Walter Bodnarchuk

Walter Bodnarchuk passed away at the Dauphin Regional Health Centre on Monday, October 8, 2012 at the age of 91 years.

Walter was born in Poland on October 23, 1920 to parents Nick and Anne (nee Sitka) Bodnarchuk.

In the spring of 1929, the family immigrated to Canada from Poland and settled in Sclater, Manitoba.  There, Walter attended school for two years.  The family then moved to Pine River where they purchased the farm.  While in Pine River, Walter attended school at Vimy Ridge.

Walter lived at home with his parents until the age of 21, at which time he joined the Canadian Armed Forces.  He received his discharge from the Armed Forces in March of 1946, after 4 years of duty.

Walter met Dorothy Charzewski, the love of his life, and in September of 1946, they were married.  They farmed in the Pine River district until 1977 when they sold out.  Walter and Dorothy moved to Ethelbert in 1978, and then to Dauphin in 2005.

Walter is survived by his loving wife Dorothy and their 4 children, daughter Shirley Frykas (Morris) of Ethelbert, MB, daughter Carole Prokopowich of Sandy Lake, MB, son Ernie Bodnarchuk (Monica) of Winnipeg, MB, daughter Beverley Alphin (Ralph) of Calgary, AB.  Also surviving are grandchildren Shauna Lee, Kelly Frykas, Jason Frykas (Tamara), Krista Prokopowich (Jeff Panasiuk), Brandice Bepperling (Chris), Dion Bodnarchuk, Ashley Alphin; great-grandchildren Mikala, Tyler, Keelyn, Jarrett, Jonah, Mathais; great-great-grandchild Emma Jean.

Funeral service was held on Saturday, October 13, 2012 at 11:00 a.m. at the Sneath-Strilchuk Funeral Chapel in Dauphin with Rev. Fr. Brent Kuzyk officiating. St. George’s Cantors provided choral accompaniment.  Interment followed in the Dauphin Riverside Cemetery.

Those wishing to remember Walter may honour his memory by making donations to the  Canadian Diabetes Association.

Our family would like to thank Dr. T. Mathison and the staff of St. Paul’s Home for their care and support.  We also would like to thank Sister Jean and Father Brent Kuzyk for their visits to the home and their spiritual guidance.

Arrangements were entrusted to Sneath-Strilchuk Funeral Services with funeral homes in Dauphin, Roblin and Ste. Rose du Lac.

Aline Marie Bella Courcelles (nee Gingras)

Aline Marie Bella Courcelles, nee Gingras, passed away peacefully at the age of 73, at the Ste. Rose General Hospital on Saturday, October 6th at 4:45 am following a valiant battle with cancer.

Aline was born into a large French-Canadian farming family on January 5th, 1939 in the original family farmhouse, 7 miles from Laurier to Eugene and Claire Gingras (née Marcotte).  She was the 8th child in a family of 12 – 8 daughters and 4 sons.  Age the age of 17, she entered the convent and after a few years in St. Boniface, MB, she moved to the Maison Mère in Montreal.  In the Order of the Grey Nuns, she served the Lord for 7 years.  She left the order at the age of 24, but always said she never regretted serving the Lord with the Order of the Grey Nuns.  We welcome and appreciate the presence of the members of the Order who came today.

She married René Courcelles in 1966 and became the mother of Jeanne (Wegner), Claire (Bérard) and Martin.  Her children and her husband became the great passions of her life.  The family moved to Ste. Anne des Chênes, MB in 1968.  There, she worked as a Nurse’s Aide at the Villa Youville for 21 years and retired at the age of 54.

In 2004, Aline and René moved closer to Aline’s roots and came to live here in Ste. Rose du Lac.  She enjoyed her years here immensely.  She always enjoyed having company over for meals, playing cards – her favorite game being Golf – and visiting with friends both old and new.

