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JOHN WACHNIAK September 26, 1922 - March 19, 2011 Peacefully in his sleep at home, Saturday March 19, our father, gramps and great-grampsy passed away. He has left us to join his dearly missed wife Ann. He will be forever missed by his sons Ron (Debra) and Dutch (Doraine) and his ever attentive daughter Joanne (Ken Barkley); grandchildren, Ron Jr. (Laurie), Ryan Wachniak (Michelle Hansen), Gindy (Greg) Klein, Kori, Jody, Trent (Trish) Wachniak, Jonathon and Kevin Barkley (Lauren Willems) will cherish the memories that have been created over the years. He leaves six great-grandchildren, some too young to have known him personally. John is survived by his brothers Steve (Ollie), Wally (Lovey) and Peter (Diane) Wachniak as well as his sisters Kay Swack and Levia Markewitz. He also will be sadly missed by his neighbours and a long list of friends and family. John was born in Brooksby, Saskatchewan, September 26, 1922. In 1930 his family moved to Winnipeg where his father started J. Wachniak and Sons Auction business. John was involved with the family business travelling to many small towns in Manitoba and Saskatchewan holding auctions. In 1943 he joined the Canadian Army; he was deployed to Italy to join the Perth Regiment, 5th Division, 9th Army. He served his country proudly. When the war ended John returned home to be trained in the upholstery trade at Ideal Brass and then eventually he opened his own upholstery business on Selkirk Avenue in Winnipeg. In time he returned to the family run auction business until his retirement in 1987. John was respected for his honesty and has maintained many friendships with former auction room customers. In 1947 he married the love of his life, Ann Budzan. They raised their family in the North End of Winnipeg. Their home was a welcoming hub for family and friends; never was there a shortage of food, a raised glass and a sincere happy to see you smile. Both John and Ann enjoyed summers at the family cottage in Grand Marais and several trips to sunny Hawaii. John was a respected member of The Holy Trinity Ukrainian Orthodox Cathedral as well as the Ukrainian Canadian Veterans Branch 141 Legion of the Royal Canadian Legion. John kept very busy at Branch 141 it was; in all sense of the term, his Home Away from Home . In 1964 he was elected Sergeant-at-Arms and he held that responsibility up to the date of his passing. John's color party was well represented in all Legion Memorial parades including Stonewall, Stony Mountain, Gimli, the International Peace Gardens and all parts of Winnipeg. He was in charge of all funerals for veterans at his Legion; during his tenure he assisted in the burial of over 1,000 legionnaires. He honored his fellow comrades with the marching on colors, the reading of the Legion ritual, the Last Post and Reveille at funeral homes, churches and gravesites. The respect he had for each veteran showed in his attention to details during the service and in how he presented himself in his Legion uniform. The Manitoba Northwestern Ontario Command Color Party and the 573 Air Cadet Squadron both benefited from John's wealth of knowledge about Legion affairs. Collectively he volunteered 40 years between both groups. In recognition of his contribution to the community he was honored with the highest award in the Royal Canadian Legion, the Palm Leaf. If there ever was a time when things just won't feel the same it will be on Saturdays at Legion Branch 141 where John would find comfort visiting, reminiscing and just enjoying life with friends and family. And while his dedication and commitment to the Legion was very evident his love for family and friends was first and foremost in his life. The family wishes to thank both Dr. Mark Kristjanson for his many years of thoughtful care and John's neighbour Joe Bras for his continual watchful eye and helping hand. Dad would be proud to know that his six grandsons will be the pallbearers and that Legion services will be conducted by MB/N.W. ONT. Command Color Party, under the Command of Dennis Harvie. Ritual read by Brian Wilson. Funeral Services will be held Monday, March 28 at l:00 p.m. at Cropo Funeral Chapel, 1442 Main St. with Rev. Isidore Dziadyk, OSBM. Interment will follow at Brookside Cemetery. A Celebration of John's Life will take place at the Ukrainian Canadian Veterans Branch 141 Legion, 618 Selkirk Ave. after the interment. Online condolences may be submitted at www.cropo.com. Dad your guiding hand and loving smile will remain with us forever. VICHNAYA PAM'YAT CROPO FUNERAL CHAPEL 586-8044
As published in the Winnipeg Free Press on March 26, 2011