It is with heavy hearts that we gather to celebrate the life of Arthur Randolph Cockerill. He passed away suddenly and peacefully in Winnipeg, surrounded by his family and Pastor as they prayed for his safe arrival in Heaven on Saturday, June 8, 2019 at the age of 73.
Art was born on November 7, 1945 to Arthur and Maria (nee Hrynkiw) Cockerill in Dauphin. He will be lovingly remembered by his wife, Margaret; children Sheila (Pat, Calgary), Shawn (Cochrane), and Shelley (Krista, Winnipeg); four granddaughters; Shayla (Andrew), Jayden, McKenna, and Skylar; his five brothers Larry, Calvin (Jackie), and Mervin (Ramona) of Roblin, Glen (Denise, Kelowna), Forston (Winnipeg), and sister Maryvel (Coldlake). His memory will be carried on in his many cousins, nieces, nephews, great-nieces, great-nephews, extended family, Church & dear friends.
Art was raised on the family farm in Merridale, MB and attended school in the one room school house. He was expected to complete the farm chores each morning and after school, instilling in him a strong work ethic that would carry throughout his life. He attended Roblin Collegiate after Merridale closed. He may not have been a scholarly man, but what he lacked in formal education he made up for in wisdom from life. He loved to say; "you can be book smart but you had better have common sense too".
At 17, he left the farm to work in the mines in Thompson - where he needed to fib about his age to get the job, as he knew they wouldn't hire a 17 year old! Art moved wherever the work was, even to British Columbia where he met his beautiful Margaret at a dance in Delta, at the Kennedy Hall. Once again, work took him and his new love to Manitouwadge, ON, where he worked in the mine, and their first daughter Sheila was born. They later moved back to Roblin, MB where Shawn was born. The growing family hit the road west to Surrey, BC where their third child, Shelley was born. He began his long career as a floor layer when he worked with Gilbert Anderson while in BC. He made connections through his work far and wide, including with Jack Onofrechuk in Grandview and Swan River.
On October 31, 1974 he returned to his hometown of Roblin where he lived until his passing. He and Margaret raised the kids and became active in the community. He wanted all his children to be involved, so he ensured they played softball, swam, skated, and he strongly supported school sports. Art loved being involved in Roblin Minor Hockey (RMH), and even took on the roles of head/assistant coach for several years. He enjoyed watching all RMH games and the North Stars.
In 1977 he began attending the Roblin Free Methodist Church. By August of 1979, he was baptized and in November 1980 signed his life to the Lord. He was committed to his church family and volunteered countless hours. He made many friends through the church and even served as a board member. Art was proud of the way the Church grew, and found peace in front of the Cross each Sunday.
Art's big heart made him a loving father and family man. He was proud to watch as Sheila completed Nursing School in 1994. He took great pride in watching Shawn play goal for RMH and the North Star's senior team. In his later years, Art thoroughly enjoyed watching Shelley excel at various sports and seeing her induction into the Canadian Ball Hockey Hall of Fame. The strong work ethic held by Art was passed down to all of his children, fulfilling his deepest wish as a parent.
With the arrival of his first granddaughter, he made his favourite career transition: Father to Grampa. Art was blessed to have four granddaughters: Shayla (23), Jayden (22), McKenna (19), and Skylar (4.5). Shayla pursuing her Bachelor of Nursing, Jaden with her Bachelor of Arts pursuing a Masters in Geography, and McKenna who relocated to Calgary to explore her passions in life. His little Lala (Skylar) was the last of the granddaughters, and he looked forward to spending time with her. He loved each and every one of them fiercely and loved teasing them, as he did with most people he met.
Art was a kind and gentle soul, with a deep belly-laugh and a passion for connecting with others through stories and card games. He gave generously to those with less than him. He was never one to back down from a challenge, which led him to take meaningful risks with numerous business ventures to ensure his family was provided for. He was a hard worker, a "jack of all trades and master of none" as he would say. Art was a family man, finding his deepest love and pride through his wife, children, and grandchildren. Many will always remember Art as the biggest jokester and prankster around. To put it simply, Art was a good man. A great man. He will be fondly remembered and loved by all who had the honour to have known him.
His legacy of love and kindness will surely continue as his journey with the Lord in Heaven has only just begun.
A funeral service was held for Art at 2:00 pm on Friday, June 14, 2019 from the Roblin Community Centre in Roblin with Pastor Heath Butler officiating.
If friends so desire, memorial donations may be made in Art's memory to Roblin Minor Hockey or the Heart & Stroke Foundation.
Roblin Minor Hockey
Box 1076, Roblin MB R0L 1P0
Heart & Stroke Foundation of Manitoba
1379 Kenaston Boulevard, Winnipeg MB R3P 2T5