It is with profound sadness that we announce the passing of Stanley Paul Grabowski.
Stan passed away peacefully, with his family by his side, on Sunday, June 10, 2012 at Rainycrest Long-Term Care in Fort Frances, Ont.
Stan was born at the family homestead in Walkleberg, Man. on May 27, 1924 to Nickolas and Kathleen Grabowski. He only attended school until Grade 6, when he started working full-time on the family farm.
Stan served in the army for almost two years and then was honourably discharged for medical reasons. He then went to Fort Frances looking for work.
Stan worked in bush camps cutting pulp wood and sawing by hand with a swede saw. The other men in the bush camp told him he had to learn to eat garlic to be a man or he wouldn’t be able to stand the smell of sweaty socks, boots, or other things hung around the bush stove.
Stan met his future wife, Lena Kutzak, in Fort Frances and they were married on June 11, 1947.
Stan started working for O&M in 1947 working as a truck driver for the majority of the time, but he tried his hand as a foreman in the new kraft mill, where he lost part of his hearing.
The love of driving called to him and he went back to truck driving for the mill, retiring from Boise Cascade on July 31, 1986.
Stan was a self-taught carpenter, which showed in the two family homes he built and the loving hand he gave his father-in-law, John Kutzak, in building the Rainbow Motel.
Stan then became passionately involved in woodworking, which became like a second job to him. He spent many hours in his workshop working on crafts, shelves, doll benches, and cupboards.
He enjoyed travelling with Lena and showing their crafts in the farmers’ market in Fort Frances and at various craft shows in Rainy River District, but his favourite was the annual craft show in Dryden, Ont.
His wooden shelves adorn all of his children’s and grandchildren’s homes, as well as having been sold all across Canada from Vancouver to Toronto. The crafts were a joint effort with Lena–he did the woodworking and she did the painting.
Stan had many interests and he absolutely loved music, especially Ukrainian music. His uncle made him a beautiful hand-made violin, which he played for the family and with friends for countless hours. His beloved violin has been passed on in the family.
Stan was happiest being in the outdoors, both hunting and fishing. He loved to hunt and fish with Lena, his family, and friends. He spent many hours in the bush while hunting or in his boat fishing at Lake Despair and Stanjikoming, combing the bottom of the lake for fish.
Stan was a member of St. George’s Ukrainian Greek Orthodox Church in Fort Frances for more than 60 years. He loved to call Bingo at the Ukrainian Hall and dance the night away with Lena during the time when the Ukrainian Hall was bustling with activity.
Stan’s beloved wife, Lena, predeceased him on June 14, 2011. He missed Lena very much since her passing and found it very difficult to move on in life without her.
Stan is survived and sadly missed by his three daughters, Linda Kirk (Ray) of Morden, Man., Deanne Nephin (Ken) of Dryden, Ont., and Julie McGowan (Brent) of Thunder Bay, Ont.; and grandchildren, Brad Kirk (Nancy) of Ste. Anne, Man., Scott Kirk (Arla) of Brandon, Man., Sherry Stepaniuk (Glenn) of Winnipeg, Man., Jason Nephin (Krista) of Vancouver, B.C., Kevin Nephin (Denae Sveinson) and Patrick Nephin, all of Red Deer, Alta., Jason McGowan (Lesley Harding), Bryan McGowan, and Brenden McGowan, all of Thunder Bay, Ont.; great-grandchildren, Raygan, Owen, Shay, Eiryn, Jared, Zachary, Chloe, Gwendolyn, Rowena, and Ella; and a soon-to-be-born great-grandchild.
Stan also is survived by his brother, Joe Grabowski (Jean), and sister, Gladys Bronevitch (Steve) of Winnipeg, Man., and their families.
Stan was predeceased by his loving wife, Lena; his parents, Nickolas and Katherine Grabowski; and brother, Edward Grabowski and twin brother, Frank Grabowski.
A celebration of Stan’s life will be held Wednesday, June 20, 2012 at 11 a.m. at Green Funeral Home in Fort Frances, with Rev. Fr. Henry Lakusta officiating.
Visitation will be held one hour prior to service commencing at 10 a.m.
Interment at Riverview Cemetery in Fort Frances will follow service. A tribute will be provided by the Royal Canadian Legion Br. #29 Colour Party.
The pallbearers will be Stan’s sons-in-law, Ray Kirk, Ken Nephin, and Brent McGowan and his close friends, Ernie McKelvie, Robert Gadd, and John Binda.
The honourary pallbearers will be all of Stan’s grandchildren.
If desired, in memoriam donations may be made to St. George’s Ukrainian Greek Orthodox Church, the Canadian Cancer Society, the Heart and Stroke Foundation, or Rainycrest Long-Term Care c/o Green Funeral Home, P.O. Box 427, Fort Frances, Ont. P9A 3M8.
Online condolences may be offered at www.greenfuneralhomefortfrances.com