Aline leaves to mourn her passing and cherish many wonderful memories; her husband René, her children, 2 sons-in-law Réal Bérard and Gerald Wegner, 3 grandsons Miguel Bérard 15, Jordan Wegner 14 and Jonathan Wegner 11, and one granddaughter Brooke Bérard 12, as well as five sisters Aurore Pinette, Bella Gamache, Rita Lecomte, Yvonne Bouchard and Lucille LeGall, one brother Rémi Gingras, numerous in-laws, nephews, nieces, cousins and friends.

Funeral Mass was celebrated on Saturday, October 13, at 2:00 pm in the Ste. Rose de Lima Roman Catholic Church.  Fr. Eric Zadji celebrated the mass.  Music was provided by the very musical Ste. Rose de Lima Choir.

The eulogy was given by Aline’s children Jeanne, Claire, and Martin.  Aline’s niece Désirée Rambow and her grandson Jordan Wegner did the readings and her niece Dominique Courcelles sang the Psalm.

Interment took place in the Notre Dame des Victoires Cemetery in Laurier near  family members who have gone before her.  Urnbearer was her nephew Florent Desrosiers.

Flowers are gratefully declined.  Should friends so desire, please consider making a donation in memory of Aline to Palliative Care at Ste. Rose General Hospital, the Home Care Program, CancerCare Manitoba or to a charity of one’s choice.

The family wishes to thank the Doctors and staff of Ste. Rose General Hospital, the Regional Home Care Program workers, the staff at CancerCare Manitoba and all of you kind people who took the time to give our family words of encouragement that make these difficult times bearable.  Your kindness will forever be engraved in our hearts.

Arrangements were entrusted to Sneath-Strilchuk Funeral Services with funeral homes in Dauphin, Roblin and Ste. Rose du Lac.

Wasyl “Bill” Caruk

On October 6, 2012 Bill Caruk passed away at the Dauphin Regional Health Centre at the age of 87.

Bill was born June 5, 1925 in Pine River, Manitoba to John and Annie (Kluyck) Caruk.  He grew up on the family farm with one sister Mary and four brothers Edward, Paul, Adolph and Tony.  Bill attended Highway School and finished in Pine River School.  After schooling, he ventured out to Toronto, Ontario to find work at a fertilizer plant.  Later, he returned back to the farm because his brothers left for service in the army.  Now back home, he worked on a Cat bulldozer for the first time.  Little did he know then that this machine would be his whole life.  After earning a little money, he purchased his first and only Harley Davidson motorcycle.

On October 28, 1952, Bill married Lucy Charzewski in Pine River.  They settled on the family farm with Bill’s parents.  Shortly after they got married, Bill thought he would try something new again.  He purchased his first sawmill.  He sawed lumber for the local farmers.  In March 1960, their daughter Nancy was born and three years later in July 1963, their son Dale was born.  Bill’s parents decided to move to town and let Bill and Lucy stay on the farm with their family.  In 1973, Bill and Lucy decided to build a new house on the farm that would be a bit more roomier than what they had.  His lifelong dream became reality in 1976, when he was able to purchase his first Cat bulldozer.  He worked with his machine all through the Duck Mountains and Porcupine Mountains building roads and fighting forest fires.  He knew those areas like a book.

In his later years, Bill enjoyed working on the field for his son.  He always said he did it because he had to do something, he couldn’t just sit around and do nothing like an old man.  Later on when he couldn’t work on the tractor, he would drive around and check to make sure Dale was doing things properly and let him know if he wasn’t.

Bill enjoyed company visiting.  He could talk for hours about the past.  He also enjoyed a hardy meal, no matter what time of the day it was and made sure his company were fed well, too, thanks to his wife, Lucy.

Bill is survived by his wife Lucy of 59 years; daughter Nancy Caruk of Winnipeg; son Dale and wife Susanne, grandchildren Kyle, Taylor and Bailey of Pine River; sister Mary Bicko; brothers Edward and wife Edna, Paul, Tony and wife Stanice all from Toronto, as well as many nieces, nephews and extended family; godchildren Bernie Tymchyshyn, Larry Wingie and Charlotte Rutka.

