Ferenc (Frank) Cseke was born in Budapest, Hungary in 1920. He was the son of Ferenc Cseke and Margit Horvath. He always spoke fondly of his upbringing especially enjoying the music and culture in Budapest with his mother. In 1946, he met and married the love of his life Roza Antalfy and they had a son Frank. Life was difficult for Frank and Roza during the war and occupation years in Hungary. In 1957, Frank and Roza took their son and left their home, family and friends. They were welcomed into Canada and settled in Kitimat, B.C. where Frank worked for Alcan as a machinist. Unfamiliar with the language and extreme weather in Kitimat, they persevered and made Kitimat their home. They retired to Vernon, B.C. to be closer to their children Frank and Wendy and grandsons Adam and Paul. Roza passed away in 1999 and Frank eventually moved to Salmon Arm in 2007.
Soccer was his life. Frank started playing in the streets of Hungary when he was 8 years old. He practiced 6-8 hours everyday and attributes his success in playing with Ujpest Dozsa FC, a team in Hungary’s first division league, to his dedication to the game as a child. He went on to obtain a Level 3 certified coaching status. Frank enjoyed coaching men’s soccer teams wherever he lived, but will be remembered fondly for his work with youth soccer players and running youth summer soccer camps. You could not go anywhere without kids waving and saying hi to Frank. Living in Vernon, he volunteered with the Recreation department and organized and ran drop in indoor and outdoor soccer. Sayings like “practice hard and soon you will be a good beginner”, “nobody’s perfect except my wife”, “challenge” and “I don’t mind losing, but I prefer to win” were commonplace in the soccer community in Vernon. He could be seen training at Kin Beach with his soccer ball well into his seventies.
Frank will be remembered as an ambassador of soccer promoting the “beautiful game”. We will remember him as a fiercely devoted husband, father, grandfather and a gentleman. He spent a lot of time with his grandchildren, Adam and Paul teaching them soccer, table tennis, chess and life skills, He thought education was very important and stressed to them that “what you put in your head, nobody can take away”. He enjoyed life and particularly those special moments at the pool with his son, Frank.
Frank passed away peacefully on Wednesday March 17th, 2010.