The mighty and the colourful Prominent Manitobans who died in 2016 were a diverse mix

The province lost a former lieutenant-governor, a former provincial cabinet minister, a national curling champion, both the brains and voice of K-tel, a prominent judge, a former senator and a fiercely independent furniture store owner in 2016.

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Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 30/12/2016 (2221 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.

The province lost a former lieutenant-governor, a former provincial cabinet minister, a national curling champion, both the brains and voice of K-tel, a prominent judge, a former senator and a fiercely independent furniture store owner in 2016.

Ruth Bonneville / Winnipeg Free Press FILESJohn Harvard

John Harvard, who died in January at age 77, was born John Harvard Heidman in Glenboro, the 11th of 14 children.

Harvard dropped the last name when he started his broadcasting career because he worried people would find it tough to pronounce. He was host of the Johnson Harvard Show on CJOB before jumping to CBC as host of television’s 24 Hours and being awarded the ACTRA award as best broadcaster in the country.

Harvard left journalism to become a politician where he was elected a Liberal in the federal riding of Winnipeg-St. James four times. He was appointed lieutenant-governor in 2004.

“I saw the shining light of patriotism in my travels throughout this great province,” Harvard said of his time as lieutenant-governor.



Len Evans was known as a staunch champion for Brandon during his time in politics.

Evans, who represented Brandon East for three decades in both cabinet and opposition, died at 86, on the first day of the year. He was predeceased just days earlier by one of the premiers he served under, Howard Pawley. He also served under premier Ed Schreyer.

Evans served many roles in government, including minister of mines and natural resources, industry and commerce, community services and corrections, and employment services and economic security.

His major accomplishments include starting a reorganization of child-welfare services to end having indigenous children be adopted out of province, helping expand Brandon’s boundaries, allowing it to get a larger industrial tax base, and getting the Keystone Centre built.



Before Phil Kives, kitchens didn’t have Veg-O-Matics, and you couldn’t dance to classical music with a beat.

Kives, who died in April at 87, was the founder and brains behind the K-tel company.

He started his business in the early 1960s by producing what he claimed was the first television infomercial to sell a Teflon non-stick frying pan. It was a huge hit.

Kives went on to sell 28 million Miracle Brushes, and the album Hooked on Classics sold more than 10 million copies.

Kives also started producing the first compilation albums of hits by various artists, even selling more than a million copies of 25 Polka Greats: Volume 1.

“I saw an ad in the paper about selling cookware door to door,” Kives recalled in an article on the company’s website.

“You learn quickly how to sell. You always ask a positive question so consumers can only answer one way: ‘Yes.’ You say, ‘You would like your wife to have this, wouldn’t you?’ And he’ll say, ‘Yes.’”



While Kives was the brains behind K-tel, Bob Washington was the voice.

Washington, who died in December at 82, used a rapid-fire voice to persuade people watching television to buy kitchen appliances — “but wait, there’s more” — as well as compilation albums of yesterday’s hits.

Washington also took his voice volunteering, helping Variety telethons, Brock House and the Red River Exhibition, while also assisting Meals on Wheels, the Pan An Games and both the Winnipeg and Vancouver airports.


SUPPLIED Kris Stefanson

Kris Stefanson was a Crown attorney before being appointed a provincial court judge in 1979.

Stefanson, who died in March at 71, rose to become the chief provincial court judge in 1988. From there, he was appointed a Manitoba Court of Queen’s Bench Justice in the family division in 1993.

“Justice Stefanson was an extremely hardworking and respected member of the court,” the Court of Queen’s Bench said in a statement after Stefanson’s death.


MIKE DEAL / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS FILES Fred Brick with his trusty friend Roxy.

Fred Brick and his wife, Cynthia, made the name Brick synonymous with fine furniture — even when they had to fight to keep the name from a national furniture chain with the same word in its name.

Brick, who died in July at age 80, won that court challenge and went on to sell many table sets, couches and lamps for another two decades.

Brick’s Fine Furniture opened in 1969 after Brick sold his coin collection. The store was located in two locations in the Exchange District.

Sandy Shindleman, CEO and president of Shindico, said Brick was “one of a kind.”

Brick was also known for his unique advertisements in the Free Press, which morphed through the years from a standard ad to anecdotes of life and business.



Vic Peters was one of the province’s greatest curlers during a period when Manitoba boasted some of the world’s best.

Peters, who died in March at 60, won a Brier title in 1992, during the era that saw Jeff Stoughton win two world crowns and three Briers and Kerry Burtnyk win one world championship and two Canadian championships.

Peters, who hailed from Steinbach, won the provincial championship three times and was inducted into the Manitoba Curling Hall of Fame in 2005.

“Vic was a fierce competitor,” Stoughton recalled after Peters’ death. “He showed his emotions on the ice, but he loved the game and enjoyed the game.”



Rod Zimmer did many things in his life, including being a corporate executive, champion swimmer, and committed Liberal party member.

But Zimmer, who died in June at 73, was likely best known for two things: being a Senator representing Manitoba and for his organizational and fundraising skills.

“People liked him, people trusted him… and were anxious to support him and the effort that he put forward for the Liberal party,” former Liberal MP Anita Neville said.

Zimmer worked as assistants to Saskatchewan and federal ministers from the late 1960s through the 1970s before going into communications with CanWest Capitol Corporation and then Manitoba Lotteries Foundation. He was president of the Gatehouse Corporation before his Senate appointment in 2005.

Zimmer retired from the Senate in 2013, blaming health troubles, but his name came up again last year when a review by the federal auditor general found he owed $176,000 in improperly claimed expenses.


Other notable people the province lost in 2016


Jan. 8 — Anne Jorowski, 97. She worked hard for East Kildonan. She was a community volunteer who helped organize the province’s centennial celebrations in 1970 and Winnipeg’s centennial in 1974. For more than 30 years, she founded and organized Share Christmas, which sent new and used toys to children on northern reserves. She was elected as a councillor in the Leighton ward in 1974 and re-elected four times in the Miles Macdonell ward before retiring. She served a term as deputy mayor. She was honoured with the Queen’s Golden Jubilee medal.

Jan. 9 — Harry Vickar, 92. He was a farmer turned car dealer. He was studying agriculture at the University of Manitoba when he had to return to the family farm during the Second World War. He then joined with his brothers to work in the automotive industry in Melfort, Sask., before moving to Winnipeg in 1974. He owned and operated, with his cousin, Pembina Dodge Chrysler and Nairn Nissan Place. He was president of the Melfort Agricultural Society.

Jan. 10 — Gary Smith, 75. He was a champion curler. He appeared in the provincial championships 20 times and twice won the Manitoba Senior Men’s title. He served as president of the Manitoba Curling Association and the Heather Curling Club. He was inducted into the Manitoba Curling Hall of Fame in 2003 as a curler/builder.

Jan. 13 — Andy Tough, 94. He was born in Scotland and trained to fly in Canada after joining the Royal Air Force. He flew Spitfires in the United Kingdom, India and Burma during the Second World War. He graduated as a lawyer and first practised in Scotland before coming to Canada. He was called to the Manitoba Bar in 1963, working with a law firm that, after mergers, became known as Aikins, MacAulay and Thorvaldson. He was president of the St. Andrew’s Society of Winnipeg and gave the toast to the Haggis at many annual dinners. He served as president of the Wartime Pilots and Observers Association in 1976 and helped organize many of the Commonwealth Air Crew Reunions in Winnipeg and London, England.