Bill was predeceased by his parents John and Annie Caruk and his brother Adolph Caruk.

At Bill’s request, a quiet graveside service was held on October 10, 2012 with only his immediate family present.

Those wishing to remember Bill may honour his memory by making donations to the Dauphin Regional Health Centre.

The family would like to express their sincere gratitude and thank you to all the hospital staff that took care of Bill during his stay and for everyone that took time to visit Bill while he was in the hospital.  Also thank you to Sneath-Strilchuk Funeral Services for their guidance and professional help.

Arrangements were entrusted to Sneath-Strilchuk Funeral Services with funeral homes in Dauphin, Roblin and Ste. Rose du Lac.

Leslie Gordon Soloway

It is with great sadness that the family announces the passing of Leslie Soloway, age 60, of Pulp River, MB, on Thursday, October 4, 2012 at the Health Sciences Centre in Winnipeg, MB with his loving family by his side.

Left to cherish many fond memories of Leslie are his wife Eileen of 31 years; daughter Brandi; son Evan, two brothers, one sister, numerous nieces, nephews, extended family and many friends.

Leslie was predeceased by his father Steve (1966) and mother Helen (2012).

Leslie was born on December 29, 1951 in Dauphin, MB to Steve and Helen (Pelypiw) Soloway.  He lived with his family on the Soloway farm.  He received his education in Pulp River, Pine River and Ethelbert schools.

After his education, Leslie continued farming on the Soloway farm.  In the early seventies, Leslie worked for a short period of time on the oil rigs in Alberta.  In 1975, Leslie began logging for Claude Adams in the Duck Mountains and continued to do so until Claude’s retirement in 2002.  After Claude’s retirement, Leslie continued to log on his own for a number of years.

Leslie married Eileen Matwee in August of 1981 in the St. Vladimir & Olga Ukrainian Catholic Church in Pine River, MB.  After their wedding, Leslie and Eileen lived on the Soloway farm in their mobile home.  Two of the greatest joys in Leslie’s life was when his daughter Brandi was born in 1987 and his son Evan in 1990.

Growing up Leslie enjoyed hunting, fishing, snowmobiling, boating and water-skiing.  He also had a love for motorcycles and dreamed of taking his bike on the road one day.

Leslie also loved traveling.  He took many family vacations to destinations such as Texas, Mexico, southern British Columbia, Toronto, northern Manitoba and spent many weekends camping with his family.

Leslie was a devoted husband, proud father and a great provider.  He was very giving, kind and thoughtful and he was always there when anyone needed a helping hand.  Leslie will be sadly missed by all of his family and friends.

Prayers were offered on Tuesday, October 9, 2012 at 7:00 p.m. from the Sneath-Strilchuk Funeral Chapel in Dauphin.  Funeral Service was held on Wednesday, October 10, 2012 at 11:30 a.m. from the Ukrainian Catholic Church of the Resurrection in Dauphin, celebrated by the Rev. Fr. Yaroslav Strukhlyak.  Holly Hryhoruk served as Cantor.  Bev Matwee delivered the eulogy.  Angie Birch served as Urnbearer.  A private family interment will be held at a later date.

Donations may be made to the Pulp River Cemetery or CancerCare Manitoba.  A special thanks to the caring staff on GD6 at the Health Sciences Centre in Winnipeg, MB.

Arrangements were entrusted to Sneath-Strilchuk Funeral Services with funeral homes in Dauphin, Roblin and Ste. Rose du Lac.

Joseph James “Joe” Neill

It is with great sadness that the family announces the passing of Joe Neill, age 86, of Dauphin, MB on Friday, October 5, 2012 at the Dauphin Regional Health Centre.

