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Visitations:  2:00 - 4:00 pm, and 7:00 - 9:00 pm

                           Friday July 26, 2019

Location:      Garafraxa Hill Funeral Home

                          251 Garafraxa St., Chatsworth ON

Visitation:  10:00  - 11:00 am

                         Saturday July 27, 2019

Location:   St. Mary's Roman Catholic Church

                        554 15th St E, Owen Sound, ON

Funeral Service: 

                         11:00 am, Saturday July 27, 2019

                        (Visitation 1 hour prior)

Location:     St. Mary's Roman Catholic Church

                         554 15th St E, Owen Sound, ON

Reception: Williamsford Community Centre

                        112 Salter St, Williamsford, ON

Francis ' Frank' Beirnes

February 10, 1940 - July 20, 2019

BEIRNES- Francis 'Frank' Beirnes, former Warden of Grey County, and Williamsford resident, passed peacefully on July 20, 2019 at Chapman House Owen Sound, at age 79. Loving husband of 52 years to Helen Marie (nee Moran). Dear father of Ron Beirnes (Sandra) of Parry Sound, Rob Beirnes (Lisa) of Williamsford, Angela Leaver (John) of Perth, and Andrea Fisher (Mike) of Allenford. Proud Popa to Emily, Kate, Jordan, Jaclyn, Matthew, Patrick, Andrew, Kamyla, Jayne, and Brett. Survived by siblings Katherine Reekie and Alex Beirnes (Sally).  Fondly remembered by in-laws Judy Beirnes, Wayne Batterman, Catherine Fay, Francis Moran (Brenda Cook), Pat Scott (Bill), John Moran (Brenda), and Jerome Moran as well as by many nieces and nephews. Predeceased by his parents Wellington and Mary Beirnes (nee Bell), siblings Muriel Woods (George), Jim Beirnes (Eileen), Joe Beirnes (Eileen), John Beirnes, Dorothy Berry (Ralph),  grandson Curtis, and in-laws Harvey Reekie, Lorena Batterman, Sheumas Fay, Donna Moran, and Camilla Silverthorn (Jack).


Frank was born in Owen Sound and raised on the family farm near Williamsford. As the youngest of eight children, he was instilled with a strong work ethic and devotion to family and community. Frank left school in grade 11 to help support the family by working on the farm. It is rare that any of us would have such a turning point this early in life, but it was a prelude to the legacy of commitment and public service for which he would become known. Helen Marie, his future bride, also came from a family of eight and shared many of the same attributes as Frank, although he left the worrying to her; he said that he tried worrying once and it didn't pay well so he gave it up. They married in Dornoch in 1966 and were thrilled to welcome four children into their lives: Ron, Rob, Angela and Andrea. They began a milk operation on their farm, and later expanded to beef cattle, and pigs over the 400 acres they tended. His children tell of his amazing ability to read people quickly, and he was an excellent judge of character, primarily by allowing others to speak, even when he may have disagree with them. Frank entered municipal politics in 1974 and just 14 years later would be elected to serve as Warden of Grey County. As Warden, he and Helen Marie travelled to conferences throughout Canada and cherished the friendships they forged with fellow Wardens. He was very proud of his 26 year career in politics, and followed that with service on the Police Services Board and prominent Board  member of the Saugeen Valley Conservation Authority.  As President of the Williamsford Curling Club, together with that board, they raised over 250K  in a year and a half to help establish the new arena. Frank also had a dedicated commitment to St. Stanislaus  Church and served on the church council.  After politics, he was hired as a by-law enforcement officer for property management and noxious weed control for 15 years. He taught courses on forestry and chain saw use. Throughout Frank's life he always had a strong personal tie to his Amish neighbours and developed many lasting friendships in that community. He would often be the one they would call in an emergency and he would be there for them. But it wasn't all work and service. As a young man he was a very talented 3rd baseman and won a provincial championship. He enjoyed fishing, hunting deer, moose and turkey, and trapping beaver. Hockey was his winter passion where he played defence....many years later joking to his grandchildren that his skates would be retired to the Hockey Hall of Fame. He enjoyed coaching his four kids baseball and hockey teams for most of their young years. The children often had friends sleep over, so on any weekend an extra 10 to 20 kids could be found in the house, sleeping on floors. It was common for kids to be crawling through the windows at night to find a place to sleep. Try as they might though, you couldn't pull anything over on Frank, as he had probably done it himself already, and as a bylaw enforcement officer, you could never be quite sure where or when he might show up. Can you imagine yourself as a teenager, parking in a secluded field, and there's a tap on the window and it's your uncle Frank saying ”just had a report of some noxious weeds out here! ”  If you did try to outwit him, you'd probably find yourself at work splitting wood early in the morning, or just being threatened with being “sold to the neighbours” ; but he was always fair. He had a dry sense of humour and enjoyed sharing an inappropriate rhyme or playing practical jokes on his grandkids, such as pouring water down a furnace duct to soak those on the couch below. He was especially proud of his grandkids and cherished the times he spent hunting and fishing with them or attending their activities. In his later years, he really enjoyed working in his vegetable gardens and planted everything: peas, garlic, raspberry's, corn, rhubarb, squashes, and one particular year, 35 tomato plants. Nothing ever went to waste and Frank was particularly fastidious about the weeds.  With Helen Marie's help, the cold cellar would be full each autumn with hundreds and hundreds of jars of stored preserves. Guests would sometimes be asked , “do you need any salsa to take home?”
Frank always had something nice to say about everyone, never lost his sense of humour and joked with friends and family, until his final moments. Even during these last days, he was most concerned with his family and community; diligently playing the lotto and thinking if I can win this, I can pay for that new arena. His family and community has lost a great man.

​Visitations will be held at Garafraxa Hill Funeral Home, Chatsworth on Friday July 26, at 2:00 – 4:00 and 7:00 – 9:00 pm. The funeral service for Frank Beirnes will be held at St. Mary's Roman Catholic Church, Owen Sound on Saturday July 27, 2019 at 11:00 am, with a visitation 1 hour prior to the service. Father Wojciech Kuzma officiating. Interment at Shiloh Cemetery, Chatsworth. Luncheon to follow at Williamsford Community Centre. If desired, donations to St. Stanislaus Building Fund, Township of Chatsworth Community Hub Campaign (new Arena), or Chapman House would be appreciated by the family. Online condolences may be expressed at

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