Since January, the hammering of nails on a corner lot in East Trail has been the sound of a community coming together.
When Frank Kotyk died suddenly in a car accident in December, left to mourn with his loving family, were many coworkers, friends and fellow church members.
Aside from that, there was the issue of the shell of his dream retirement home; a property the Kotyks had taken ownership of in November.
“Frank fell head over heels in love with the property,” said wife Nancy Kotyk.
Kotyk said that in a few weeks, Frank had ripped the existing house to the foundation and had already put up a few new walls.
“Then he was killed in a car accident.”
Kotyk said that she was left with a house that was worth nothing, and a lack of funds to finish the renovation.
That’s when the community kicked into action.
“During the funeral, many people approached my mom to say they wanted to help,” said daughter Danaya Kotyk.
“Dad knew a lot of people and they wanted to donate time to finish things up.”
Mrs. Kotyk said that she heard through the grapevine that the carpenters at Teck (Frank’s crew) had passed around a bulletin asking tradesmen to volunteer time to complete the job in memory of Frank.
So now, the “work bees” meet every other Saturday at the site to volunteer their labour to complete the renovation of Frank’s dream retirement home.
On the last scheduled Saturday, there was a large group in attendance, including several electricians, carpenters, a plumber and other workers, said Mrs. Kotyk.
Even on the Saturdays that aren’t a scheduled work bee day, there are small groups of people who still show up to work around the property, she said.
Pastor Bryan Henry, from the Christian Fellowship Church, was involved with the project from the beginning.
“I helped Frank build his workshop, the first project on this property,” he said.
“When he died we all realized we had to finish this for Frank and Nancy.”
The pastor reflected about how much Frank loved to renovate, and said that he was an integral part of four missions the church took to Central America, to build houses for the needy.
“He was a genuine guy, the real deal.”
If renovations proceed according to schedule, the house should be finished by the summer, said Mrs. Kotyk.
“He was a man of vision, and in a way this house will be a standing legacy of him.”