Joe was born June 17, 1926 on the family farm at Valley River, MB and was the fourth of four children to William and Bertha Neill (Spencer).  After leaving the family farm he later moved to Dauphin where at the young age of fourteen began his jewellery apprenticeship with Fox Jewellery on Saturdays and after school hours.  At the age of sixteen Joe worked at Eatons and then left for William, Ontario to work in the Canada Car as a riveter for the American built aircraft for Japan theatre of war.

At the age of seventeen he joined the Canadian Navy and served aboard the Frigate H.M.C.S. Kirkland Lake in the North Atlantic.  Upon discharge from the navy Joe apprenticed again at Fox Jewellery, later moving to Minnedosa.  It was there that he met and married Edith Hopkins his wife of 63 years.

Joe then moved back to Dauphin where he started his career as a jeweller with Bill Clark in 1948.  He later bought the business and started Neill’s Jewellery on Main Street in Dauphin where it remained until his retirement in 1991.  Joe expanded his business to Yorkton, SK and North Battleford, SK and turned it into a family operation.  Joe worked very hard over the years, determined to make the business a success.

After retirement from his business Joe started his hobby of repairing clocks for people in the Parkland area.  Joe loved to work in his clock repair shop in his basement and his family would find him there, working for hours on end.

Joe was a “full of life” character that had many friends and would “light up” any room he entered.  He loved to spend lots of time with his family and friends.  He loved to golf, fish, play cards, work with his carpentry skills and tell his favourite stories of the past.  He was always joking around, often making someone a victim of a practical joke.  He enjoyed many years with his family and friends at his cabin on Lake Dauphin and also at the Waterhen Lake.  Joe was known for his kindness and his generosity.

Joe is survived by his wife Edith (Hoppy), son Brian of Dauphin, son Barry and wife Kathy of Yorkton, daughter Jo-Ann and husband Dennis Stykalo of Dauphin as well as son Patrick of Dauphin.  Joe also leaves seven grandchildren and six great grandchildren, all of which he was always so very proud of.  He also leaves one sister, Doris Buckwold of Dauphin.

He was predeceased by his parents as well as his brother Lawrence Neill and sister Edra Kidd.

On Wednesday, October 10, 2012 Sneath-Strilchuk Funeral Services handled the funeral arrangements with the funeral being held at the St. Paul’s Anglican Church followed by a luncheon.  Interment took place at the Riverside Cemetery.  Rev. Mark Tiefenbach conducted the funeral service with Derek Stykalo, a grandson to Joe, presenting the Eulogy in celebration of Joe’s life.  The Royal Canadian Legion Branch #20 dedicated a Poppy Tribute at the service with bugler Bruce Childs.

In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Parkland Humane Society.

A special thanks goes out to Dr. Penrose and the nursing staff at the Dauphin Regional Health Centre.

Joe left a final quote, “Please, no tears, I had a wonderful like with four great children and an understanding wife.”

Arrangements were entrusted to Sneath-Strilchuk Funeral Services with funeral homes in Dauphin, Roblin and Ste. Rose du Lac.

Grace Rose Svens

It is with deep sadness that the family announces the passing of Grace Rose Svens (nee Houle) on Friday, October 5, 2012 at the age of 64 years.

Grace was predeceased by her parents Delorme and Sophia Houle, her sister Mable, brothers Rene, Fred, Albert, Andrew and Archie, her son Randy Fitzpatrick and grandson Rory.

She leaves to mourn her passing and cherish many fond memories; daughter Cynthia (Jason), Tisha (Nyontee), Tara (Richard Jr) and son Karl Jr, her grandchildren Keira and Rebecca (whom she helped raise), Jacob and Joshua, Jay, Raven, Jennifer, Rashaun, Rome, Tenleigh, Tess, Jermaine, and Nevaeh, one sister-in-law Martha Houle along with numerous nieces, nephews and many relatives and friends.

Traditional Wake was held on Monday, October 8. 2012 from the Ebb & Flow Community Complex, Ebb & Flow First Nation.  Traditional Funeral Ceremony was held on Tuesday, October 9, 2012 at 10:00 AM at the complex led by Tobasonakwut Kinew.  The service concluded at the complex with cremation following.  The Medicine Rock Drum was in attendance.