Jan. 15 — John McKenzie, 83. He researched kidney function. He received his medical training in New Zealand and began researching the kidney enzyme renin in Oxford, England in the 1960s. He moved to Canada and taught, practised and did research on kidney disease and high blood pressure at the University of Manitoba and Health Sciences Centre. He helped establish the bioethics program at the U of M’s faculty of medicine.

Jan. 16 – Donna Yeo, 87. She was an interior designer who graduated from the U of M with a bachelor of interior design in 1950 and practised in Vancouver and Winnipeg. She was a founding member of the Professional Interior Designers Institute of Manitoba and president of the Interior Designers Institute of Manitoba. She was president of the Councils of Women of Winnipeg and the Altrusa Club of Winnipeg. She founded and operated the Take-Out-Toy Service for children living with special needs and was a founder of the Language Bank of Winnipeg. She received the Queen’s Jubilee medal in 2003.

Jan. 20 — Arthur Schwartz, 92. He was a dentist. He studied dentistry at the University of Toronto before joining the Royal Canadian Army Dental Corps during the Second World War. His love of hockey brought him to Kenora, where he opened his first practice and later was vice-president of the Kenora Thistles when they won the 1952-53 Canadian Intermediate Championship. He went on to become Manitoba’s director of dental services and regional dental officer before going to Ottawa, where he was regional director of the Ontario region. He returned to Winnipeg and was the University of Manitoba’s dean of dentistry from 1978 to 1989. He was honoured as a Fellow by both the American College of Dentists and the International College of Dentists and was a life member of the Manitoba Dental Association and the Winnipeg Dental Society. A lecture theatre at the U of M is named after him.


Jan. 21 — Garry Hilderman, 75. He was a landscape architect who helped create some of the most beautiful places in the city. He created the Leo Mol Sculpture Garden at Assiniboine Park, the Oodena Celebration Circle at The Forks, Upper Fort Garry Provincial Park, FortWhyte Alive and Oak Hammock Marsh. He also sat on numerous boards and committees, including The Forks Renewal Corporation, and FortWhyte Alive. He was inducted into the Order of Canada in 2010 for his development and conservation of parks, historic sites and environmental projects.


Jan. 25 — Gordon Shillingford, 55. He published award-winning books. While studying at the University of Winnipeg, he used his student loans to start the drama publishing house Blizzard with a friend in 1986. When the partnership dissolved, he worked at the Manitoba Arts Council, but soon started another publishing house, Scirocco Drama, which had several books winning or being nominated for Governor General’s Awards. He also operated Watson and Dwyer as well as the Muses’ Company. He published Kate Hewlett’s The Swearing Jar, Ian Ross’s FareWell and Joe from Winnipeg, Beverley Cooper’s Innocence Lost, Katherena Vermette’s North End Love Songs and Rosanna Deerchild’s this is a small northern town.

Jan. 28 — Peter Shaw, 83. He worked with wood. He worked on Winnipeg Beach’s Boardwalk when he was younger. Later, after working 35 years with CN Rail and in honour of Winnipeg Beach’s centennial, he presented the town with an exact miniature replica of the boardwalk, railway yards and community as it looked in the 1940s. He estimated he spent about 1,000 hours making it.


Jan. 30 — Don Marks, 62. He was an indigenous advocate. He wasn’t aboriginal by birth but was adopted by an indigenous family. He went on to help young Americans who avoided the military draft in the 1970s. He ran unsuccessfully as a Liberal candidate in the 1977 provincial election. During the 1980s, he worked at CKND as a weekend news and sports announcer. He was a partner in a First Nations-centred production company that produced indigenous programming. For his works there, he won a 1993 Manitoba Human Rights Achievement Award. He was also a frequent commentator in the pages of the Free Press.

Feb. 2 — Bert Loewen, 93. He moved houses and grain. He grew up in Steinbach and joined the family house-moving business as his first job. After the family got out of that business, he went back to school and became a lay minister. He became a teacher and taught high school and later became superintendent of schools. He was the first executive director of the Canadian Foodgrains Banks, growing it from being a small Mennonite Central Committee program to the largest non-government organization in Canada. For that, he was honoured with the Order of Manitoba.

Feb. 6 — Dmytro Duschak, 90. He supported his Ukrainian community. He was born in Ukraine and came to Canada after the Second World War. He worked for CP Rail as a carman and also was general chairman of the Prairie Region Carmen’s Union. He was instrumental in the construction of the Ukrainian Orthodox Millennium Villa of St. Mary the Protectress and was its first elected president from 1989 to 2009.

Feb. 12 — Geoff Marrin, 67. He was a member of several Winnipeg bands. He was a vocalist for the Mongrels, Sugar ’N Spice, Honey Throat and Finder’s Keepers.


Feb. 15 — Frank Gunston, 82. He helped people around the world walk. He was born in Flin Flon and graduated from the U of M with an engineering degree in 1957. He joined Hudson Bay Mining and Smelting and was sent by the company to work on its transistors in telephone systems and became fascinated by the role of transistors on pacemakers. He went back to school and received his medical degree, returning to England to help develop a hip prosthesis. He then came up with the first knee replacement device, made with plastic and metal and moving on a runner, which was implanted into the body. For the device, he became the first Manitoban to be awarded the $100,000 Manning Award for Canadian inventors in 1989. He was honoured with the Order of Canada in 1997 and the Manitoba Medical Association Scholastic Award in 1998, and was named Distinguished Surgeon by the Canadian Orthopaedic Association in 1994.

Feb. 17 — John Lamont, 90. He was a lawyer and athlete. After returning from the Second World War, he completed his law degree. He articled at his father’s firm and then joined Aikins, MacAulay and Thorvaldson in 1953, becoming a partner nine years later. He specialized in bankruptcy and insolvency, oil law, and estates and trusts. He was appointed a Queen’s Counsel in 1978. He was former chairman of the Canadian Bar Association’s Constitutional Law Section. He was president of the Liberal Progressive Party and a founding member of the Reform Party. He served on numerous boards and was president of the YMCA of Greater Winnipeg. He also rowed competitively, joining the Winnipeg Rowing Club while in university and going on, with crewmates, to notch wins at the World Masters Games, FISA Veterans Regatta and the U.S. and Canadian Masters Championships.

Feb. 21 — Mary Valentine, 84. She was an artist who painted on canvas across the country, capturing everything from the far North to Canada’s Parliament buildings, as well as the South Pacific and Mediterranean. Her works are hung in galleries across Canada.

Feb. 22 — Bill Reid, 68. He sold ice cream treats. He owned an operated the iconic Banana Boat ice cream store for more than three decades on Osborne Street.

Feb. 23 — Jane Frain, 88. She helped her community. She was born in Ontario and was working in Sunnybrook Hospital as a lab technician when she met her husband. They later moved to Winnipeg, where she became involved in the community. She was president of the Women’s Canadian Club and served on the Social Planning Council and the Board of Revision. She was honoured with the Queen’s Jubilee medal for her community engagement.

Feb. 24 — Dave Brown, 69. He helped the citizens of Winnipeg. He played football for the Weston Wildcats and the St. Vital Bulldogs. He worked in construction as the owner and CEO of Atkins Underground and was president of the Manitoba Heavy Construction Association. He was elected city councillor twice, was appointed deputy mayor and unsuccessfully ran for mayor against Susan Thompson.

