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Frank Tyger   -  Retirement

Frank retires from the Times in 1997

On June 26, 1997 Frank retired from The Times after almost 35 years of service.  Frank probably thought he would work forever - the full plate of activities he was involved in at the paper and in the community would have enabled him to do just that.  However, serious back surgery and an early diagnosis of Parkinson's Disease hastened his decision to leave the job he loved.

A retirement dinner to honor Frank was held later that year at Angeloni's Cedar Garden Restaurant in Hamilton Township, New Jersey.  One of the gifts Frank received at the dinner was a fishing pole.   As the photo on the right shows, even when Frank went fishing, the ever-present felt-tipped markers were in his pocket  to make notes for a future quote or pun!

A selection of articles by Frank's colleagues that appeared in The Times following his retirement are reprinted below.

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Frank receiving a retirement gift -
a fishing pole - from Arnie Ropeik
at his retirement dinner
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Frank giving his retirement
gift a workout


2003 Exhibit on Frank's Editorial Work

On April 13, 2003 a month-long exhibit of Frank's editorial work opened at the Hamilton Township (New Jersey) Library.  Organized by friends and former colleagues, the exhibit featured editorial cartoons, personal photos, memoirs of meetings with several US presidents and a collection of Frank's quotes that appeared in print.

As noted in an article that appeared in The Times about the exhibit, "It is, incredibly, the first time his cartoons, columns and historic photos have been assembled for public review."

Fortunately, although confined to a wheelchair, Frank's health permitted him to attend the opening of the exhibit.

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Visitors to "Frank Tyger - One Man Show"
at the Hamilton Township (NJ) Library
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Frank with Arnie Ropeik, former Times senior editor,
and Sharon Schlegel, Times columnist,
at the exhibit opening

Articles about Frank after his retirement


The Times' great Tyger has retired

by Arnold Ropeik
(Former Senior Editor - The Times)

Published in The Times of Trenton,
Tuesday, July 15, 1997

My Times colleague and fishing buddy Frank Tyger has retired. I never thought I would write those words. Nor did he.

But a very bad back, incredible pain, a touch of Parkinson's disease and 35 years of toil have taken a heavy toll of Frank and he has decided to see the other side of life. The leisure side.

Frank is one of those guys, as many hereabouts know firsthand, who has to do things 200 percent. For Frank, the work week was seven days long, the workday had no parameters.

Frank came to The Times in 1962, beating me here by about three months. He spent most of that time in promotion of the paper and interaction with the many agencies, offices, businesses and caring individuals of our valley. It was a two-way love affair from the beginning. If someone needed publicity, he gave it to them. If they needed financial help, he got it for them. If they needed guidance, he gave it joyously.

THOUGH HE finished his career as a columnist, Frank was, at one time, one of the country's best cartoonists. His work at The Times often reappeared in that other Times in New York and different national newspapers. His cartoons are engraved in a number of books, some of which reside in at least three presidential libraries.

Not too many years back, one of his works was exhibited in the National Gallery in Washington along with the works of world renowned cartoonists. We all were very proud of him.

He was, and still is, a writer of humor and little sayings on such diverse topics as success, integrity, loyalty, love, friendship. Again, his many quotes can be found in books, magazines, anthologies. His lines are in dozens of Reader's Digests.

But this newspaper was his true love. It always will be, even though constant pain and the weight of time have put him on the sidelines.

In 35 years here, Frank never took a day off, never went on vacation. The only reason he ever looked at the clock was to make sure he was not missing a deadline. The workday had no set time to start and no formal hour to go home.

His kind of loyalty is diminishing in the global workplace. You have heard many folks say things like ''They don't write songs (or make movies) like that any more.'' Or somebody will hear an old Sinatra tune and say ''nobody sings like that any more.''

Well, they don't make Frank Tygers any more, either.

I AM AMONG those who, because we love him, warned him he was overdoing it. Loyalty is fine and The paper is fine, we all hammered, but too much is too much. Let up a little, we advised. Take a vacation. Take three days. Maybe a day? A half day?

It fell on deaf, but happy ears. His work was his life. Retirement wasn't in his vocabulary.

He was honored recently by Contact of Mercer County, an agency he often boosted with one of his caring public service announcements. And did he ever enjoy his big night!

In late June he came back to The Times to visit for the first time since his serious back surgery and having come under medication for the Parkinson's. There were many hugs and kisses, handshakes.

But he felt he couldn't come back and do it his way any more. His boss and, more importantly, dear friend and counselor, Richard Bilotti, very reluctantly accepted his retirement decision.

Frank tells me that he now realizes that there are other walks to walk, other talks to talk. He can't wait to go exploring life.

