At age 70, Frank Flake could be enjoying an easy retirement. Instead he has joined the likes of former president Jimmy Carter and is working in the hot summer sun pounding nails for Habitat for Humanity.
"I don't play golf and I don't play cards - work is my play," Flake said. "I enjoy being at work."In the past year, Flake has helped with the construction of two homes for Habitat for Humanity. Although he and his wife have made the decision to move to Arizona, Flake says he will continue to work with Habitat groups in the Phoenix area.
Voluntarism isn't new to Flake. With the encouragement and support from his close friend George Barrus, Flake has given a large portion of his retirement time as president of the local chapter of Habitat for Humanity and before that as a volunteer for the Utah County Food and Shelter Co-ali-tion.
It all began when Barrus, now living in Florida, asked Flake if he could help pick up and deliver commodities to the Food and Shelter Coalition. Three times a week Flake and Barrus would make the deliveries. During this time they began seeing a larger community need.
"We ran across folks who were having great difficulty in getting housing," Flake said. "I had worked for Habitat for Humanity in Salt Lake City and decided to get information for one down here.
Flake and Barrus pursued the issue and began gathering volunteers from throughout the community to join the cause. Attorney and BYU law instructor David Dominguez offered his services. Several local churches and private contractors also caught the enthusiasm and last year they began building the first Habitat for Humanity home in Utah County.
"It's a wonderful opportunity to organize retirees and really do something worthwhile," Flake said. "We locked in to some good people here and that's part of the reward in working with volunteers - they're really great people."
Most people that worked with Flake will agree. Although he will be missed, he has left the Utah County Habitat for Humanity firmly established and looks forward to working on his first home in Arizona.