Active pallbearers were Warren Houle, Patrick Desjarlais Jr, Kelvin Houle, Kelly Houle, Dwayne Spence and Ralph Beaulieu Jr.  All of Grace’s family and friends were to consider themselves as honorary pallbearers.

Should friends so desire, memorial donations may be made in memory of Grace to CancerCare Manitoba or to Palliative Care at Ste. Rose General Hospital.

Arrangements were entrusted to Sneath-Strilchuk Funeral Services with funeral homes in Dauphin, Roblin and Ste. Rose du Lac.

Bernadette Marie Furlong (nee Hebert)

Bernadette Furlong (née Hebert), beloved mother, grandmother, and great grandmother, passed away peacefully in Dauphin at the age of 97 years.  She was predeceased by her husband, Bill, sons Kenneth and John, daughter-in law Audrie, three sisters, and two brothers.  She is survived by four children: Bernice Furlong of Winnipeg; Mervyn (Shirl) Furlong of Williams Lake, B.C.; Eileen (Clem) Bouchard of Dauphin Beach; Shirley (Larry) Schroeder of Winnipeg.  She has one surviving sibling, George Hebert of Winnipeg, as well as 9 grandchildren, 16 great grandchildren, and many nieces and nephews.

Bernadette was born on January 2, 1915, on a farm near Laurier, MB.  The eldest of seven siblings, she attended school in Laurier until the eighth grade.  As a teen, she worked on a farm doing both domestic and outside chores.  In 1935, she married William (Bill) Furlong.  They settled on a farm in Wood Bend School District (between Laurier and Makinak), where they raised their six children.  As original pioneers to the area, there were no conveniences.  Bill spent many days logging and cutting firewood, leaving Bernadette to care for the children and the chores, which she did with great care and dignity.  Entertainment was an occasional dance at the Wood Bend School or supper and cards with friends and neighbours.

In 1972, they moved to Dauphin and were caretakers of Dauphin First United Church for a few years before retiring.  Her husband, Bill passed away in 1981.  Bernadette continued to live in her home on Edward Avenue until 1997, when she moved to the Kinsmen Villa where she made many friends.  In August, 2012, she moved into Lorray Manor.

Bernadette was a very neat and organized person who always had everything labelled and in its place.  Everyone who knew her was aware of her pride in her garden.  She did a lot of home canning and was a very good cook and baker.  She always had plenty of homemade food in her pantry or freezer (such as her cookies and special three-headed buns) to feed visitors.  She was very talented at sewing, knitting and crocheting.  Her children and grandchildren all have at least one homemade quilt and crocheted afghan.

Bernadette’s children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren have fond memories of their time together.  She was very sharp-minded and stayed current with local and national news, which she enjoyed sharing with her friends, especially when one of her family members was mentioned in the paper or on the radio.  She was very proud of her family’s accomplishments.

Although she was legally blind the last few years of her life, Bernadette continued enjoying life and always took on new challenges.  She often said, “I want to see what is beyond the next corner.”  Although she could no longer read, sew, knit or crochet, she still enjoyed a good game of cards with family and often listened to the CNIB’s books on tape.

Services were held on Tuesday, October 9, 2012, at the First United Church in Dauphin, MB, with Rev. L. McPhail officiating.  Interment was in the McCreary Cemetery.  Pallbearers were Robert Bouchard, Shauna Ritchot, Derek Schroeder, Robert Lagimodiere, Allan Furlong and Luc Bouchard.  Eulogy and Shared Memories were delivered by Robert Bouchard and Donna Lagimodiere.

The family wishes to express their gratitude and thanks to Dr. Bretecher for his care over the years; Bruce Childs of Lorray Manor for looking after her during her last few weeks; Home Care personnel and friends for their kind words and support.  A heartfelt thank you to Rev. McPhail and to Sneath Funeral Home for their professional help and guidance.

