Walter Shewchuk passed away peacefully on July 4, 2020, at the age of 91 years old. His famous “Shewchuk” smile will be greatly missed by his family and friends.
Walter was born August 25, 1928 at his farm home in Ozerna, Manitoba. He was the 12th of 13 children. His parents were the late Peter and Annie (Lyschynska) Shewchuk. Both of his parents emigrated from Ukraine but met in Canada.
Walter’s father passed away January 24, 1932, leaving his mother Annie a widow to raise their large family on a farm during the Great Depression. All of the siblings pitched in on the farm and Walter would often share stories of plowing the fields with horses during those difficult times.
Walter grew up on the family farm and attended the one-room Fraser School, (which, like many schools in the past, was mysteriously uphill in both directions when the temperature was 40 below zero).
Walter, being one of the youngest siblings, was one of the last to leave the family farm. He travelled to Toronto, Ontario looking for work and picked up a job with Canada Post driving a mail truck. There, he met his first wife, Lillian Lapierre. The couple moved to Virginatown, Ontario, where Walter apprenticed as a machinist at the Kerr-Addison gold mine. He was active in the community, curling on men’s and mixed teams, hunting occasionally, and fishing (using a boat and trailer he proudly made himself).
The couple had three children while living in the northern Ontario community, Debbie, Gary, and Valerie. Their fourth child, Gail, was born after the couple moved to Winnipeg in the early 1960’s. Walter worked briefly in Thompson, Manitoba before getting a job in Winnipeg and moving the family from Ontario.
In Winnipeg, Walter continued his career as a machinist and remained active in the community, volunteering at a local church, fishing, curling and golfing.
Later in life the couple divorced, and Walter retired. Walter remained an active golfer and spent many winters in Mesa, Arizona. He eventually moved to Gimli, Manitoba where he met and married Judy Marks Stadnichuk. Judy has a son, Jarrod, from a previous marriage.
Walter was an active member of the Gimli Legion volunteering many hours with building maintenance and weekend “meat draws”.
Walter and Judy had a great life together, spent many hours doing various activities such as: golfing at the Recreation Centre, going to meat draws at the legion, or visiting family and friends. Judy was a wonderful partner for Walter and in his last few years, a wonderful and patient caregiver. Walter’s children are eternally grateful for the care that Judy provided to him during his last year when he needed more assistance at home. The two of them spent many hours together sitting on the couch, holding hands and watching old western movies.
Walter is survived by his wife Judy and his daughters Debbie (Lance Brown), Valerie (Ralph Meiners), Gail (Jay Thompson), his son Gary (Marie-Anne), stepson Jarrod, and many grandchildren and great grandchildren.
Walter was predeceased by his parents and was the last surviving sibling in his family. Passing before him were his sisters Elizabeth Zatylny, Emily Usick, Mary Ewasko, Helen Lugowy, and brothers Mike Shewchuk, Neil Shewchuk, Berny Shewchuk, Steve Shewchuk, Murphy Shewchuk, Sam Shewchuk, Paul Shewchuk, and Stanley Sawchuk.
Walter lived with his wife in his home in Gimli until a medical event in February resulted in hospitalization and a placement in Betel Personal Care Home. Unfortunate for family, Covid-19 protocols prevented much wanted visits.
The family extends thanks to the staff at both the Gimli Hospital and Betel Personal Care Home for the attentive care he received.
Gilbart Funeral Home in Selkirk, Manitoba have arranged the cremation and there will be a private family service as requested by Walter.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the charity of your choice.
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