Peter Kwasny (Kwasnycia)
April 14, 1925 - December 14, 2020
On Monday December 14, 2020 Peter Kwasny passed-away at Holy Family Home where he had been a resident since October 2019. He had been in failing health and succumbed to Covid-19. Peter was 95 years old.
Peter is survived by his children Margaret Synyshyn (John) and Gregg Kwasny (Geraldine); grandchildren Andrew Synyshyn (Ashley Collier), Steven Synyshyn (Janelle Fillion), Melissa Grantham (Jeff) and Kevin Kwasny; great grandchildren Myla, Roman and Ruby Synyshyn and Leah Grantham; and his sister Jeanette Kwasny and brother Bill (Krystyna) and nieces and nephews.
Peter was predeceased by his wife Tilly (nee Kruk) in 2014 (married 1952) and his parents Harry and Margaret Kwasnycia; sisters Mae Oste and Virginia Ham.
Peter was born in Winnipeg on April 14, 1925. He was the second eldest of a family of three sisters and one brother. Peter grew up in the North End of Winnipeg. He attended Faraday and Margaret Scott schools. As a young man he enjoyed playing sports and socializing with the neighbourhood “guys”. He spent part of his time helping his dad with carpentry jobs and learning skills that served him well throughout his life.
Peter left school as a teen and entered the working world. He found employment as a Machinist’s apprentice and at three different machine shops before being hired by Canadian National Railway (CNR) in 1952 as a journeyman Machinist. While at CNR he spent time at Fort Rouge then later Transcona shops. He acted as a mentor to many apprentice Machinists while at the Transcona shops. Peter retired from the CN Transcona shop in 1987 when he was 62 years old after 35 years of service. Peter was especially proud of the railway spike he received from CNR on his retirement. He spent his retirement years volunteering at the Church, being a grandfather and helping with his grandchildren and working on many electrical projects with his son Gregg.
Peter was blessed with a fine tenor voice and a love of music, both religious and classical. He had the opportunity to sing in several Ukrainian choirs, most notably the SUM choir under the direction of Mr. Wasyl Kardash. Peter always spoke of this experience and cherished the memories of his time with the choir. Peter sang tenor with the St. Nicholas Church Choir for many years under the direction of Father Boniface Sloboda, OSBM and then Mr. Ernie Lewicki. Christmas carolling with the Choir was always a highlight of the holiday season for him. One of Peter’s happiest achievements was when he took over the direction of the St. Nicholas Church Choir and remained choir director for many years. Tuesday night was always choir rehearsal for as long as the family can remember.
As was and still is a Kwasny-Kruk family tradition, Peter was highly involved in volunteering with his parish, St. Nicholas Ukrainian Catholic Church. This is where his heart was for most of his life. He was a faithful and tireless volunteer. He was on the executive of many Church organizations. He worked at the Wednesday night bingo into his nineties and was at every Men’s Club meeting and event. Peter was one of the original organizers of the St. Nicholas Men’s Club Sportsman’s Dinner, an event that endured for 50 years. He was honoured with a special award for his involvement with the Sportsman’s Dinner. It was one of the few times that Peter was caught off guard and may have been speechless. He treasured this award and it travelled with him when he lived at River Ridge 2 and at Holy Family. Peter enjoyed many years of retirement volunteering with building maintenance and fixing everything possible at his beloved St. Nicholas Church. He was the guy with all the keys and knew where everything belonged, how to operate things and was the one who got called to set up the mike, get the dishwasher going and to lock things up after a church function.
Peter volunteered his time with other organizations as well. He was an original member of the IHMS Fidelity Club that raised funds for Immaculate Heart of Mary School. He also served on the Boards of the Keystone Charity Bingo organization and Progress-Vera Credit Union (now Belgian Alliance Credit Union).
Peter was the ultimate Mr. Fixit and overall handyman. His time doing carpentry with his father stood him in good stead as he built kids swings, ironing boards, desks, bedroom furniture and garages for himself and others and could repair, wire, build, remodel and construct almost anything, much to Tilly’s chagrin. These skills came in very handy after he retired as he was his son Gregg’s go-to-guy for numerous electrical projects. He was crawling up ladders well into his eighty’s. His classic comment throughout the years was, “Don’t buy, I’ll make!”.
We will miss our Dad, grandfather, and great grandfather. We are grateful that he was with us for as long as he was. He was special in so many ways and our memories are many and will last our lifetimes.
The family would like to express our sincerest thanks to Dr. Andrea Babick and the staff of St. Annes’ Unit (3rd floor) Holy Family Home for the care and compassion shown to Peter during his stay but, especially for his last days when the family were not able to be with him. God bless you all!
To respect Covid-19 restrictions a funeral Mass will be live-streamed from St. Nicholas Monastery Chapel on Monday, December 21, 2020 at 7:00 PM. The link is https://youtu.be/3GLCEMyTB6Q . The link can also be accessed through the St. Nicholas Church website and Korban Funeral Chapel www.korbanchapel.com.
Cremation and inurnment have occurred, and burial will be held later.
Donations in Peter’s memory can be made to the St. Nicholas Ukrainian Catholic Church Maintenance Fund or to the Lubov Foundation - Holy Family Home designation.
Vichnaya Pamyat – Eternal Memory!
Korban Funeral Chapel
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