Valley Lives - Frank Macintyre

The following article first appeared in "The Low Down to Hull and Back News" in the November 01, 2006 issue. Reprinted with permission.

Chelsea realtor a true original

by Ian Lordon

Life was always sunny skies and fresh powder for Chelsea's Frank Macintyre, even when it wasn't.

"He embraced life and wanted to make the most of every day and everything he did," his daughter, Jane Lynott recalled. "He was incredibly positive."

Valley Lives
A young Frank Macintyre enjoys a fine day on the slopes. Skiing would become a lifelong passion.

Macintyre's enthusiasm and optimism were qualities remembered fondly by the hundreds of friends and family who gathered at Ottawa's First Unitarian Church Oct. 30 for pay tribute to the Gatineau Hills icon who passed away six days earlier from cancer.

Born in Owen Sound, Ontario in 1925 Macintyre moved to Ottawa in 1940 where he completed high school at Glebe Collegiate Institute. It was there that he met Ken Meikle, also new to the school after moving from the North West Territories, and the pair struck up a friendship that would last a lifetime

"He was a pretty super guy for a teenager of his age," said Meikle. "He had much wider interests than usual even then. He was big in football, a very good player on the high school team. He was a good wrestler, quite accomplished on the high bar in gymnastics, on the ski team, and in the glee club. I don't know how we hit it off but we did."

Macintyre was awarded the Ronald Ames trophy for academic and athletic excellence upon graduation in 1944 when he and Meikle parted ways and enlisted to fight in World War II.

"Most of us went off to join the Air Force," he said. "But Frank had already lost his brother John who was a navigator in the Air Force, so he joined the Navy and served on the frigate Kirkland Lake as a seaman."

Macintyre saw active duty hunting submarines in the North Atlantic and returned to Ottawa at the close of the war where he resumed his studies, pursuing an engineering degree at Carleton where he was named the first captain and quarterback of the school's new football team. He later transferred to Queen's University where he was reunited with Meikle and completed his degree.

"At Queen's we ended up as roommates," Meikle said. "He started on the intermediate football team with me but he was promoted to the seniors right after the first game when he took the opening kickoff back for a touchdown. He was good for five yards up the middle every time he touched the ball. Very strong, Wery strong, like a cat on his feet."

In 1949 Macintyre began his engineering career with E.B. Eddy in Ottawa before moving to Montreal to join Sun Oil. In 1956 he took up teaching at Ashbury College then returned to Glebe Collegiate where he coached the football and ski teams while teaching math and science. Finally, in 1961, he began what would prove to be a 40-year career in real estate when he joined Macintyre Realties in Chelsea, the fledgling real estate company founded by his father - Colonel Duncan E. Macintyre.

In 1963 Macintyre married Jane Knapp, a Philadelphian he met while skiing in Stowe, Vermont, and the pair settled in Larrimac where they raised three children - Jane, Meg, and John. As his family grew, so did the business he inherited from his father. Century 21 Macintyre boasted over a dozen agents when he sold it to son-in-law Stephen Lynott and retired in 2002.

"It was real country office," said agent Susan Sabiston, first hired by MaCintyre some 20 years ago. "He was so strong on honesty and integrity, it always mattered more than making the sale, Whether it was a $10,000 deal or a $10 million deal, everyone was treated the same. His reputation was always behind him and it was always good."

The busy summer season and relatively quiet winters allowed Macintyre to pursue his lifelong passion - skiing, one he indulged into his 80s. Macintyre skied competitively at school, in university, and with the Ottawa Ski Club, Later on he was a member of the Laurentians' exclusive Red Birds Ski Club, coached high school ski teams, and served as manager of the Canadian Ski Team in 1962. His love of downhill and crosscountry proved infectious as his children and grandchildren all caught the bug.

"He was an enthusiastic skier, ski-teacher, and coach," said Keith Nesbitt who served alongside Macintyre on the Canadian Ski Museum board of directors throughout the 1990s, "He was a super guy, always positive, very innovative-thinking guy. Any challenge, any job, he'd say 'let's get it done.'"

His upbeat and undaunted approach to life won him many admirers throughout the Gatineau Hills - a community he knew, and where he was known, as well as anyone.

"He really liked people, he was really interested in them," said Marilyn Mullen, who joined Macintyre's staff in 1978 and remains the office manager today. "He was very respectful, very honest, and he expected that from his agents. He loved to meet the different characters around the hills and to tell stories about them, He couldn't tell a joke, but he could tell a story."

Georgie Taylor, recruited to work as an agent by Macintyre 20 years ago while he helped her look for her lost dog, described him as a mentor and friend. A man who always had time to help those who needed it, and an unending lesson in human hope and kindness.

"There were hard times in the business, but no matter what happened he'd always say it was the best year ever. The ceremony today was probably the most wonderful celebration of a person's life I've ever been to, and one of the things I took from it was that I'm going to try and be as positive and upbeat as I can. He was a very special friend and I'm really going to miss him."

Macintyre is survived by his wife Jane, sister Jane Middleton, children Jane Lynott, Meg Grove, John Macintyre, and grandchildren Patrick, Katie, Ellie, Jillian, David, and Emma, In lieu of flowers, the family requests support for QUAIL - the Quebec Association for Independent Living at 10 Sherrin Rd, Chelsea, QC, J9B 2E2.

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