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She helped make a place for women in politics: Sally Merchant worked tirelessly for her community, her province and her country.

DIED: Former social activist, broadcaster and provincial politician Maria M. (Sally) Merchant, 87; of cancer, in Saskatoon, on April 1. Born in Yorkton, Sask., she completed her secondary education in Halifax and graduated with an arts degree from Dalhousie University, followed by a degree in education from the University of Saskatchewan in 1955. She then joined CFQC-TV in Saskatoon and hosted her own interview show, Sally Time, until 1964. In that year she was elected to the provincial legislature as Liberal member for Saskatoon, but did not seek re-election in 1967. (Her father and son, in their own times, also served as MLAs for different Saskatchewan constituencies.) She was then appointed as a Canadian diplomatic delegate to the United Nations, and in 1969 was appointed to the newly formed federal Department of Consumer and Corporate Affairs, where she played a pivotal role in establishing offices and protocols within the new ministry. She served in various positions in Winnipeg, Ottawa and Edmonton, developing Canadian public policy and consumer protection initiatives. She also lectured at the universities of Manitoba, Alberta and Saskatchewan, and served on the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission from 1983 to 1988. She was a lifetime women's rights advocate and served on numerous community boards, including Saskatoon's John Howard Society, the Saskatoon Council of Christians and Jews and the Saskatchewan Abilities Council. She was awarded the Queen's Jubilee Medal in 2002 and the Saskatchewan Centennial Medal in 2005.

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DIED: Former oilpatch veteran and businessman Francis C. (Frank) Finn, 85; in his sleep, in Calgary, on March 14. He was born in Holden, Alta., and attended the University of Alberta to study engineering, but left after his second year to join the Royal Canadian Air Force. When he earned his wings, he became a flying officer, training pilots at various bases throughout western Canada for the duration of the Second World War. After the war, he resumed his university studies, but switched faculties and graduated with a commerce degree in 1948. He moved to Calgary in 1951 to join North Canadian Oil, eventually assuming the role of vice-president and director of the company and its affiliate, Northwestern Pulp and Power, until 1966. He went on to be one of the founding members of Prudential Steel and ended his career as vice-president of Scurry Rainbow Oil and then Home Oil. He was also a founding director and then chairman of the Western Canada Lottery Corporation.

DIED: The last surviving veteran of the Second World War from Alberta's Blood Reserve and champion of native soldiers' rights Stephen Mistaken Chief, 84; after a brief illness, in Cardston, Alta., on April 4. Born and raised on the Blood Reserve, he enlisted in the Canadian Army in 1941, serving overseas during the war as a front line soldier in one of its most violent campaigns, the Battle of Ortona in Italy. Upon his return to Canada after the war, he was shocked to learn that, because of his race and colour, he did not qualify for the same postwar benefits as his comrades. Undeterred, he spent the rest of his life lobbying the federal government for better native education, human rights, and adequate housing for his people. He earned a degree in management from the University of Lethbridge and worked as a land researcher for the Blood Tribe land management department.

DIED: Former broadcaster and social worker August Frauenfeld, 82; of cancer, in Edmonton, on March 21. Born in Bruderheim, Alta., he graduated in 1949 from Bob Jones University, a Christian college in Greenville, South Carolina, with a degree in radio broadcasting, drama and music. He worked briefly in radio, and in 1952, started his public service with the Alberta government as public trustee and social worker. He was instrumental in the founding of the Westfield Diagnostic and Treatment Centre (now the Yellowhead Youth Centre) for children with emotional issues. Several years later, he took early retirement and became executive director of the Oak Hill Boys Ranch, a treatment centre for youths in Bon Accord, Alta. He retired in 1997 but remained on the board as a consultant.
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Title Annotation:THE RECORD
Author:Olivier, Victor
Publication:Western Standard
Geographic Code:1CANA
Date:May 7, 2007
Words:685
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