Feb. 26 — Andy Bathgate, 83. He played hockey. He was born in Winnipeg and first honed his skills on outdoor hockey rinks here. He played with the Winnipeg Black Hawks before going to the Guelph Biltmores in 1948, where he won the Memorial Cup in 1952. He joined the New York Rangers that year and became a regular two years later, when he scored 20 goals. In 1958, he led the NHL in assists and won the league’s most valuable player award even though his team finished in fifth place. After being traded to the Toronto Maple Leafs, he helped the team hoist a Stanley Cup in 1964. He is credited with sparking the move by goalies to wear face masks after hitting Montreal Canadiens goaltender Jacques Plante in the face with a shot. He had 349 goals, 624 assists and played in 1,069 NHL games.

Feb. 28 — Elaine Goldberg. She served on numerous boards, including those of St. Boniface Hospital, the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra and the CancerCare Manitoba Foundation. She was the originator of the Guardian Angel Benefit for Women’s Cancer for the CancerCare Manitoba Foundation, a fundraiser now in its 25th year.

Feb. 29 — Conrado Santos, 81. He was a trailblazing Filipino politician. He graduated with a PhD in political science after attending Harvard University and the University of Michigan. It was while teaching at the University of Manitoba that he ran for the first time, unsuccessfully, for the NDP nomination in Fort Garry in 1973, and for city council in 1977 and 1980. He ran successfully for the NDP in Burrows in 1981, becoming the first person born in the Philippines to be elected to political office in Canada, and was reelected in 1986. He lost the nomination in 1988, but won the Broadway constituency in 1990 and 1995, and again in 1999 and 2003 when the riding became part of the new Wellington riding.

March 7 — Walter Oleh Romaniw, 72. He supported the Ukrainian community. He was born in Ukraine and came to Canada as a child. He was educated in the North End, and received his bachelor of law from the U of M in 1969. He served on the board of the Rusalka Ukrainian Dance Ensemble from 1972 to 1984, organizing trips for them to perform in the United States, England, Soviet Ukraine and for Pope John Paul II in Rome. He was president of the Ukrainian Canadian Congress from 1992 to 1998 and was honoured by the UCC with its highest honour, the Shevchenko Medal, in 2004.


March 8 — Paul Johnston, 84. He was a police officer. He worked as a hard-rock miner before joining the Winnipeg Police Service in 1954. He rose through the ranks during his 37-year career and retired as deputy police chief. He was involved in creating the Police and Pal program and was instrumental in setting up the James Toal Award of Excellence.

March 10 — Donalda Brekelmans, 91. She helped dress prominent babies. She was born in Winnipeg and served in the navy during the Second World War, helping guide ships safely into harbour in Halifax. While her children were small she worked doing English smocking, and the dresses and clothing she produced were worn by Justin Trudeau while he was a baby, and by John F. Kennedy Jr. and Caroline Kennedy and Princess Caroline of Monaco.

March 12 — Marilyn Boyle. She was an actor. She was born in Regina, but moved to Winnipeg to follow her dream of a career in the arts. She later moved to Toronto, where she worked as a playwright and actress for almost three decades. ACTRA Winnipeg presented her with the Victor Cowie Lifetime Achievement Award, and Rainbow Stage honoured her on its Wall of Fame.

March 13 — Ed Czarnecki, 77. He grew plants. He was born on a Saskatchewan farm and when he came to Winnipeg, he worked as a porter with the Canadian Pacific Railway. He graduated from the U of M with an agriculture degree and worked for Agriculture Canada for 28 years as a wheat breeder. He helped developed many types of wheat and initiated the project that led to CWHWS, a new classification of wheat.

March 14 — Eldon Ross, 84. He has a pool named after him. He enlisted with the RCAF in 1952 and served in Germany and French Morocco before being employed as a locomotive fireman with CN Rail. He founded Ross Electronic Supply and ran it for 30 years. He was president of the St. James Flames Senior Hockey Club and vice-president of the Manitoba Lacrosse Association. He was elected to city council in 1971 and served until 1980. He was on the Winnipeg Police Commission and the boards of Winnipeg Enterprises, the Winnipeg Convention Centre and the Manitoba Development Corporation. After Brooklands residents petitioned the city, a new swimming pool there was named after him in 1983.

March 14 — Bill Regehr, 84. He helped his province. He graduated with degrees in economics and education and worked with Canada Safeway and the Lord Selkirk School Division before becoming principal secretary to the premier and deputy minister of business development and tourism. He was chairman of Red River College’s board of governors and served on the board of governors for both the U of M and U of W. He was honoured with the International Coalition for Soil and Water Stewardship’s Excellence of Life award.

March 16 — Dorothy Faris, 97. She volunteered for sick kids. She volunteered at the Children’s Hospital for more than six decades. She was a founding member of the annual book market and the Peter Pan Club and she chaired or volunteered on numerous committees, including the guild council, research council and board of directors. For her volunteering, she was honoured with the Children’s Hospital Foundation’s Teddy Award in 1986, the City of Winnipeg’s Community Service Award, and the Governor General’s Caring Canadian Award in 1998.

March 27 — Isabel Auld. She was a trailblazer in her community. She was born in Winnipeg and went to the University of Saskatchewan on scholarships and McGill University on a National Research Council award. After her marriage, she became involved in the consumer movement and later became Manitoba chair of the Consumers Association of Canada. She was also chairwoman of Westminster United Church, Middlechurch Home, the Women’s Canadian Club of Winnipeg and Health Sciences Centre. She served 14 years on the University of Manitoba’s board of governors and became the university’s chancellor — the first woman in this office and only the second one in the country — in 1977, serving nine years. She was honoured with the Order of Canada, the province’s Order of the Buffalo Hunt, the Queen’s Silver, Golden and Diamond Jubilee medals, and inclusion in Winnipeg’s Citizens’ Hall of Fame.


March 27 — Oscar Cantor, 91. He was a grocer. He was born a twin with his brother Joe in Poland and moved to Winnipeg with his family in 1928. His father founded Cantor’s Grocery in the early 1940s on Magnus Avenue and his sons moved it to its current location on Logan Avenue in 1944. While his brother was the face of the store, he ran the meat department. It was his vision that led to the construction of the new grocery store in 2009.

March 29 — Bert Friesen, 91. He helped people who have special needs. He was born in Giroux and went to school in Steinbach. He joined the Royal Canadian Air Force during the Second World War and while stationed in Whitehorse he married his wife and started his family, including a son who was born with Down syndrome. He later worked at and took over his dad’s lumberyard in Steinbach. After selling that, he began working with what is now Community Living Winnipeg and later became the manager of Skills Unlimited, a workshop for adults who have special needs. He helped found Kindale School in Steinbach and later the workshop. He served on the boards of what is now the Canadian Association for Community Living and Community Living Manitoba, and at Spike, the group home where his son lived.

April 4 — John Mills, 78. He encouraged rare breeds of animals. He was born in England and after graduating he worked on sugar cane plant diseases in Trinidad for four years. He came to Winnipeg to work as a federal plant pathologist, becoming a world expert on grain diseases. His love of rare breeds of farm animals, which was first sparked while growing up in Wales, was rekindled during visits to farms and fairs. To help with their survival, he began depicting them in paintings which he sold as art cards, in the process becoming president of the Manitoba Society of Artists and chairman of Rare Breeds Canada.

April 5 — Bob Mayer, 71. He defended people in northern Manitoba. He grew up in Transcona, but after graduating with his law degree and spending the summer working in Thompson, he continued practicing there. He practiced for more than 45 years and was honoured by his colleagues as the longest-serving lawyer in northern Manitoba. He served with the NDP’s provincial executive and spend two terms as president. He was elected a city councillor in Thompson and served on the board of the Manitoba Telephone System and the Public Utilities Board and assisted with the amalgamation of the Liquor Control Commission and Manitoba Lotteries Corp.

