Bill (William) Brychka
With a heavy heart, the family announces the passing of their father, grampa and great-grampa, Bill (William) Brychka, on Monday, June 21, 2021 at the age of 92 years.
Bill was born in Gilbert Plains, Manitoba, in the family home to Nykola (Nicholas) and Cassie (Jopka) on August 25, 1928. Bill took his elementary and high school at Brickburn School in Gilbert Plains from 1934 to 1947. Employed by the CNR on May 20, 1948, on the B & B, and on September 11, 1948, Bill became a Brakeman. In 1952, he became a Conductor, a position held until his retirement. He made many special friends during his CNR employment and was very proud when his nephew, Bruce Anderson, joined the CN and, at times, able to work together in the Prairie Region. Bill worked in Saskatchewan and Manitoba on freight and as a Conductor on VIA from Dauphin to The Pas and The Pas to Thompson. The family surprised Bill by meeting his last train in The Pas for his retirement in 1985.
Bill was very musical and played the trumpet in the Gilbert Plains Town Band. The band would play twice a week at the Gilbert Plains Skating Rink for the skaters, and he would play “The Last Post” for the Memorial Day parades at the Cenotaph. He and his brother, John, played the bagpipes in the Dauphin Legion Pipe & Drums Band. He always enjoyed parade times whenever the band was asked to participate in town or other towns in Manitoba (1958 to mid-60s). His kids would love to point him out to others standing on Main Street during the Dauphin Fair and Ukrainian Festival parades saying, “That’s my Dad!”.
Bill met June while walking with his “GP” (Gilbert Plains) buddies on Main Street in Dauphin in front of the Grange Café. It was love at first sight, and they were united in marriage on June 7, 1950. They moved to Kamsack, Saskatchewan, for his trainman position and later returning to Dauphin in 1951. After his Junie passed away, he moved to Winnipeg in 2018 to be closer to his children.
He loved sports and fitness, whether playing, watching or going to Boze’s Bodyshop for a workout in the mornings. In his youth, he was a goalie in Gilbert Plains and was one of the first players to join the NHHL (Noon Hour Hockey League) in Dauphin from 1964 to 2006. He was on the ice at the DMCC every weekday with the team and was honoured with a plaque in the new arena as the last one to skate in the ‘old barn’ before the lights turned off for the last time in 2006. He continued to play part-time into his early 80’s when he and Mom became Snowbirds. For 16 years, he played with the Dauphin 55+ Senior Slo-Pitch Team, and with his athletic ability, he was the designated runner for a number of the players. He golfed and was a member of the Gilbert Plains Golf & Country Club. He managed to play every fine summer day and enjoyed a game with his family when they were in Dauphin. In September 1998, while golfing with his NHHL team at the Dauphin Country Club he made a hole-in-one – a golfer’s dream!
His hobbies included gardening and winemaking. He planted a small garden in our backyard and a larger one with his brother, John, on River Avenue. He was always happy to share the harvest with his neighbours, and we loved picking and eating peas with him and told to throw the pods in the garden to compost. He had also perfected the art of home winemaking, and no guest or repairperson left the house without a bottle of wine.
Bill and June had the fortune of travelling a few times before becoming regular winter travellers to Arizona and cruising with friends to the Caribbean and Panama Canal. We were very fortunate to have great vacation memories when we drove and camped along the way to Disneyland in 1968 and lived the cabin life in Saskatchewan, Clear Lake and Dauphin Beach.
His biggest love was his children. Whether it was making a skating rink on the garden, teaching us how to skate or ride a bike, having us plant the garden with him, or putting us on his shoulders for the parades, he was the best Dad! His “atta boy” comments were a sign to those who received them, including grandchildren and his hockey teammates, that you knew he was proud to be part of that moment with you.
He will be lovingly remembered by his children Jan Brychka of Canmore, AB, Mary Brychka (Bob Antonchuk) of Winnipeg and Jim Brychka (Laurie Matheson) of Evergreen, CO. His grandchildren Nickayla Moe (Calgary, AB) & Kassandra Moe (Squamish, BC), Craig (Kasia) Flanigan (Devon, AB) & Erica (Curtis) Schmidt (Winnipeg), Jillian Brychka (Aurora, CO) & Cole (Anyssa Gonzalez) Brychka (Rowlett, Texas) and great-grandchildren Shay & Kellen Flanigan (Devon, AB) and Evelyn Brychka (Rowlett, Texas).
Bill is also survived by his nieces Melinda Brechka (Dearborn, MI), Joanne (Don) Oleski (Melville, SK), Marcia (Richard) Klak (Calgary, AB), Donna (Bruce) Slusar (Saskatoon (SK), Carol (David) Enns (Winnipeg) and Kathryn Anderson, nephew Bruce (Janet) Anderson (Winnipeg), and Karyn (Murray) Anderson (Carlisle, ON), along with numerous great-nieces and nephews.
He was pre-deceased by his loving wife, June (May 2018), his father Nicholas (1968) and mother Cassie (1988) and brothers Peter (1988), Mitch (2005), and John (2010).
Our parents asked that family and friends celebrate their lives and not mourn their death, reminding us of the love they had for all. Our father was a kind, thoughtful and quiet man, but when he said something, it always had meaning. Luv you, Daddy!
A Celebration of Bill’s Life will be held at a later date in Dauphin due to COVID. Should friends so desire, in lieu of flowers, donations in memory of Bill may be made to the Dauphin First United Church or the WRHA Palliative Community Program (Winnipeg).
In Lieu of Flowers, donations in memory of Bill may be made to
1) Dauphin First United Church
Cheques can be made payable to Dauphin First United Church, or e Transfer firstname.lastname@example.org
Mail : 37-3rd Avenue NW Dauphin, MB R7N 1H7
2) WRHA Palliative Care Program
Cheques can be made payable to WRHA Palliative Care Program Fund or Visa or Mastercard
Mail: Health Sciences Centre
PW112-700 William Avenue Winnipeg, MB R3E 0Z3
Phone:(204) 515-5612 Toll Free: 1-800-679-8493
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