Below is a note from Eric Sabach who is a visual instructor for the Regiment. Our deepest sympathies go out to the entire Sabach family.
Click here to donate to the Frank Sabach Memorial Fund.
6/23/1933 – 4/4/2006
Not many people get the chance to write about the “hero” in their life and be there with them with their last heartbeat. I got that chance.
My father was a Business Educator, Coach (basketball, wrestling, football), Athletic Director, Assistant Principal, Director of Continuing Adult Education (he inspired a 90 year old woman to get her GED), and Assistant Superintendent of Schools in Englewood, NJ.
He helped poor kids get into college, some became NFL athletes, some NBA greats, some became lawyers (I once got a ticket in a town and was it thrown out of court because I was “Frank Sabach’s son and he got me into law school”). If you coached for my father, you had to be working on or have completed your Master’s degree (this was unheard of in NJ during the 70’s mind you).
I remember once when I was small, about 8 years old, I rode my bicycle into a really bad part of town and two people said “Look at the kid on the bike, let’s take it!” and the other kid said, “That is Coach’s son and if we don’t get him home safely were are in deep *&!&”. They escorted me home safely (though I wasn’t so safe from my father when he heard what I did).
At my father’s retirement dinner, I was 25 and said to the audience of over 500 people, “I hate all of you. My Father went to your Proms, your graduations, congratulated you on passing your driving exams, your basketball games and wrestling matches.” Then I said, “But that was before I realized that you were all my family and how much he loved all of you.”
My father suffered for over ten years. In his last days we talked. We talked about the Yankees. He asked how my Golden Retriever Bailey Jo was. He asked me about Phantom Regiment. Funny story…I remember telling him last August that we came in 3rd; he said “That’s great! Bronze medal! What kept you from the gold?” Now you know where I get it from.
Yesterday, in the morning, we talked about what to do if things got worse and he fell into unconsciousness and what to do. His lungs had failed and he was on a respirator. He could not breathe without life support. He could barely speak. I sat there and he whispered weakly to me, “Are you tired?” (always worried more about other’s than himself) I said, “No Dad. I love you and don’t want you to suffer anymore.” He patted me on my shoulder and said, “Good job!” We then decided that if he slipped away, that we would turn the machines off. Which we ultimately did.
That was my Dad. My HERO! May he rest in peace and be with his family that passed before him.
Another quick story…my father was in the Korean War. He was a Staff Sgt in the Air Force and his base was hit with mortar fire. He was in a fox hole that was hit. 3 of the 4 people in the fox hole died. I did not know this until I was in my 30’s. What an amazing man!
Now you know why he was my HERO. I hope to be half the man that he was.
No flowers! My mother, sister, and brother have all asked any contributions of any size to go to the charity of our choice. Mine is…Phantom Regiment.
My father loved drum corps and loved it because of my love for it. He always thought that it was the best way for me to express my love for both sport and art.
NO GIFT IS TOO SMALL! PLEASE DO THIS NOW!
PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE GIVE TO THE REGIMENT. NO MATTER HOW SMALL. I WANT MY FATHER’S LEGACY OF GIVING TO YOUNG PEOPLE AND THEIR AMBITIONS TO LIVE THIS ONE LAST TIME.
This is important to me.
He is at rest, but his love for all of us can live on.
Peace be with you!