Frank and Olga’s daughter Gina Ash recently made a very generous donation to the chimps in her parents’ memory. On the anniversary of Frank and Olga’s wedding, I have to share their touching story with you.
When Olga died of cancer in August 2005, Gina was very worried about her dad. At 82, he had never done a load of laundry in his life. Though they were very social before Olga’s death (playing bingo or cards at the senior center most afternoons and evenings), Frank stayed home for the next six months. Gina tried her best to help her dad mourn and recover, and he slowly started going back to his favorite activities. He started making new friends and after a while started taking one particular new “lady friend” to bingo regularly. As Gina said, “He was like a high school kid; all of his phone calls resulted in laughing so hard it hurt!” On May 12, 2007 Frank was returning from his lady friend’s house and was killed in a head on car accident.
Gina wanted to do something meaningful with her share of her parents’ estate. Around the same time, she saw Chimpanzee Sanctuary Northwest on ABC World Nightly News, checked out our work and our website, and took it as a sign that the chimps could use Frank and Olga’s help. Frank and Olga were good people and proud parents – they didn’t have a lot of money but they shared what they could. Now, it’s Gina’s (and my!) turn to honor their givings. So, this day is for them!