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Sweethearts forever
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Sweethearts forever

Sharon and Larry Zarychanski were inseparable for almost 60 years, so perhaps it is fitting they died only 13 days apart.

Sharon contracted COVID-19, dying March 26 at 74.

Then, on April 8, Larry, 77, died following a long battle with cancer. A broken heart may have contributed.

The couple met back when they were students at Elmwood High School. They became sweethearts and married not long after graduating. Sharon was just 20 years old when they tied the knot on Sept. 16, 1967.

The couple moved to Charleswood to raise their family. They had a daughter and son, and they threw themselves into their new community.

Sharon worked for three decades with the CIBC, followed by 10 at the Bank of Nova Scotia. She also volunteered heavily in the community, being a Brownie leader, a Sunday school teacher, cottage association president, and whatever was needed to help Larry’s church activities at Our Lady of Perpetual Help.

Larry spent most of his career as the manager of the Hudson’s Bay Distribution Centre before taking on a similar position at the SAAN Distribution Centre.

Larry volunteered as well, especially with the Knights of Columbus. His work helped raise funds for local charities and Catholic schools and he was honoured for all this good work by being awarded Knight of the Year in 2009.

The couple built a family cottage at Lake Shore Heights, where they made lasting memories. They went on annual trips, including an Alaskan cruise to mark their 50th anniversary.

The family says Sharon’s "superpower" was caring for her family, while their dad had “a warm and welcoming heart." Their children thanked their parents, saying they were “eternally grateful for the many sacrifices they made so that we could succeed."

They also asked for those so inclined to donate to either Agape Table or the CancerCare Manitoba Foundation “to honour the legacy of our parents’ dedication to helping those in need and those who are suffering.”

Noting Sharon and Larry were high-school sweethearts who were inseparable for almost 60 years, the family took comfort in knowing “they entered into Heaven together."

Besides their daughter and son, the couple is also survived by five grandchildren, three nieces and a nephew. Read more about Sharon and Larry. 

Kevin Rollason

Kevin Rollason, Reporter

Kevin Rollason

How They Lived

People move to Winnipeg for many reasons; Elizabeth Cohn came so she wouldn’t be a murder victim.

Elizabeth, who died on March 18 at 88, was born in Colombia and lost her parents when she was only in her early teens.

She worked hard to survive and met the man who would become her husband when she was in her late teens. They married and raised three kids, but then decided to leave Colombia and come to Winnipeg in 1982.

The reason? They wanted to escape “the drug cartel’s indiscriminate violence." Read more about Elizabeth. 

 


 

Generations of francophone adults may remember Cecile Mulaire, or her work.

Cecile, who died on March 29 at 89, was known in the francophone community as Madame Bicolo, the creator of a children’s activity page in the weekly La Liberté newspaper.

She was also a dedicated volunteer with numerous organizations and groups, most recently Centre Flavie. Read more about Cecile. 

 


 

Dr. Nichole Riese helped patients around the world and here at home.

Nichole, who died at 62, on April 1, was a doctor for 35 years. She worked in northern Quebec and Kenora, and also in Winnipeg at Ongomiizwin Health, which used to be called the Northern Health Unit, as well as the Addictions Foundation of Manitoba.

Nichole also volunteered her skills in Jamaica, Burundi, Chad and Haiti, as well as serving on the board of the Main Street Project and volunteering at their food bank. Read more about Nichole.

 


 

Brad Kelm was an assassin — but only on the field.

Brad, who died on March 3 at 62, was heavily involved in sports for his whole life — especially with touch football. He played for the Assassins at a national level and later was a referee at games.

He must have been a great referee, because he was honoured with induction into the Manitoba Touch Football Referee Hall of Fame. Read more about Brad. 

 


 

Doug Struthers was a civil engineer who spent 37 years with the province’s highways department.

Doug, who died of ALS on April 5 at 88, graduated from the University of Manitoba as a civil engineer and joined the Department of Highways.

While Doug was district engineer for Southeastern Manitoba, he met with the chief of Buffalo Point, who wanted to develop the reserve.

That meeting resulted in Doug becoming instrumental in developing Buffalo Point and the cottage development there in the late 1970s. Read more about Doug. 

 


 

Sam Singer was born in Saskatchewan, raised in Winnipeg, and fought in Israel.

Sam, who died on March 13 at 94, was born on the Sonnenfeld Jewish farming colony near Hoffer, Saskatchewan, went to King Edward School and St. John’s Technical High School in Winnipeg. He was also a sea cadet.

When Sam was 20 years old, he decided to join Machal — a group of about 3,500 overseas volunteers who fought in Israel’s War of Independence in 1948. That service changed his life and led to his lifelong commitment to Israel.

He returned to Winnipeg and started Singer Industries, a family plumbing and heating business, and also worked for CN Rail in Transcona for 26 years. Read more about Sam. 

 


 

John Makichuk was a cold warrior and a peacekeeper.

John, who was 87 when he died on March 31, joined the Royal Canadian Ordinance Corps and served in the Korean DMZ and twice with NATO in West Germany. He was also stationed on bases in Quebec, Ontario and Manitoba.

He was commissioned from the ranks and became a logistics branch officer, serving in National Defence Headquarters in Ottawa and with the United Nations in Egypt.

After leaving the military, he worked on counter-espionage projects with the Department of National Defence.

For all of this and others, John received several peace and other medals including the Queen Elizabeth II Silver Jubilee Medal, the Ambassador for Peace Medal from the Korean government, the Canadian Peacekeeping Medal, and the Special Service Medal with Bar for NATO. Read more about John. 

 


 

A Life’s Story

Jack Rosenbaum survived the Second World War and wanted everyone, including his own family, to remember it. That’s why Jack, years before his death, dictated his story and the atrocities he faced to his wife, Evie.

“It’s extremely important that we always remember the hardships that he faced growing up so we don’t take our luxurious life for granted,” his daughter Rennie Kaplan recently told reporter Taylor Allen.

“And when I say luxurious, I mean we have everything we need.”

Evie and Jack Rosenbaum, a skilled butcher, operated Kelly’s Food Market on Elgin Avenue until 1976. (Supplied)

Jack was born in Poland and grew up in a Jewish family there until the German Army invaded Poland in 1939. They moved to Russia and an area where there was a severe food shortage.

Later, both his parents dead, he came to Canada as an orphan. You can read the rest of Jack’s life story here.

 


 

Until next time, I hope you continue to write your own life’s story.

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