Flowers are gratefully declined, but if friends and family desire, donations may be made to The Dauphin and District Handivan or a charity of their choice.

She continues to be an inspiration to us all and will be sadly missed.

You can shed tears that she is gone

or you can smile because she has lived.

You can close your eyes and pray that she’ll come back

or you can open your eyes and see all she’s left.

Your heart can be empty because you can’t see her

or you can be full of the love you shared.

You can turn your back on tomorrow and live yesterday

or you can be happy for tomorrow because of yesterday.

You can remember her and only that she’s gone

or you can cherish her memory and let it live on.

You can cry and close your mind, be empty and turn your back

or you can do what she’d want: smile, open your eyes, love and go on.

……Author Unknown………

Arrangements were entrusted to Sneath-Strilchuk Funeral Services with funeral homes in Dauphin, Roblin and Ste. Rose du Lac.

Ronald Clifford Genaille

It is with great and profound sadness that we announce the accidental passing of Ronald Clifford Genaille.

“Ron” as he was known to all of his friends and family, was born September 14, 1969 to Mary Genaille-McKenzie and Victor McKenzie in Ste. Rose du Lac, Manitoba.

Ron lived most of his life in Dauphin, MB where he worked at various jobs as a carpenter/handyman.  He had just recently moved to Brandon and was employed at the Cancade company, a job that he enjoyed and was quick to make friends with his co-workers.

Ron loved hunting, fishing, the outdoors, and enjoyed a nice campfire.  He also loved to laugh and joke around, and had a smile that would light up the room.  He loved singing songs from his favorite artists, “Georgie Jones” (as he would call him), Johnny Cash, Hank Williams and many more.

Ron will always be remembered for his kind and giving heart, always putting his family first above everything, and his beautiful smile.

He leaves to mourn his wife Lydia; sons Ronald, Randy and Milton; stepdaughter and son Cathy and Chris; sisters Evangeline (Karl), Bonnie (Sean), Brenda (Gord), Pat (Kevin), Tina (Thomas); brothers Richard, Frank (Rita), Anthony, Breno (Audrey) and Chris (Ramona); there are also numerous nieces and nephews, cousins, aunts, uncles and many friends too numerous to mention.

He was predeceased by his mother and father, Mary (Genaille) and Victor McKenzie; grandparents Louie and Nora (Mosinee) Genaille, Harvey and Alma (Ducharme) McKenzie; uncle Morris Genaille, aunt Darlene McKenzie and nephews Ryan and Colton Genaille.

Viewing was held on Sunday, October 7, 2012 from 2:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. from the Sneath-Strilchuk Funeral Chapel in Dauphin.  Wake service was held on Monday, October 8, 2012 beginning at 4:00 p.m. from the Camperville Hall in Camperville, Manitoba.  Funeral Service was held on Monday, October 9, 2012 at 1:00 p.m. from the St. Thomas Aquinas Roman Catholic Church in Duck Bay, Manitoba with Father Bastin officiating.  Interment followed in the Duck Bay Cemetery.

Active Pallbearers were John Chartrand, Boston Aspace, Colin Pelletier, Andrew Mckenzie, Frank Genaille Jr, Mike Prince, Sean Glada, Josh Mckenzie, Brenden Nugent, Riley Clarkson, Eric Thompson, Gordon Mckenzie, Craig Mckenzie, Greg Mckenzie, John Mckenzie, Martin Mckenzie, Willie Stevenson, Brad Stevenson, Dave Ferland, Dion Simpsons, Anthony Chartrand, Ken Brightnose Jr, Christopher Genaille Jr, Ross Ferland, and Thomas Bauer.