April 5 — Mary Mercredi, 94. She supported people in Grand Rapids. She was born in Grand Rapids and raised in the traditional way, including trapping and travelling by dog team. She volunteered with the Roman Catholic Women’s League, Grand Rapids school committee, and the local child care committee of the Grand Rapids First Nation. She received an award from the RCMP for her contribution to the commanding officer’s aboriginal advisory committee and she was honoured with the Queen Elizabeth Diamond Jubilee medal.

April 10 — Betty Stephen, 87. She worked hard for Dauphin. She went to the U of M and while there she met Eleanor Roosevelt and was assigned to take her coat and overshoes. She was president of the Dauphin General Hospital auxiliary and the Hospital Auxiliary of Manitoba and chaired the 1988 Dauphin homecoming. She was honoured in 1989 as Dauphin’s Citizen of the Year and by the province for Volunteer of the Year.

April 16 — Henryk Wiktorowicz. He supported his Polish community. He was born in Poland and after the outbreak of the Second World War he was deported with his family by the Soviet Union to a labour camp. After the Soviet Union joined the Allied campaign in 1941, he joined the Polish Army and fought in the Italian campaign. He came to Saskatchewan under a farm-labour contract and gained landed-immigrant status. He came to Winnipeg because of the Polish community and launched River East Upholsterers. He was president of the Polish Combatants Association for two terms.


April 19 — Reg Skene, 82. He was called the godfather of Winnipeg theatre. He was hired in 1966 to teach a drama course and to create a theatre program at United College. He expanded the single course to what is now the U of W’s department of theatre and film. He later wrote theatre reviews for both the Free Press and CBC.

April 21 — Gerald Macdonald, 85. He designed buildings. He graduated from the U of M’s School of Architecture in 1953 and was a founding partner of what is now MCM Architects. His firm specialized in designing schools and it is credited with completing more than 500 school projects across the province. Other buildings he and his firm are credited with are the Winnipeg’s Millennium Library, the U of M’s Robson Hall and the Keystone Centre in Brandon. He was named a Fellow of the Royal Architectural Institute of Canada in 1979.

April 22 — Jim Fraser, 59. He loved cars. He built many cars through the years including the ‘Crazy Pink Elephant’, a legendary car seen on drag strips, and a reconstructed 1973 Vega Kemmerback wagon that was featured in Car Craft magazine and was an award winner at the World of Wheels show. He was inducted into the Manitoba Motorsports Hall of Fame.

April 23 — Harry Cohen, 93. He represented bus drivers. He was born in England and worked in factories to support his family during the Depression. After the war, he came to Winnipeg and started St. James United, one of the first soccer clubs in Manitoba. He worked as a bus driver for Winnipeg Transit, becoming president and business agent for the Amalgamated Transit Union.

April 26 — David Favor, 95. He was a salesman. He and his wife, Nettie, founded Favor Industries in 1948 and sold sculptures, which Nettie designed and others sculpted. The company was located at Pioneer Avenue next to the CN Rail property that later became The Forks. The couple wanted to develop the land they owned, but ended up fighting a years-long legal battle with the city after it expropriated their land in a deal to trade it to CN Rail to help create The Forks. The issue went all the way to the Supreme Court and in the end, the Favors lost.

April 27 — Willis Kieper, 99. He raised Hereford cattle. He was born on the family’s farm in Minniska district and took it over in 1940. He began developing a purebred registered Hereford herd in the 1950s and by 1973 the farm’s bulls took first place in every Hereford bull category at the Brandon Winter Fair. He was Manitoba director and then president of the Canadian Hereford Association in 1972. He was named to the Canadian Hereford Association Honour Roll in 1984.

April 27 — Alice Dent. She cared about people in Dauphin. She participated in many organizations in Dauphin, including the United Church Women, Dauphin Horticultural Society, Festival of the Performing Arts, and Canada’s National Ukrainian Festival. She also made many visits to the local hospital and personal care home to spend time with residents and take them on outings. She received the Governor General’s Caring Canadian Award from Adrienne Clarkson.

May 2 — Sherry Hobson, 59. She bowled. She was employed as a supervisor in the Winnipeg Police Services communication centre before joining Chateau Lanes as manager. She was a 10 pin bowler who bowled competitively. She represented Canada at the international level and in 2012 she won a gold medal with B.C.’s Debbie Uter in the women’s doubles at the 50th annual Tournament of Champions in Florida. She was named Canadian Adult Women Bowler of the Year in 2007 and Canadian Senior Bowler of the Year in 2010.

May 4 — Rita Flamand, 84. She preserved language for the Métis people. She was born, raised and lived in Camperville. She graduated as a nurse and later earned an aboriginal interpreter certificate at Red River College. She was founder and first president of the Manitoba Métis Women’s Association. She translated books and TV programs into the Michif language and had almost completed a Michif language dictionary at the time of her death.

May 7 — Josephine Earn, 87. She fought for women’s reproductive choices. She taught social work at the University of Manitoba before taking on roles with the Family Planning Association of Winnipeg, which became Planned Parenthood. She became president of Planned Parenthood Canada in 1976 and wrote a book for children, Looking at Canada.

May — Alice Poyser. She mentored a generation of journalists. She chaired the Young Conservatives in university and posed for photos with John Diefenbaker. She became public relations director at the Federation of Agriculture and later worked as a freelance journalist, having articles published in the Free Press, Chatelaine, Maclean’s, and the Star Weekly. She worked for the CBC TV shows Another Dimension and Take 30, hosted an open-line radio show on CBC Radio for three years, and spent three summers hosting Cross Country Check-up. She taught journalism at Red River College and continued to mentor young female journalists into her 70s.

SUPPLIED Una Frances Bowles

May 13 — Una Frances Bowles, 102. She hosted the Queen and other world leaders. She grew up in Souris and met her husband, Richard, when she was working at a Winnipeg law firm and he was a student. She later volunteered at numerous organizations and was president of the University Women’s Club. She was Chatelaine of Government House when her husband was lieutenant governor from 1965 to 1970 and hosted the Queen to dinner, as well as world leaders, prime ministers and Manitobans.

May 13 — Jackie Shymanski, 51. She was a war correspondent. She first worked with IMTV in Dauphin as a reporter and then went on to CKY-TV in 1989. She joined CNN and covered the Bosnian War with a team that included Christiane Amanpour, and was honoured with the Silver duPont award from Columbia University for focusing the world on what was happening there. She returned to Winnipeg and freelanced opinion pieces to the Free Press and worked at MTS, Manitoba Lotteries Commission and then CancerCare Manitoba.

May 24 — Ray Ash, 79. He loved football. He played with Regina, Winnipeg and Edmonton in the Canadian Football League from 1959 to 1965, winning Grey Cups in 1961 and 1962 with the Blue Bombers. He went on to be assistant coach with the University of Manitoba Bisons when the team won the Vanier Cup in 1969 and 1970. He was inducted into the Winnipeg High School Football Hall of Fame and the Manitoba Sports Hall of Fame.

May 27 — Chryse Castran, 101. She served hot dog and french fries. She was the eldest of eight children born to Chris and Magdalene Kelekis. She worked with her sisters at her family’s namesake restaurant at 1100 Main St. for many years.

