Cranbrook has lost a long-time, legendary businessman and humanitarian. With the passing of Frank Sandor, the community will never be the same.
Frank was an integral part of Cranbrook since 1968. After escaping the Communist revolution in his native Hungary in 1956, he met his first wife, Suzy, and they moved to Canada — Michel-Natal near Sparwood, then Kimberley, and finally Cranbrook. Here, in 1968, while Cranbrook was undergoing a period of rapid growth, he started a concrete finishing company, finishing cement for what would become landmark local buildings, like the hospital.
Two years later, Frank started renting out his construction equipment, and Sandor Rentals was born, which was to become one of Cranbrook’s iconic businesses. Frank himself became one of Cranbrook’s most iconic businessmen.
But as much as his business acumen and colourful personality, Frank was especially known for his unfailing generosity and his community support. “Whoever came to his door and asked for help, he’d help,” said his second wife, Judy.
“There is so much that Frank has done for this community that people don’t even know about,” said Karin Penner, long time Chamber of Commerce director and friend of Frank’s. “He’s touched the lives of every corner of this community with his generosity.”
“He always had this wonderful, beautiful sense of humour to go along with it. And the caring for this community was above and beyond.”
Frank sponsored sports teams and non-profit associations — the list of organizations that have benefited from his generosity is a long one. He occasionally used his famous cranes to rescue cats from trees.
Frank was named Cranbrook’s Citizen of the Year in 2006, and Business Person of the Year in 2020.
“Frank was a pillar of our community,” said Laura Kennedy with the Cranbrook Chamber of Commerce. “There are so many things that he did behind the scenes quietly that he didn’t want recognition for.
“He was in business in Cranbrook for over 50 years. Whether it was donating equipment or donating funds, he was always there.”
“It’s such a huge loss. He will be missed. He was just a really, really good human being.”
Frank’s kindness, big heart and sense of humour will be so missed but his legacy will carry on as he has set the bar high for community support,” said Jason Wheeldon. “His legacy is there as one of the strongest supporters of fundraising and community initiatives — although always quietly and with a sense of accomplishment (and humour), for Frank knew what it takes to build a strong community.
“Thank you Frank you will be missed.”