Honorary Pallbearers were Frank Genaille, Richard Pelletier, Breno Genaille Jr, Anthony Genaille, Chris Genaille Cody Genaille, Christian Genaille, Gordon Nugent, Travis Chartrand, Dennis Scott, Daniel Nugent, Tristan Nugent, Cylas Clarkson, Alex Genaille, Karl Harasym, John Genaille, Louis Genaille, Henry Genaille, Stanley Genaille, Breno Genaille, Roland Mckenzie, Gerald Mckenzie, Arnold Mckenzie, Braunsen Asapace, Justin Pelleiter, Joel Mckenzie, Tony Prince, Kevin Menard, and all the rest of the family and friends.

Arrangements were entrusted to Sneath-Strilchuk Funeral Services with funeral homes in Dauphin, Roblin and Ste. Rose du Lac.

Peter Mudery

Peter R. Mudery of Winnipeg, MB passed away peacefully on October 1, 2012 at the Seven Oaks Hospital at the age of 91 years.

He was born July 4, 1921 in the Lynnville District north of Winnipegosis, MB to Steve and Mary Mudery (nee Wilchinski).  He received his primary education at Lynnville School, then continued at the Fork River High School.

During his years of teaching, he took courses at the University of Manitoba and received his Bachelor of Education degree.

He loved to teach both inside and outside the classroom.  This passion took him to Germany for 3 years, as he would teach during the day and explore Europe and the Orient on the weekends and holidays.  After 44 years of teaching, he retired in 1985 from St. John’s High School and enjoyed many bus tours in Canada and the US.

He was known for his quick wit, sense of humor and selfless spirit.

Peter was predeceased by his parents, Steve and Mary, brothers:  John, Nick, Bill, Henry, and Alex, and sister Annie Borowski.

Survived by one sister-in-law, Vera Maniel of Winnipegosis.  He leaves to mourn and cherish fond memories several loving nephews, nieces, great nephews, great nieces, and students of his life.

Funeral Mass was held on Saturday, October 6, 2012 at 10:00 a.m. from the Holy Ascension Ukrainian Catholic Church in Winnipegosis, celebrated by the Very Rev. Fr. Oleg Bodnarski.  Holly Hryhoruk served as Cantor.  Interment followed in the Holy Ascension Ukrainian Catholic Parish Cemetery.  Laying Peter to rest were Pallbearers Gordon Dyrkacz, Richard Dyrkacz, Andrew Mudry, Donald Maniel, David Buhler and Giuseppe Aletta.

In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Charity of your choice.

Arrangements were entrusted to Sneath-Strilchuk Funeral Services with funeral homes in Dauphin, Roblin and Ste. Rose du Lac.

Andrew “Butch” Robertson

Andrew George Robertson known to many as “Butch” was born on December 7, 1943 in Ochre River, Manitoba.  He left this world on Sunday, September 30, 2012 at 7:30 pm quickly and without suffering.  His last hours were spent, as all Sundays were, surrounded by his family, joking and laughing, and watching his grandchildren enjoy the natural playground he had created made complete by almost every pet a kid could dream of.

Butch was the 4th of thirteen children to Andrew and Bertha Robertson (nee Rollinson) and his early childhood was spent on what he called “the old place” – a piece of land south of Ochre River not for from the Park’s edge.  The family later moved to town to accommodate his dad’s job with CN Rail.  But, Butch’s love for farm life had him leaving home at the ripe old age of thirteen to work as a laborer for farmers in the area.

As a young man, he took a job with Britsky’s Building Movers and it was during this time that he began to make return visits to that land south of Ochre River.  However, this time it was to win the affection of a pretty young farmer’s daughter who had once been his neighbor.  On June 28, 1966, he married his love, his partner, and his friend, Bernice Allen, daughter of Bernard and Dorothy Allen (nee Coles).

The couple purchased what is now called ‘Robertson Ridge Ranch” from Butch’s uncles in 1971 and set to work transforming it into a home.  Here they would raise their five children and in 1987 they began caring for foster children.  More than 100 foster children spent time in the Robertson home because in this home there was always room for one more at the kitchen table and one more in the heart.  Butch had a very big heart.  You could not be fooled by his rugged looks and his deep voice because underneath his western shirt beat a very gentle heart.

