Wednesday, August 26, 2009


Dr. Frank Greenhall has moved to a peaceful place and we know he will continue to smile on us. Frank passed away after a brave battle with cancer on August 21, 2009, in Troy, NY. He is already greatly missed and we will forever be grateful for his contributions to the sport.

Frank’s love for pigeons started in 1960 when he was introduced to fancy pigeons while in elementary school. By 1965, he had his first pair of homers. He took a brief break while in school. Returning in 1975, he jumped back into the sport in true Greenhall fashion – with total and complete commitment!

Many may remember that Frank helped organize a massive pigeon release for the opening of the 1980 Olympic games in Lake Placid, New York. During this same period of time, he wrote articles for the Racing Pigeon Bulletin and helped coordinate the AU’s Help-A-Beginner Program. Frank remained active with the HAB program as a mentor always offering the most of himself and his expertise to his beginners.

All of the clubs that Frank flew with benefited from his service. He held virtually all club officer positions at one time or another pitching in to help anywhere it was needed. He flew with the Scholarie Valley RPC and Amsterdam ARP in New York. While he and his family were living in Delaware, he belonged to and competed with the Wilmington and Newark clubs, which were also part of the Greater Western combine.

Members in those clubs surely remember Frank’s sense of humor, but most of all his sense of fairness.

That integrity and sense of fairness carried into each and every issue he dealt with while serving the sport nationally serving as an AU Board member. Frank served as Zone Director, Vice President, Executive Vice President and as AU President. He continued his service as AU President Ex-Officio and Secretary until his passing.

Frank was known to bring issues to the table repeatedly if he felt they needed to be reconsidered. That was, in large part, due to the sense of obligation he felt he had to his fellow fanciers. He was always eager to look to new programs and take on challenges. He was always thinking ahead. Frank constantly looked to what he could do to improve the sport and the organization that he loved so dearly, and ensure that it is a solid organization well into the future.

He was always supportive of members. Likewise, he was supportive of the AU staff and his fellow board members. He believed in giving everyone a fair chance at anything.

When Avian Influenza first became a threat to the sport, Frank jumped in with several others. He knew the importance of quelling any fear that pigeons may be affected. He also knew the importance of determining facts. Frank felt it was better to stare the enemy in the face and if it was determined pigeons were affected by AI, he wanted the AU to be prepared to confront that through research and vaccine development.

In 2001 when the USDA notified bird hobbyist organizations that they would be forced to regulate the owners of birds and mice not bred for research, Frank became quickly involved. He and several other AU board members met with government officials. He helped draft what would eventually be offered as minimum operating standards for racing pigeon enthusiasts. He was forward-thinking and his focus was on providing them with accurate information with which to regulate.

Similarly, in 2003 when Exotic Newcastle hit California and Nevada, Frank asked his board to authorize funding of testing to determine if racing pigeons were susceptible. Many questioned this thinking feeling that if we don’t draw any attention to ourselves, we would stay off the radar. The officials know with incredible accuracy where birds are kept. Once again, Frank felt it was better to know the potential so to be better armed to find positive resolve.

Frank recently finished his career as a school superintendent in New York. He obviously took the same integrity to his job serving students and their families. They loved him and shared mutual respect for one another. He actually took time every year to hand write birthday cards to each of the students that had graduated within his school district. In many cases, Frank shared birthday greetings with former students for more than ten years. No wonder he was so fondly thought of within the community!

Though it is sad to lose someone so loved and well-respected, we must remember to be inspired by Frank’s commitment to his family and service to his community and to the sport he so dearly loved.

In lieu of flowers, remembrances may be made to the Dr. Frank Greenhall Educational Memorial Scholarship Fund, to be awarded to a graduating student in Mechanicville, Hoosic Valley, Cambridge and Warwick Valley schools, who plan to make a difference in a child's life. Memorials may be sent to the DeVito-Salvadore Funeral Home, 39 So. Main St., Mechanicville, NY, 12118.

Recipient of many national member awards, Frank will be remembered and his service appreciated into the next 100 years. To his bride of 34 years, Patti, his daughter, Kristi, and his son, Ryan, thank you for sharing your husband and father with us. We love you, Frank.