HE IS STAYING with his brother Bob and his sister-in-law Charlotte Tyger in their sweet Hamilton home. With Richard, they were the principal angels who got to him in time to get him to the doctors and save the rest of his life. Literally.

The Times seems a lot emptier without the big fellow.

We still plan to eat lunch together often. And go fishing.

You know. The right stuff.

Frank Tyger:  The ultimate professional and a really nice guy

by Irwin Stoolmacher

Published in The Times of Trenton,
Sunday, August 3, 1997

On June 26, 1997, Frank Tyger retired from The Times after 30 years. Frank 's nominal title was promotion manager, but to the nonprofit community, Frank was ''Mr. Times.''

Frank was the guy you'd see at The Times booth on Heritage Day and most other community civic gatherings in Mercer County. He was ubiquitous on Mercer's nonprofit ''rubber chicken'' circuit, and he was the guy you'd call or go to see if you wanted to place a public service announcement in The Times. Times readers know Frank from his Monday column on Page 2, in which he would, in his caring style, highlight various upcoming nonprofit events or note volunteer or other needs of the nonprofit agencies.

The business community got to know Frank from his short, concise quotations that appeared for many years in Mercer Business. Many of these, and other Tygerisms, appeared in such leading publications over the years as Readers Digest, the Saturday Evening Post and, locally, Mercer Magazine.

I KNOW FRANK as a friend, someone whose company I enjoy and whom I respect a great deal. Frank and I, and Times Senior Editor Arnie Ropeik, Frank 's best friend, frequently would do lunch at a group of area restaurants that were on Frank 's approved list. They were all places that served basic, wholesome food. Nothing fancy, just a good hearty cup of soup and basic salami sandwich and maybe some red Jello with whipped cream. Frank 's favorite foods are very much a reflection of his basic personality.

Frank is a no-frills kind of guy, although every once in a while I'd tease him about a particularly sharp tie he was wearing. He isn't about to go out and spend $50-plus for a special silk tie, or drive a fancy car, or drink an expensive bottle of wine. A good play or movie, and dinner at the Golden Dawn restaurant are a ''perfect evening'' for Frank, and it's even better if his favorite nephew, Michael, and bride-to-be, Lori, are accompanying him.

So far, while I've described some unique aspects of Frank Tyger , I've really not explained why I admire Frank and am really proud to call him a friend. I got to know Frank well from working very closely with him over the last six years on the annual Times Charities Christmas Appeal. Once the recipient had been selected, Frank and I would agree on the sequence of stories and the campaign themes.

I'D WORK CLOSELY with Frank on making sure that the story that appeared each day was accurate. I'd check the story and make a few corrections and then Frank would go back and find all the many errors that I had missed and fix them. Frank was solely responsible for seeing that each of the contributions that came in to the appeal were properly acknowledged in the newspaper - 3,500 contributions in our six years.

Frank would check, re-check and check again to make sure that each and every name appeared correctly. When he couldn't read a particular donor's handwriting he'd call the donor, not once but as many times as necessary to get it right. The same went for the names of individuals beneath pictures, for each and every comma, semicolon, and even the proper alphabetical sequence of a series. Frank was absolutely dogged when it came to making sure information that appeared in The Times was correct.

Simply put, he is the most meticulous, detail-conscious human being I have ever met. In a time when pride in one's work is a remnant of a bygone era, Frank Tyger 's dedication to his job and profession was truly extraordinary.

PERHAPS THE quality about Frank Tyger that I most admire is his integrity. Two years ago, Mercer Street Friends Food Cooperative was the recipient of the Times Charities Christmas Appeal. Frank, in the course of the appeal, got to know my wife Phyllis, who is manager of the food cooperative. One day, I told Frank that we'd love to have him over for dinner. Frank courteously but assertively declared that it wouldn't be a good idea ''now.'' Some might say that Frank was being a little too cautious - too willing to draw lines in the sand - but at a time when integrity is all too often lacking, it's absolutely refreshing to know that there are people out there who are above reproach and totally committed to doing the right thing, even if that means perhaps possibly saying no to a friend.

I genuinely respect Frank Tyger for his intellect, his wide knowledge of local, state and national events, his strong sense of personal integrity and his tremendous dedication to his family.

BUT MOSTLY, I salute his unabiding loyalty to his job and his employer. Frank Tyger was deeply committed to giving his employer a day's work for a day's pay. That meant if there was a job that had to get done, he'd stay late and come on Saturday or Sunday if that was necessary.

Who among us these days has that kind of commitment to anything?

Have a good retirement, Mr. Times, and Phyllis and I hope that you'll have dinner at our home sometime soon.

About Frank Tyger

2011 Times of Trenton Holiday Appeal in Memory of Frank Tyger

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If a person gives you his time,
he can give you no more precious gift.

- Frank Tyger