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With extreme sadness and heavy hearts, the family of Paul Bodnar announces his passing.

With family at his side at the Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Centre, Paul was welcomed peacefully into God’s loving arms on Sunday, Aug. 21, 2011.

Paul was born July 11, 1951 to Joseph and Dominia Bodnar in St. Boniface, Man. At a very young age, with his parents and nine siblings, Paul relocated from Cook’s Creek, Man. to Alberton Township, Ont.

With the love of the country life, he remained a lifelong area resident.

Paul attended Alberton Central School and later graduated from Fort Frances High School in 1969. Upon graduation, he became employed with the Ontario Minnesota Pulp and Paper Company as an office clerk.

Throughout his 42 years of service, Paul held various positions and experienced six company name changes. For the past 33 years, he held the position of Accounts Payable Supervisor.

Paul was very proud of his Ukrainian heritage and ensured that those traditions were carried into his own family. Many conversations involved discussion of the “good old days” growing up on the farm, and the strong family commitment and morals that were instilled within the Bodnar family.

Paul was a very loving, caring, and strong-willed person who never gave in to challenges thrown his way. He had a very positive attitude and overcame many health issues because of his outlook on life.

Paul was extremely proud of Melanie and Jennifer’s accomplishments, and was absolutely thrilled to walk his beautiful daughters down the aisle. He welcomed with open arms two amazing sons-in-law, Owen and Chris, into our family.

There was no doubt that his beautiful grandchildren, Emily, Ben, and Maddy, were the greatest love of his life. For the past three years, he was blessed to have the opportunity to spend countless hours playing with and spoiling each of them.

Memories we will cherish in our hearts forever.

Paul loved the outdoors, and until perhaps now, he believed there was not a place more beautiful than Crowe Lake, and had many wonderful fishing stories to tell. His favourite pastimes were fishing, hunting, boating, snowmobiling, gardening, and spending time with family and friends.

Leaving to cherish his memories are his loving wife, Cheryl (nee Widgren); and daughters, Melanie Williams (Owen) of Emo, Ont. and Jennifer Olson (Chris) Nestor Falls, Ont.

He also is survived by his three amazing little grandchildren, Emily Olson, three, Benjamin Olson, 11 months, and Madeline Williams, eight months.

As well, Paul is survived by his 10 wonderful siblings and their families, Mike Bodnar (Lillian) of Fort Frances, Ont., Annie Cain (Raymond) of Kingston, Ont., Bill Bodnar (Doreen) of Fort Frances, Ont., Ed Bodnar of Fort Frances, Ont., Olga Dawkins (Leon) of Stratton, Ont., Marvin Bodnar of Fort Frances, Ont., John Bodnar (Edith) of Fort Frances, Ont., Evelyn Myers (Frank) of Fort Frances, Ont., Norman Bodnar (Lecea) of Thunder Bay, Ont., and Eleanor Johanson (Steve) of Thunder Bay, Ont.

Paul also is survived by his loving extended family, Karla Widgren of Toronto, Ont., Elaine Bercher (Tom) of Brainerd, Mn., Wayne Widgren (Diann) of Nestor Falls, Ont., Roger Widgren of Nestor Falls, Ont., and Stan Cottam of Nestor Falls, Ont.

Paul also will be sadly missed by numerous nieces and nephews.

Paul was predeceased by his grandparents, Wasil and Sophia Luchka; parents, Joseph and Dominia Bodnar; sister-in-law, Helen Bodnar; brother-in-law, Dwayne Dawkins; nephews, Dennis Cain and Brian Cain; and niece, Patty Caruk.

He also was predeceased by his extended family, parents-in-law, Telford and Evelyn Widgren; sister-in-law, Judith Cottam; and great-nephew, Tyler Cottam.

Visitation will be held Thursday, Aug. 25, 2011 at 10 a.m. at the Northridge Funeral Home in Emo, Ont., with services to immediately follow at 11 a.m.

Rev. Carl Emke will officiate, with interment in the Norman Cottam Memorial Garden in Nestor Falls.

The pallbearers will be Ted Halvorsen, Pete Bruyere, Joe Bodnar, Owen Willliams, Chris Olson, and Chris Bodnar.

The honorary pallbearers will be Paul’s brothers and brothers-in-law.

If desired, donations in memory of Paul may be made to the Fort Frances Community Chest c/o 939 Third St. E., Fort Frances, Ont., P9A 1S2.

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