June 3 — James Cartlidge, 90. He was passionate about horse racing. His day job was running two companies, Fleming Pedlar Ltd., and Coldstream Products of Canada. He was part owner of Century Stables and, as president of the Manitoba division of the Horse Breeders Protective Association, led the first strike of the horse owners. He was director and president of the Manitoba Breeders Association and was named Man of the Year in 1969 by the horse racing industry in Manitoba. He was later appointed by the province as chairman of the Manitoba Horse Racing Commission. He was president of Rossmere Golf and Country Club four times and was responsible for the building of the curling rink. He was first chairman of the Winnipeg Economic Development Board, created the Manitoba Marketing Network, and was president of the Winnipeg Chamber of Commerce, Winnipeg Rotary, and Winnipeg Executives Association.

June 3 — Michael O’Rourke, 77. He helped the local Irish. He was born and raised in Ireland and came here with his young family. He was a welder and after work he volunteered with Irish organizations. He was president of the Sons of Ireland and a founding member of the Irish Association of Manitoba. Mayor Steven Juba honoured him with the city’s cultural award for keeping Irish traditions alive.

June 4 — Allan Brock, 84. He grew things. He was chairman of the Sturgeon Creek United Church board and served on the building committee after the church’s sanctuary was destroyed in 1990. He was president and honorary life member of the St. James Horticultural Society and the Manitoba Horticultural Society. He was a member of the Masons and in 1990 he began organizing the Grand Lodge of Manitoba’s archives, a labour of love which resulted with him appointed Manitoba’s first grand archivist.

June 5 — Marg Brown, 86. She helped her community. She was elected president of her women’s fraternity in 1949, and received the University of Manitoba’s gold medal from the Faculty of Home Economics when she graduated in 1950. She worked as a high school teacher and university professor for three decades and also hosted her own CBC television show as a clothing specialist in 1958. She served on the board of the Misericordia General Hospital and its foundation.

June 5 — Rene Barker, 52. He worked to preserve his Aninshinaabe language. He taught at the University of Manitoba and the Niji Makwa School. He was chairman of the Traditional Area Advisory Committees of both Black River and Hollow Water First Nations, and a community engagement consultant with Manitoba Model Forest.

Thomas Sophonow and lawyer Norm Cuddy in 1986

June 6 — Norm Cuddy, 66. He helped people who needed legal help. He was called to the bar in Manitoba in 1975 and in British Columbia in 2005. In his first years, he worked as a defence counsel, but later specialized in civil cases. He had many prominent cases including getting wrongfully convicted Thomas Sophonow acquitted of murder a final time, representing the family of two sisters who called 911 five times before they were murdered during an inquest into their deaths, defending boxer Donny Lalonde in a lawsuit from a man who claimed the boxer had signed a promotion contract with him, and helping former Tory candidate Luba Fedorkiw win one of the largest defamation awards in Canadian history.

June 10 — Ken Hughes, 83. He helped students and people with kidney disease. He was born in Winnipeg and at the age of 15 began experiencing signs of kidney disease. He received his bachelor and master of arts degrees at the U of M and his PhD in psychology and neuro-physiology at the University of Chicago. He taught at the U of M and rose through the positions of associate dean of medicine, vice-president of research and dean of graduate studies, later becoming the first dean of that faculty to be honoured as Dean Emeritus. He had a successful kidney transplant from his sister and went on to become president of the Canadian Kidney Foundation, a member of the Canadian Blood Services Board, and a member of hospital boards in Winnipeg and Goderich, Ont.

June 10 — Paul Zywina. He helped children. He graduated with his MD from Queen’s University and did further training in psychiatry at the U of M. He specialized in child and adolescent psychiatry and was instrumental in creating the Manitoba Adolescent Treatment Centre.


June 12 — David Sanders, 69. He was a citizen watchdog at city hall. He went to the University of Manitoba where he was editor of The Manitoban and president of the student union. He worked as a reporter at the Winnipeg Tribune before joining the provincial government where he worked for 18 years, becoming deputy minister of municipal affairs. He chaired the tripartite government committee which developed the first Core Area Initiative agreement, which led to the creation of The Forks and Portage Place. He ran for mayor in 2014 and finished fifth. Then he became chairman of the Manitoba Taxicab Board.

June 13 — George Gershman, 93. He was Mr. Manitoba. He was born and raised in Winnipeg, graduating with degrees in arts and social work from United College. After serving in the air force during the Second World War and finishing his degrees, he became Shaarey Zedek Synagogue’s first executive director in 1948. Nine years later, he worked as executive director of a synagogue in Miami, before returning to Winnipeg to spend 20 years as manager of the Glendale Golf and Country Club and 15 years as manager of the Charterhouse Hotel. He was a booster of both the city and province and served on many committees in the hospitality and tourism industry. He was honoured with the City of Winnipeg Community Service Award, the Winnipeg Tourism Lifetime Achievement Award of Distinction, and he was made a lifetime member of the Manitoba Hotel Association.


June 13 — Bill Paton, 72. He was a gardening expert. He spent 40 years in Brandon University’s department of botany, being honoured with the title of professor emeritus. He created a long-running call-in gardening show on a Brandon radio station and was a vocal critic of the city’s water quality for many years.

June 19 — Laurie Evans, 82. He was a plant breeder who became a politician. He was born in Saskatchewan and received his PhD in cytogenetics and plant breeding at the U of M. He later became the head of the university’s plant sciences department. He was president of the Fort Richmond Community Club and was elected Liberal MLA for Fort Garry in 1988, serving for two years. He was elected several terms as a councillor in the RM of Ste. Anne.

June 24 — Roma Konyk, 84. She entertained a generation of children. She grew up in Elmwood and North Kildonan and studied voice at the Royal Conservatory of Music in Toronto and was featured on the CBC Radio program Singing Stars of Tomorrow. Returning to Winnipeg in 1960, she became Miss Roma on CJAY TV’s Romper Room television show — she was so beloved by children that decades later she was still apologizing to adults for not having said their name while looking through the Magic Mirror.

June 27 — Wilf Taillieu, 67. He helped Headingley secede from Winnipeg. He received his degree in business administration at the University of North Dakota and went on to run the family construction business, Taillieu Construction Ltd., until he died. He was president of the Manitoba Heavy Construction Association in 1989 and 1990. He was the catalyst for Headingley residents voting to secede from Winnipeg in 1992, and he served as a councillor on the new council, becoming mayor in 2000, a position he held until his death.

July 3 — Jack Mavins, 84. He preserved history. He spent his work life with Manitoba Telephone System, but after hours he restored antique cars. He was a member of the Manitoba Classic and Antique Auto Club and was inducted into the Manitoba Motor Sports Hall of Fame in 2009. To preserve local history, he volunteered with the RM of Springfield and was founder of the Springfield Municipal Archives. He was treasurer at the Anola District Museum board for 32 years. In recognition of his efforts, he received the 2014 Lieutenant Governor’s Award for historical preservation and promotion.


July 4 — Paul Martin, 96. He was the greatest Transconian. He was born in Transcona and lived there his entire life. He enlisted in the army during the Second World War and landed in Normandy. He received several medals during the war and left with rank of Captain. Returning home, he was hired by CN Rail. He was elected as a school trustee in 1952, serving for five years, before being elected a city councillor for 15 years and then two years as Transcona’s last mayor. He was founder of the Transcona Historical Museum and president and executive member of the Transcona Legion. Generations of school children know him as the veteran who spoke to their classes around Remembrance Day. He was honoured with the Queen Elizabeth Jubilee award and one of France’s highest medals, granting him the rank of Knight of the National Order of the Legion of Honour.

