Joseph Frank Smolinski
On March 6, 49 days before his 80th birthday, we lost Joseph Frank Smolinski, a wonderful man with a welcoming smile, a warm spirit and mischievous sparkle in his eye.
He was born April 24, 1941 and grew up in the Ladywood area of Manitoba. He leaves to mourn the love of his life, Patricia (Pat), with whom he shared 58 wonderful years. Loving father to Bill (Desiree) and Richard (Linda). He will be fondly remembered by his cherished siblings, Mary, Charlie, Elizabeth and Paul. He was predeceased by his parents Frank and Annie Smolinski; as well as father and mother-in-law William and Milly Fewchuk. Joseph will be mourned and greatly missed by all those who loved him and those that were fortunate to call him a friend.
Family was greatly important to Joseph. Joe and Pat were a great team as they raised a family, built homes in Gonor and East Selkirk and took an active part in their communities. They loved to dance, cook and laugh together. The best of friends, they created a welcoming and warm home environment. Joseph was also a great dad. His sage advice and insight were always thoughtful and supportive. He enjoyed coaching and watching his sons’ hockey teams, and was always very encouraging as Bill and Richard pursued their creative interests in music and art respectively.
Joseph was a great host who, with his Pat, organized countless feasts for multiple generations of the extended Smolinski-Fewchuk clans. Although such celebrations could be raucous as delicious treats were passed around the table, Joe’s heartfelt blessings and graces gave every occasion a sense of dignity and significance as he reminded us of the importance of sharing and caring for one another, and to cherish those times we had together. This insightful spirit came naturally to Joseph as he was also a man of great faith who studied his Bible every day. Over the last year of his life, he even fashioned a small “chapel” in the greenhouse that served as a source of comfort and contemplative space for him, especially as he was experiencing health challenges. On this same property in East Selkirk, he took immense pleasure in fishing and gardening.
With great openness, Joseph was always enthusiastic to meet new people. His outstretched hand and hearty “Hi, I’m Joe Smolinski” opened-up countless impromptu chats where he made countless friends over the years. That openness and enthusiasm for challenges was also important throughout his professional career in management and consulting, moving from backhoe operator to plant manager in Greater Winnipeg Gas and then Centra Gas, and eventually venturing into his own business. Joseph was equally passionate about giving his time generously to help others, and his numerous volunteer positions included Chairing the Selkirk Hospital construction board and being a catalyst for the East Selkirk Recreation Association’s construction of the East Selkirk Arena. More recently he was an active and involved board member for the Learning Centre as Secretary-Treasurer for the Community Futures Centre.
Joseph’s absence leaves an immense sadness for all who knew him. His tall stature was matched by his equally large heart.
In lieu of flowers, the family invites everyone to please send donations to the cause closest to their hearts.
A celebration of Joe's life will be held when public health conditions allow.
Condolences may be left on his tribute wall at www.gilbartfuneralhome.com
Gilbart Funeral Home, Selkirk in care of arrangements.
To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Joseph Frank Smolinski, please visit our floral store.