Another check mark has been placed on a list of to-do items.
Born out of one of life’s true love stories — coupled with an interesting journey of hardships and hard work — Eileen Gronich fulfilled her late husband Frank’s wishes by launching the book “Walking Towards Sunrise” in his memory at Bally Haly Golf Club on Sunday afternoon.
More than 140 people attended the launch.
“I had to finish what he started and get it published,” Gronich said Monday.
“He worked so hard on it and was so proud of what was in the book, something he had worked on for two years.”
Gronich said her husband finished the draft just two weeks before his death in 2015, and she felt it was her duty to have it published, not just for Frank, but also to help the Children’s Wish Foundation of Canada, NL Chapter raise money for the wishes it grants to children who suffer from life-threatening illnesses.
The couple wanted children, but life got in the way and then it was too late, as they jumped in with both feet on a trio of business ventures in Corner Brook and Labrador.
“Unfortunately, Frank and I never had children. We thought about adopting, but for some reason the time was never right and then it was too late,” she said.
“But we love children and did all we could throughout our lives to support children’s causes. It was Frank’s wish that money raised from the sale of the book go to Children’s Wish, so that is what we are doing.”
The launch at Bally Haly came almost exactly three years after Frank Gronich was buried, something Eileen said was coincidence or perhaps fate. He died on April 18, 2015 at the age of 83.
Frank was born in the Sudetenland area of Czechoslovakia in 1932. After the Second World War, the Sudeten Germans were expelled, and Frank and his family were deported to West Germany. Vast struggle and hardship led him to immigrate to Canada in 1952.
He settled in Aylesford, N.S., from where the next phase of his journey would begin, and eventually he went to Corner Brook and was employed by Canada Packers.
It was there he met Eileen. The couple was married for five decades until his death.
He eventually established a successful business in Corner Brook.
In 1972, when in his early 40s, he and Eileen took the courageous step of selling their businesses and travelling the world for the next two years.
Then he went to Memorial University, where he earned a degree in ancient history and political science, and ultimately he went to Dalhousie University’s law school.
He served articles in the provincial Department of Justice.
Frank was called to the bar in 1980 and then took a position as a Crown prosecutor with the Department of Justice.
He served as a Crown counsel on the criminal side of the department for the rest of his career, appearing primarily in provincial court. He retired in the early 1990s.
The Children’s Wish Foundation of Canada is the largest all-Canadian wish-granting charity dedicated to granting wishes to Canadian children between the ages of three and 17 who are diagnosed with a life-threatening illness. For more than 30 years, Children’s Wish has worked to grant wishes to more than 25,000 children and their families. More than 830 of those wishes have been granted in Newfoundland and Labrador since 1986.