July 5 — Keith Heming, 72. He helped Killarney. He was born in England and came to Canada as a child. He graduated from the U of M’s law school and later moved to Killarney to practice law. While there, he served as president of the local Chamber of Commerce and established the Killarney Foundation in 1979, which helped build the Killarney and District Community Centre. After retiring, he was appointed executive director of the Municipal Board of Manitoba and later the City of Winnipeg’s board of revision. He was honoured with the Queen’s Council in 1989, and received both the Queen’s Golden Jubilee medal and Diamond Jubilee medal. He was named to the Order of Canada in 2009.

July 7 — Myron Hrankowski, 75. He was a blue baby. He was born in 1940 with a malformed heart and wasn’t expected to live to adulthood. But when he was five, his family heard about a new type of open-heart surgery being performed at John Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore. His operations were chronicled on the front pages of the Free Press and the Winnipeg Tribune. He went on to graduate from high school and work at his dad’s drug store. Tragically, during what was to be his last cardiac surgery, he had a stroke that left him with physical challenges for the rest of his life.

July 9 — Celia Baron, 70. She helped students with math. She graduated from the U of M with degrees in mathematics, science and education. She taught mathematics at all grade levels and also produced books for students including Thinking Strategy books and the Hot Cross Number books which are used around the world. She was awarded the Murray McPherson Award in recognition of her contributions to math education in schools in Manitoba.

July 13 — Nadya Kostyshyn-Bailey, 73. She promoted her Ukrainian community. She was born in Ukraine and came to Canada when she was a child. Growing up she was part of the Manitoba Youth Orchestra, Ukrainian Theatre, and Plast Ukrainian Youth Association. She worked as a teacher with the River East School Division before joining the provincial government as a creative arts consultant. At one point, as manager of the province’s ethno-cultural programs, she spoke five languages, understood several Slavic tongues, and was learning Chinese. She put in place cross-cultural and anti-racism programs in the civil service. She was government and community liaison for the Manitoba-Ukraine Secretariat. She was a president of the Oseredok Ukrainian Cultural and Educational Centre. She was honoured with the city’s Community Service Award, the province’s Meritorious Service Award, and an Osvita Foundation honouree.

July 13 — Herbert John Fowell, 70. He was better known on radio as Bert Gordon. He was born in Brandon and first worked in radio at CKX Radio, becoming the station’s first FM operator in the early 1960s. Through the years he worked at numerous radio stations including CKX Radio 58 in Winnipeg, CFCF and CJGM in Montreal, CFOX in Vancouver, and lastly CFST 1290 Starlight in Winnipeg. He was also a weatherman on television at Pembina’s KCND.

July 14 — Rod McRae, 81. He helped build the city. He graduated from the University of Manitoba with a bachelor of science in civil engineering and was hired by the then-City of East Kildonan in 1957. Rising through the ranks, and with the amalgamation of Winnipeg as Unicity, he became the city’s director of operations and then its commissioner of works and operations in 1983. He helped develop Kilcona Park after the closure of the landfill there, the Take Pride Winnipeg initiative, and the Charleswood Bridge project, which was the first public/private project partnership in Canada.

July 17 — Joan Harland, 101. She designed interiors. She was born in England but raised in Winnipeg. She received her bachelor of architecture degree at the University of Manitoba and a masters of arts degree from Teachers College in Columbia, New York. She went on to teach at the U of M’s architecture/interior design school rising to become chairwoman/head of the Department of Interior Design for 23 years. She was honoured by the university with its professor emeritus award, made an emeritus member of the Professional Interior Designers Institute of Manitoba, and was inducted into the province’s Order of the Buffalo Hunt in 2016.

Bob Gannon

July 19 — Bob Gannon. He was an accountant. He grew up in Timmins, Ont., and earned a bachelor of arts degree at the University of Toronto and a master of business administration from the University of Manitoba. He was a Fellow of the Chartered Accountants and held executive positions at James Richardson and Sons, Great-West Life, Inter-City Gas and K-Tel International. For several years he was the city’s chief financial officer and, while in that role, he helped negotiate the sale of Winnipeg Hydro to Manitoba Hydro in 2002.

July 19 — Jeannie Kolbe, 90. She was a singer. After finishing high school, she began working in the Eaton’s mail order department, but her passion was music. She was hostess at Rancho Don Carlos and the Town and Country and worked with the owner of Club Morocco, her long-term partner Harry Smith. She sang with the famous acts who played there and had a regular singing gig with the Al Spritz band at Club Morocco.

July 21 — Bob Soper, 88. He tested soil. He became a professor at the University of Manitoba in 1958. During the 1960s, he was considered the leader in soil testing and helped develop and use radioactive phosphorus in crop nutrition studies. He also developed a soil test for available nitrogen that has been used in Manitoba and across the North American Great Plains. For his work he was honoured as a Fellow of the Agricultural Institute of Canada and the Canadian Society of Soil Science, received the Queen’s Silver Jubilee medal, and when he retired he was conferred as professor emeritus.


July 23 — George Reznik, 86. He played jazz with the stars. He was classically trained as a pianist as a child, but his passion was jazz. He began playing professionally when he was 16 and kept going for the next five decades. He played at the Royal Alex Hotel, Town and Country Club, and Rancho Don Carlos Club among others. The stars he performed with included Louis Armstrong, Barbra Streisand, and Lenny Breau. He played weekly at the Pembina Hotel for more than 21 years. He was honoured with the CanWest Global Jazz Achievement Award.

July 24 — Peter Swerhone. He created the province’s largest hospital. He received his graduate degree in hospital administration from the University of Toronto and became assistant administrator at the Notre Dame Hospital in North Battleford, Sask. He became assistant executive director at the Winnipeg General Hospital and in 1967 he became executive director. He spearheaded the master plan that led to the creation of the Health Sciences Centre, at the time the first amalgamation of hospitals in the country, and served as its first president until retiring in 1985. He was honoured with the city’s outstanding achievement award, the gold medal from the American College of Hospital Administrators, and the University of Toronto’s President’s Achievement Award.

July 29 — Barbara Weselake, 69. She worked in media. While working as a junior executive at Eaton’s, managing the young women’s fashion department, she also wrote a fashion and lifestyle column for the Winnipeg Tribune and gave commentaries to CKRC. She later became Royal Manitoba Theatre Centre’s public relations director and then hosted CBC Radio’s late afternoon drive home show. She created the TV program Family Focus and the documentary Babies Having Babies, which won as best documentary from the Association of Canadian Television and Radio Artists. She was frequently a guest on TV’s Front Page Challenge before founding Quantum Learning.


July 30 — Gus Damianakos, 79. He fed people in the North End. He was born and raised in Greece and came to Canada in 1963 to marry his wife. He bought the Windmill Lunch on Selkirk Avenue and owned it for 46 years. His restaurant showed up in movies, including Capote, Shall We Dance, and The Big White.

SUPPLIED Jaroslaw Barwinsky

Aug. 28 — Jaroslaw Barwinsky, 89. He repaired hearts. He was born in Ukraine and with his family was interned in a Nazi forced labour camp during the Second World War. While in a displaced persons camp after the war, he met a U.S. army chaplain who helped him enroll in medical school at the University of Munich. When he came to Winnipeg in the late 1940s, he took language courses at St. John’s High School because he didn’t speak English. He graduated from the U of M’s medical school in 1955. He became the first Canadian of Ukrainian descent to perform cardiac surgery. With Dr. Morley Cohen, he helped introduce pacemaker implantations, valve surgery and coronary bypass grafting. During his 37-year career, he performed more than 5,500 surgeries.


