Quiet, patient, meticulous, kind, dutiful and just a little bit stubborn, well maybe more than a little bit.
Born in a time when there was far less money and food than mouths to feed but fortunately born with enough family and love to learn to live and thrive. Stephen was an adventurer at heart with movie star good looks and a head for figuring out how to make or fix things, and he was always, always a farm boy to his very core. The practical lessons he learned kept him in good stead and he shared his skills and wisdom generously. “If you can take it apart you might be able to fix it, if you can’t fix it then use it for parts”, and “Cut it twice and it was still too short” followed by a chuckle.
An Eaton’s delivery assistant when deliveries were still done with a horse and wagon, working in bush camps, driving gravel trucks, working in packing plants in Omaha, Chicago, and Winnipeg, Allied Vans in B.C. and of course a long-time CPR employee was Stephen’s working life.
Married to his “sweetheart”, Mary, for 60 years, they had two adorable daughters, and since he’s not able to contradict me, I am sticking to my story that my sister and I were adorable. However, an infant son, Gregory, also adorable, was with us far too briefly.
Dad loved to build things, bowl, watch birds at the birdfeeders he built and he lived his life to an old-time country music soundtrack. And, yes, he was known to attempt to yodel.
We had our long goodbye with Dad before he left for the big family reunion in heaven. Rules for family events; lots of food, events are never short, should follow the old Ukrainian tradition of several days each if possible and always have long goodbyes to lengthen the time with your family by even a few more minutes …or even hours if possible. He should enjoy this reunion, it’s a family gathering that will last an eternity and no more goodbyes, only hellos. Surrounded by his grandparents, parents, aunts, uncles, siblings, cousins and of course his only son, he will be in good company. His mother and Baba will make sure that all is in order and that he has been properly welcomed.
Dad leaves behind to remember his sense of humour, his bird song whistling, his stories, his love of family, and his amazing ability to unerringly hit a nail on the head only twice and have it perfectly imbedded; his wife, Mary, daughters; Vivienne (Warren), and Sharon (Stéphane), grandchildren; Justin, Ryan (Quinn), Dylan (Nadia), Devon and Olivia (Seb). Great-grandchildren; Link, Sawyer, Trigger and Piper.
Dad, we love you duzhe bahato, (very much), so see you later alligator, because goodbye is just too final.
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