Francis Kopichanski of Gilbert Plains, Manitoba passed away on Saturday, March 7, 2020 at the age of 65 years.
Francis Anthony Kopichanski was born on November 8th, 1954 in Cowan, Manitoba to Josephine Burla, nee Kopichanski. He had four sisters and three brothers, but when Josephine met Victor Burla, a man she would later marry, and who Francis would be proud to call dad, their family grew by three. A step brother, and two step sisters.
Many years later he would move to Winnipeg, Manitoba. Francis was an outgoing man who loved spending time with family and friends. Our aunt Cheryl can recall when he found out that he was going to be a father, he was so proud and just beaming with joy. He could not wait to welcome his beautiful baby girl Jennifer to the world. Shortly after he found out that he was expecting his second child and his world lit up again. This time his son, Jordan. Knowing that he would be unable to raise them on his own he gave sole custody to his cousin Josephine Thompson. Even though our mom was a bit of a gypsy and moved constantly Francis was never far away, finding work where ever we moved. In Winnipeg he was an award winning seller for Dickie Dee Ice cream. In Dauphin he found work hauling grain for local farmers in the Parkland area. He also spent several years as a laborer for Beaver Lumber. Francis then moved to Yorkton, Saskatchewan where he worked nine years as a yard man, and truck driver for Home Hardware. He worked hard all his life.
In 2006, Francis moved back to be closer to the family. He found a house in Gilbert Plains that he made his forever home. He spent most of his time doing general labor around his house, tinkering in the garden, then canning, pickling, and cooking up all kinds of amazing dishes and desserts with his harvest. We were always the guinea pigs for these wonderful creations. According to Jen, his pickled beans were by far the best, and Jordan was a huge fan of his lazy man cabbage rolls, and we all loved his famous favorite puffed wheat cake. Jen, and Jordan could often be found having either lunch or supper over at his house. He would become a bit of a staple in not only our lives but also in the lives of many community members. When the weather was cold he would pick Jen and Jordan up from school, drive them to appointments, work or extracurricular activities. He could often be called on to drive someone into town for groceries, fixing people’s vehicles with his son at his side, cutting the hedges for his neighbor, and was a farm hand to Randy Barry who he became very close friends with.
He lived a good life, but after the passing of his mother in 2015, his health started to take a turn for the worst. Faced with numerous complications Francis began to struggle with his everyday tasks, but when we think back on his life it really can be summed up in just a few carefully selected words: kind, helpful, selfless and possibly the best word of all, well maybe two words- SO LOVED. He truly was a man with a heart of gold, and will be dearly missed by us all.
Francis was predeceased by: his mother Joyce Burla, stepfather Victor Burla, his uncle Stan Kopichanski, nephew Kelly Kulcheski, great nephew Landon Thompson.
Francis leaves to mourn his passing: daughter Jennifer Thompson, son Jordan Thompson (Dayna Nowosad), grandchildren Feenix, Destiny, Aviana, and Ellie. Cousin Josephine Thompson, his brothers, sisters, and numerous nieces, nephews, cousins, and extended family.
A Funeral Service was held for Francis on Thursday, March 19, 2020 at 10:00 am from the Richardson Pioneer Community Hall in Gilbert Plains, MB with Rev. Michel Nault officiating.
Interment followed in the Sts. Peter & Paul Ukrainian Catholic Cemetery in Ehtelbert, MB.
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