Canadian sports lost a prominent and respected individual on Monday with the passing of Frank D. Selke Jr.
He was 83.
While best known as a celebrated hockey executive and sports broadcaster, Selke became involved with Special Olympics in 1969 as a hockey executive working for the California Golden Seals. He stayed involved with the Special Olympics movement for the rest of his life.
Selke Jr. - the son of Montreal Canadiens general manager and Hall of Famer Frank J. Selke - worked as an executive for the Canadiens from 1951 to 1965 and was part of six Stanley Cup-winning teams. He also part of the Canadiens broadcasts during the 1960s whole working in public relations for the club.
Selke Jr. became president of the Oakland Seals in 1967 and became the team's general manager. He resigned in 1971 and later became vice-president of the Canadian Sport Network, producers of Hockey Night in Canada.
In the 1980s, Harry "Red" Foster, Special Olympics Canada's founder, encouraged Selke Jr. to take on a bigger role. As chair of the Board of Directors of Special Olympics Ontario, Frank established greater financial stability for the organization by attracting community support. He heightened national awareness by persuading his colleagues at the Canadian Sport Network to include segments about Special Olympics on Hockey Night in Canada.
He went on to contribute at the national level, serving on the Special Olympics Canada Board of Directors for eleven years. After retiring from the Canadian Sport Network in 1992, he joined the Special Olympics Canada National Office as Executive Vice President where he helped to establish a national partnership program, and was instrumental in the success of this undertaking and the growth of the Special Olympics movement in Canada.
In lieu of flowers, Frank D. Selke Jr.'s family asks that a donation be made to Special Olympics Canada.