fishing and fly tying courses and promoted the sport to newcomers.
The annual Fishing Day for Kids at Polson Park was another project that Yanavicius loved to be involved in. He participated in the many projects the club spearheaded, most notably upgrades to the fish weirs on Coldstream Creek. In recognition of his many contributions to the club, Frank was made a lifetime honorary member of the Kal Fly Fishers.
Always careful with his money, a friend remembers asking Yanavicius when he was going to buy a new truck, the response was, “No need, the bucket of bolts is still running.”
“Thanks to this thriftiness, Frank Yanavicius has left a generous legacy for patients at Vernon Jubilee Hospital,” said Beaudry.