Aug. 29 — Joanne Schiewe, 36. She inspired others. Schiewe was diagnosed in February 2015 with glioblastoma, a terminal brain cancer, but never let the prognosis slow her down. An accomplished athlete with several marathons, triathlons, adventure races and an Ironman to her credit, Schiewe continued with her training and racing. Schiewe has become the face of the Winnipeg Police Service Half Marathon, an annual event in May that raises money for the Canadian Cancer Society. Schiewe raised more than $80,000 for brain cancer research.

Sept. 1 — Olie Alto, 87. He was a performer. He grew up in the North End and met his wife while taking part in a University of Manitoba musical. While his day job was in the printing business, his heart was in acting and he went on to be part of more than 200 movies, television shows and musicals. He was honoured with the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Alliance of Canadian Cinema, Television and Radio Artists in 2013.


Sept. 4 — Jerry Maslowsky, 58. He performed on stage and helped children. He performed in numerous Rainbow Stage productions, was a featured singer and dancer with the Sarah Sommer Chai Folk Ensemble, and performed in more than 100 shows at the Hollow Mug Dinner Theatre. He was part of the band Special Blend and played weddings and bar mitzvahs. With his sister he co-wrote and co-hosted a three-part TV special on CKY-TV, Wish Upon A Star. He worked in sales and marketing with CKND and CJOB and was responsible for developing the Save The Jets campaign in 1996. He went on to be vice-president of the 1999 Pan American Games and the Winnipeg Football Club. He was CEO of Variety, the Children’s Charity of Manitoba.

Sept. 8 — Nancy Klippenstein, 86. She advocated for the blind. Shortly after her husband’s death in 1964 she began to lose her sight. She learned braille and began working at the CNIB’s tuck shops and Sooter Studios. She started the See If You Can blind education awareness program for the Canadian Council of the Blind. She was president of the Manitoba division of the CCB and was honoured with the CCB’s Award of Recognition and Citation, the Diamond Jubilee medal, and a citation awarded by the Governor General.

Sept. 12 — Louis Kliman, 87. He loved performing. While attending United College he started a lifelong love affair with performing arts. He returned to McCreary to run the family’s department store and movie theatre when his dad died in 1950, but two years later he enrolled in the American Academy of Performing Arts in New York City. While there, he met his wife and, after returning to McCreary he founded the McCreary Dramatic Society. He co-starred in Rainbow Stage’s 1959 production of Guys and Dolls and was on CBC radio broadcasts. With a friend, he bought Standard Knitting in 1967 and produced the Tundra line of sweaters for 25 years. He was also the first president and a founding member of the Agassiz Ski Club. He was honoured with ACTRA’s Victor Cowie Award in 2013 for his contributions to performing arts.

John Woods for Macleans JOHN WOODS Len Kropioski

Sept. 13 — Len Kropioski, 98. He saluted Canada at hockey games. Known to many by his nickname ‘Kroppy’, he grew up in the North End. He enlisted in the army in 1940, and served alongside the U.S. forces in the Aleutian Islands campaign. He moved to Kenora after the war and sponsored many sports teams there. He was a fixture at Winnipeg Jets games where he would give a salute during the singing of the national anthem, but he also had season tickets for the Winnipeg Goldeyes, Winnipeg Blue Bombers and the Manitoba Moose.


Sept. 19 — Larry Morrissette, 59. He was an indigenous champion. He co-founded the Thunder Eagle Society, an indigenous activist group, in the 1980s, before helping form the original Bear Clan in 1992, and being one of the few men involved in creating Ma Mawi Wi Chi Itata Centre. He went on to be part of the group that formed Children of the Earth High School. He was a co-author of Indians Wear Red, which looked at colonialism, resistance and aboriginal street gangs. He was executive director of Ogijiita Pimatiswin Kinamatwin, which works with indigenous street gang members. He also taught in the University of Manitoba’s inner-city social work program and the University of Winnipeg’s urban and inner-city studies department.

Sept. 19 — Joyce Collier, 85. She started as a typist and ended up running a hospital. She grew up in England and came to Selkirk in 1965 after she was married and began a family. She worked as a teller at a bank and helped create a night course at the local high school when she couldn’t find a typing course in Selkirk. She became secretary to the Selkirk General Hospital administrator before taking a course in small hospital administration through the University of Saskatchewan. She became the hospital’s administrator and while there was responsible for the planning and construction of a new hospital.

Sept. 19 — Andy Arnot, 74. He was a broadcaster. He was born and raised in Ontario. He was the sportscaster with the then-CKND TV’s nightly news program when it was unveiled in September 1979, with Brian Swain and Marjorie Salki. He was known as the voice of the World Hockey Association’s Winnipeg Jets through his game broadcasts. He went on to become the station’s news director.

Sept. 19 — John Kennedy, 86. He helped develop The Pas. He was born and raised in The Pas and started Kennedy Energy, a fuel distribution business, in 1956. He was founding president and a Hall of Fame member of The Pas Huskies, the senior level hockey team. He was also a long-time coach, founder and president of The Pas Minor Hockey Association. He was elected a city councillor and mayor, school trustee and chairman, and he was instrumental in the construction of a new town hall, high school and first indoor pool.

Sept. 21 — Emily Bazylo, 87. She volunteered to help her church and community. She worked in the fashion industry for more than three decades at companies that included Singer and Gemini Fashions. She volunteered on numerous committees with her church, All Saints Ukrainian Orthodox Church of Canada in Transcona, and the Royal Canadian Legion. She was a member of the Royal Canadian Legion Auxiliary for 48 years and president for 12 years. She was also president of the Ukrainian Women’s Association of Canada’s Lesia Ukrinka branch for 18 years, treasurer of the association’s Manitoba provincial executive for 17 years, and past member of the association’s national executive. Her honours included the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee medal, the Ukrainian Self Reliance League of Canada Award of Excellence, and The Maple Leaf, the Royal Canadian Legion’s highest honour.

Oct. 2 — Daune Yerex, 86. He was a pitcher. He worked in road construction and snow removal, but his first loves were baseball and hockey. He pitched on teams from Eden, Springfield and Neepawa and was often selected to all star teams. He managed the St. Avila Royals and the Neepawa Farmers and pitched a perfect game while playing with the Brandon Cloverleafs. He was inducted into the Manitoba Baseball Hall of Fame as a player/builder.

JEFF DE BOOOY / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS FILES Bruce Hudson holding a watercolour portrait of his father Gordon .

Oct. 8 — Bruce Hudson, 87. He excelled in curling and baseball. His father was two-time Canadian curling champion Gordon and he himself skipped a team from the Strathcona Curling Club, which won the Manitoba championship in 1964 and 1967. He was president of the Manitoba Curling Association and the Strathcona Curling Club. He played baseball with the Rosedales, which won the city junior championships in 1949-50, and the St. Boniface Native Sons, which won the Winnipeg title in 1951, 1953, and 1955. He was a past president of the Pine Ridge Golf Club and played on the province’s senior golf team in 1991. He was inducted into the Manitoba Curling Hall of Fame as a curler-builder in 1994, and the Manitoba Baseball Hall of Fame in 2003.

Oct. 12 — Ted Purvis, 75. He built ships. He was certified as both a welder and a machinist at Red River College. He acquired his uncle’s boat building business and dad’s machine shop in Selkirk, and went on to build several of the province’s ships that sailed the Red River and Lake Winnipeg. They included the Paddle Wheel Queen, the Paddle Wheel Princess, the River Rouge, the Lady Winnipeg and the Lord Selkirk.

Oct. 18 — Ken Brown, 78. He protected the public in health care. He received his medical degree at the University of Western Ontario and then went into family practice. He moved to Manitoba and went into health care administration with the Winnipeg General Hospital, the Health Sciences Centre and the University of Manitoba. He joined the College of Physicians and Surgeons as the assistant registrar and later as the registrar.

