338 - 4th Avenue North | Saskatoon, Saskatchewan S7K 2L7
Obituary of Paul Hack
1926 - 2018
It is with heartfelt sadness that we announce the peaceful passing of a loving father and well-known Saskatonian, Paul Hack on Wednesday, July 4th, 2018 at Royal University Hospital, in his 93rd year. Paul Lawrence Edward Hack was born in Fulda, Germany, on January 20th, 1926. He is survived by daughters Julie Beaufort (Matthew) of Fairfield, Iowa, Roxanne Laforge (Leon) of Saskatoon, and son Thomas (Robert) of Winnipeg. He is also survived by son-in-law Abe Janzen of Saskatoon, his grandchildren Michel, Amanda, Raymond and David, several nieces and nephews, and special friend Frances Musty. Paul was predeceased by his beloved wife Shirley, daughter Tracia, and parents Frank and Juliane.
Paul was raised in Winnipeg, Manitoba, and following university left for Kenora, Ontario in 1949 to begin his radio broadcasting career. He met Shirley at a church function in 1951, they were engaged in March, 1952 and married August 4th of that same year. During the early years of their marriage, Paul and Shirley resided in Moose Jaw, where Paul worked in radio, moving to hold radio posts in Saskatoon, back to Moose Jaw, and later Regina. In the early 1960s, Paul was employed by the Saskatchewan Centennial Corporation, and moved his family to Saskatoon to lead the province’s celebrations in honour of Canada’s 100th birthday. Paul worked for the Ministry of Culture and Youth in the Saskatchewan government through to the mid-1970s, then returned to radio as sports director at CJWW in Saskatoon. Paul supplemented his broadcasting with the column “Sports Flashback” for a local Saskatoon paper - the “Commentator”. The column was later titled “Hack’s Happenings”. All the while, Paul was committed to promoting local, minor league, and high school sports. Paul was the “Voice of the Saskatoon Hilltops” for several years, serving as home field announcer. He was the track announcer for the Knights of Columbus international track and field meet. Paul also served as emcee for the national curling brier, and at a numerous sportsman’s dinners throughout the province. Paul’s gift for public speaking had him lead the induction ceremonies for the Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame, and the Saskatchewan Baseball Hall of Fame for 30 consecutive years, an organization that inducted Paul as a “builder” in 1993. Paul was a baseball historian, and together with Dave Shury wrote “Wheat Province Diamonds”, a history of baseball in Saskatchewan. Paul was an avid bowler, from age 16 when he bowled in a league with his mother, to age 90 when he captured a bronze medal at the Canadian Seniors Championships.
Paul’s dedication to his community found him volunteering countless hours in the service of others. He delivered Meals on Wheels, assisted with the Special Olympics, served up burgers on McHappy Day, painted sets for Saskatoon Summer Players, toured with the “Young at Heart” singing troupe, and served on local boards and committees. He was a reader and lay minister at Holy Spirit Parish, where he spoke the first reading from Genesis for 35 consecutive years at the Easter Vigil. It was on the theatre stage, perhaps, following his retirement, where Paul shone brightest, with several starring roles in Summer Players Theatre, and Gateway Theatre, capturing the province’s TheatreFest Best Actor Prize in 1995 (Paris is Out) and 2002 (On Golden Pond). He also starred in several TV commercials, and enjoyed guest TV appearances on Corner Gas and Little Mosque on the Prairie. He once took delight in baking a Saskatoon berry pie for a very nice producer and star of a movie in which he was cast in a small role. He hadn’t heard of her before, wondered if anyone had or ever would, but she was so lovely that he gave her - Charlize Theron - a homemade pie!
Paul was a dedicated family man, relishing time spent with family. He and Shirley enjoyed many trips to the Caribbean, Spain, Portugal, Alaska and Hawaii. Together with their children they enjoyed cruise vacations, and Paul especially enjoyed trips to Germany with Julie and Roxanne, to the USA to watch New York Yankees baseball with Julie and Matthew, and to three national seniors bowling championships with Tom. Paul delighted in fishing with his children, taking them to bowling every Saturday morning, playing board games with family, and the home was filled with his humour and singing. When recently asked to name the happiest period of his life, Paul responded the mid- to late 1950s, because it was during this time that he delighted in the company of his young family.
Paul lived a full, active life until his early 90s. He was larger than life, and it can be said that Paul lived the life of five men. Paul will be remembered for his golden speaking voice, brilliant sense of humour, writing and acting accomplishments, love of bowling, singing, the big band sound of Glenn Miller, playing cards, fishing, passion for the Yankees, service to his church and community, and devotion to his family. An antique chime clock is one of numerous awards and recognitions gathered during his life. Engraved on the clock is Paul’s life motto: “In any sport, be a sport”.
The prayer vigil for Paul will be held on Tuesday, July 31st at 7:00pm with the Mass of Christian Burial to take place Wednesday, August 1st at 10:30am. Both services will be held at Holy Spirit Roman Catholic Parish, 114 Kingsmere Place, Saskatoon. In lieu of flowers, Paul would request that memorial donations be given to the Saskatchewan Baseball Hall of Fame (attention Jane Shury). The family would like to thank Dr. A. J. Harrington for his care of Paul, the St. Ann’s Retirement Village Community for their friendship and support, and the dedicated staff of Central Haven Special Care Home where Paul resided for a few months prior to his passing.
Dependable. Committed. Compassionate.
338 - 4th Avenue North
Saskatoon, Saskatchewan S7K 2L7
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