Butch believed very much in making memories and sharing them with family and friends.  The kitchen was a meeting place for neighbors to gather and share stories over coffee or a game of cards.  The Makinak Hall was rented annually for a big party celebrating his favorite things- family and friends, country music, country life and country food.  Butch made sure that you knew you mattered to him, though not necessarily with words.  He was a man of action.  You might find a surprise bench sitting in your yard that he built for you or a gentle hand on your shoulder when he knew you needed one.  Butch always carried peppermints in his shirt pocket that he handed out to anyone who needed one.  Considering that he only had a grade 8 education, he was probably one of the most intelligent men you could ever meet. He could look at something once and know how to build it.  If something didn’t work, he knew how to fix it and if he needed something that he couldn’t find, he would invent it.

Butch had a passion and respect for nature.  He loved hunting with his sons and sons in law and had recently been preparing some land for a hunting cabin for them all.  He taught the boys to be responsible hunters at an early age and believed in hunting for food not for sport.  He enjoyed quadding and spent many afternoons taking as many grandchildren that could fit for a quad ride.  He loved tending his large bird collection that included by was not limited to peacocks, pheasants, guinea hens and his pet pigs especially “Boarkus the Porkus”.

In recent years, Butch began setting up the petting zoo for Ochre River Heritage Day.  He spent a great deal of time constructing pens and searching for new animals to bring to the show.  He loved to watch the kid’s reactions and on that day you could find him in the zoo, watching the kids, teasing them and grinning for ear to ear.

Another great love of his was horses.  At today’s count, 19 horses can be found roaming the Robertson Ridge.  If you approach them, you will understand what a gentle man Butch was, because a gentle man makes a gentle horse.  You can walk amongst them and they will follow you, looking for the attention he lavished on them.  He shared this passion with Bernice and the children.  Butch enjoyed riding in the mountain and the night before he died, he and Bernice were out searching for a covered wagon that would fit the whole family.

Butch loved a good camp fire and was always the first to initiate a corn roast or a fire to make some toast.  He would sit back with his plate and comment “This is the good life”. Yes, Dad it sure was a good life.

Things will never be the same again.  On Sunday night after he has passed, we believe he sent us a sign.  As the funeral home attendants left with his body and pulled from the driveway onto the road, the Northern lights shone brightly in the sky, the wind howled and the wind chimes chimed and then there was complete silence.  We are sure he was sending a message that God and those we have loved and lost are never really gone.  We just have to pay attention to the signs.  This is how we will get through.

Butch leaves to mourn his passing and cherish his memory his wife of 46 years Bernice and his children: Bonnie and husband Leonard Sarkonak of Dauphin, Brad Robertson and wife Kim of Winnipeg, Brenda and husband Chad Parthenay of Dauphin, Sheryl and husband Kirk Fletcher of Ochre River and Ryan Robertson and wife Cherie also of Ochre River.  He also leaves behind 11 adoring grandchildren Daylyn and Courtney Desroches, Jaden Sarkonak, Ty Robertson, Ashtyn and Taylor Parthenay, Garret, Dawson, and Chloe Fletcher, Beaudin and Graclyn Robertson, one great grandson Sabre Desroches and three step grandchildren Amber Enns, Shawn Sarkonak, and Daralyn Caruk as well as 11 brothers and sisters, numerous nieces, nephews and many friends.

Funeral Service for Butch was held on Friday, October 5th at 2:00 PM in the Ochre River Community Hall, Ochre River, Manitoba.  Ryan Raffray officiated.  The service concluded at the hall with a time of fellowship following.

Should friends so desire, donations may be made in memory of Butch to the Spinal Cord Research Centre at the University of Manitoba, 436 BMSB, 745 Bannatyne Avenue, Winnipeg, Manitoba, R3E 0J9.

Arrangements were entrusted to Sneath-Strilchuk Funeral Services with funeral homes in Dauphin, Roblin and Ste. Rose du Lac.