Some people might not remember his face, but they’d recognize his boisterous voice.
Frank Shuster was a Langley native and former councillor who recently passed away.
While he was a Langley boy from birth, a local business owner, a farmer, and a community volunteer, he was probably best known for his years in the livestock auction business, said Maureen, his wife of 57 years.
She described him as a quiet thinker and calm man, who she said was “very gentle and kind. The only time he was loud was when he was on the auction stand.”
Shuster, 83, died of a heart attack at his Kelowna home on New Year’s Eve day.
He was born on July 26, 1935 in Langley, and grew up in the Otter neighbourhood of town the youngest of 10 kids to Katie and Mike Shuster. He graduated from Langley high school in 1952, and after pondering a potential career as a veterinarian, opted instead to become a livestock auctioneer.
Graduating from the Reisch School of Auctioneering in Mason City, Iowa immediately after high school, Shuster first went to work at Gibson’s Auctions in downtown Langley. He remained there until he and a group of buddies decided to open Fraser Valley Auctions in 1971, Maureen explained. He later sold the auction house to Ken Pearson, in 1983.
During the mid-1960s, Shuster became one of the youngest aldermen of the day. Maureen recounted. At age 29, he was picked in a byelection to take over for Ald. Johnny Welman. He went on to serve seven and a half years on council, and served for many years as a board director for Aldergrove Credit Union and Otter Co-op.
In addition to serving on council, Shuster also gave to his community, sponsoring sports teams and donating his time and expertise to organizations such as the 4-H and the PNE. It was also not uncommon for him to serve as auctioneer for multiple community charity events, Maureen added.
“He was very proud of his years of service to the community,” she shared, noting he was proudest of his effort fighting “to hold the line on taxes” during his terms on council.
“A lot of people knew him,” Maureen said. “Many still do.”
Shuster left Langley to operate a 60-head, 40-acre dairy farm near Enderby in 1981, then moved back to Langley from 2001 to 2006 to care for family, before settling back in the Interior – specifically in Kelowna – about 20 years ago.
Shuster leaves behind his wife, their three sons Robert (Susan), Frank (Heidi) and Gordon, as well as eight grandchildren and two great grandchildren.
There are no services planned, Maureen said.