Oct. 24 — Frank Cvitkovitch, 80. He helped all students get educated in the province. He went to St. Ignatius School as a child and went on to graduate from the University of Manitoba with a law degree. He was the last surviving member of the law firm MacInnes Burbridge. He was chairman of the Manitoba Federation of Independent School committee in the 1970s and negotiated fair funding from the provincial government for all independent school children in Manitoba after pressure about its constitutional responsibilities towards separate schools.


Oct. 26 — Andrew Henderson, 28. He was an artist. He received a fine arts degree at York University and while he stage-managed plays, concerts and fashion shows in Toronto, he would return to Manitoba in the summer to work as a blacksmith at Lower Fort Garry. He was diagnosed with a rare and aggressive cancer in 2014. When he was told it was terminal, he created a living performance piece Taking it to the Grave, where people would tell him secrets and he would tattoo his body with symbols of their confessions, promising to take their secrets with him when he died.

Oct. 28 — Adeline Chorney, 94. She grew potatoes with her husband. She grew up in Highland Glen and married her husband, Anton, in 1941. They developed their farm together and soon had success in competitions here and around the world with their potatoes. They won 19 championships at the Brandon Winter Fair during the 1950s, and they won national and international championships at the Toronto Royal Winter Fair for table potatoes in 1959 and 1961 and for seed potatoes in 1960, 1961, 1963 and 1971.

Oct. 30 — Graham Lount, 95. He was passionate about Winnipeg. He graduated from architecture at the U of M and, with his father, formed C.T. Lount Construction in 1947. The company grew to build high rises including the Holiday Inn South and 55 Nassau, before he founded Shelter Corp. of Canada. Shelter built both Seven Evergreen and Eleven Evergreen and went on to develop thousands of multi-family rental units in Canada and the United States. With golfer Jack Nicklaus, he developed the Bear’s Paw Golf and Country Club in Naples, Fla.

Nov. 8 — Bruce Hayles, 86. He traded grain. He followed his father into the grain trade and worked for Canadian Consolidated Grain. He became a cash grain broker and a member of the Winnipeg Grain/Commodity Exchange. He worked in executive positions for other grain and grain terminal companies and served two terms as chairman of the Winnipeg Grain Exchange, the highest elected position.

Nov. 8 — Bill Everett, 95. He sold cars and gasoline. He was born and raised in British Columbia before coming to Winnipeg after the Second World War to work in the family business Dominion Motors. When his dad stepped down, he became president of the company while his brother, Douglas, who later started the Domo gasoline station division, became vice-president. He was a director of the Winnipeg Blue Bombers and part-owner of the original Winnipeg Goldeyes. He served as aide-de-camp to the lieutenant-governor.


Nov. 10 — Orysia Tracz, 71. She was a prominent voice in the local Ukrainian community. She was born in a displaced person’s camp in Germany after the Second World War and raised in the United States. She came to Winnipeg with her husband in 1968. She put together a commemorative book for the Rusalka Ukrainian Dance Ensemble’s 50th anniversary and received an honourable mention in the Thin Air Winnipeg International Writers’ Festival awards for her book First Star I See Tonight. This year the Ukrainian Canadian Congress honoured her with the Shevchenko Award for arts and culture.

Nov. 12 — Bob Kabel, 82. He played sports. He was born in Dauphin and played two seasons with the Flin Flon Bombers before spending the next 15 years playing professional hockey. He played 48 games in the NHL with the New York Rangers, scoring five goals and 13 assists, in 1959 and 1960, and went on two win two Calder Cups with the Springfield Indians. He was inducted into both the Manitoba Hockey Hall of Fame and the Manitoba Baseball Hall of Fame for his 20 years as catcher and team leader of the Dauphin Red Birds.

Nov. 14 — Arthur Blankstein, 71. He helped his Jewish and LGBT communities. He received his bachelor of interior design from the U of M and practised in Winnipeg and Toronto for more than 45 years. He served on numerous Jewish organizations including the Jewish Federation of Winnipeg, the Jewish Heritage Centre of Western Canada, the Winnipeg Jewish Theatre, and the Rady Jewish Community Centre Jewish Life Committee. He was a founding member of the Anakhnu, the community centre’s LGBT group and was co-chairman of the World Congress of LGBT Jews Conference which came to Winnipeg in 2013. He and his partner were the first Jewish gay couple to be married in the Shaarey Zedek Synagogue.

Nov. 15 — Lloyd Rennie, 91. He helped people with Celiac disease. He was a cereal chemist who contributed to flour milling, the grain trade, and food production. He bought a laboratory and renamed the company Central Testing Laboratory and became one of the few feed and forage testing facilities in Western Canada. With St. Boniface General Hospital, he developed the first viable gluten-free flour for use with Celiac disease patients. Under the Celimix brand, his gluten free products have been produced and sold for more than four decades.

Nov. 16 — Ron James, 72. Many Manitobans heard his voice. He started his broadcast career after high school in 1961 and was a fixture on the airwaves for many years until retiring in 2009. He worked at CKX-TV in Brandon and CFAM in Altona before joining CJOB in 1966. After getting his teaching certificate, he taught at General Byng school before going back to radio with Golden West Broadcasting in 1975. He was the longtime host of Classics Till Dawn and the mid-morning slot on the Radio Southern Manitoba network.

Nov. 18 — Ruth Palmour, 93. She helped launch Harlequin Romance paperback books. She went to business college and soon was working at the Hudson’s Bay Co. as a secretary for Richard Bonnycastle, a fur trader with the company. When Bonnycastle moved to a printing company, she followed him there. She was instrumental in developing the Harlequin Romance brand into an international success and owned a 25 per cent share of it.

Nov. 20 — Rolph Huband, 87. He brought Manitoba’s history to Manitoba. He graduated from the U of M’s law school in 1955 and joined the Hudson’s Bay Co. as a lawyer, staying there for 37 years until retiring as vice-president. He facilitated the company’s donation to the Manitoba government of its collection of fur trade documents, archives and artifacts, along with the full-sized replica of the Nonsuch now in the Manitoba Museum. He was founding chairman of Canada’s National History Society which published the magazine The Beaver, which is now Canada’s History Magazine. He was named to the Order of Canada in 2003.

Dec. 11 — David Palubeski. He shaped urban areas. He was president of Lombard North Group, which co-ordinated urban design initiatives and developmental strategies. He served as a planning adviser to China’s Ministry of Lands and Russia’s Trest Engineering. He was past president of the Canadian Institute of Planners, chairman of the City of Winnipeg’s downtown design review advisory board, and a member of the Prime Minister’s Advisory Council on the Environment and the Economy.

Dec. 22 – Bill Bueckert, 72. He loved to speed on water. He was raised in Winkler and went on to be the province’s first water ski jumper to break the 100-foot barrier. He went on to win the provincial water ski championship in 1960 and the national junior jumping water ski championship in 1964. He was the country’s first barefoot endurance champion with a Tim of 57 seconds. He went on to own Mister B. Marineland, one of central Canada’s largest power sport dealerships. He was inducted into the Mid-Canada Marine Dealers Hall of Fame in 2015.

Kevin Rollason

Kevin Rollason

Kevin Rollason is one of the more versatile reporters at the Winnipeg Free Press. Whether it is covering city hall, the law courts, or general reporting, Rollason can be counted on to not only answer the 5 Ws — Who, What, When, Where and Why — but to do it in an interesting and accessible way for readers.

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