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Born: Jan 10, 1953

Date of Passing: Feb 03, 2015

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DONALD HARRY KUSYK January 10, 1953 - February, 2015 Family and friends were always the centre of Don's life. In his early years, Don with his brother Michael and cousins spent endless hours on their uncle's farm working, exploring, dirt biking, snowmobiling and building go-carts with their father Harry, taking breaks only to have delicious homemade feasts made by his mother, Jean (Pidstawka). The rush of snowmobiling was one of Don's greatest thrills, and these memories would later develop into a great source of pleasure for him through his ever-growing collection of vintage snowmobiles. At a young age, Don developed an abundant musical prowess for the guitar, keyboard and especially the accordion. Many years were spent playing with Michael and friends in their band The Echoes' while occasionally joining in with other music groups to perform at weddings and special occasions throughout his life. In recent years, Don delivered great delight to seniors through his music by playing at legions around Winnipeg. Don loved to teach, which brought him immense joy throughout his 39 years teaching in the RETSD. Don's ambition was to be a charismatic adult' and look for the extraordinary gifts that make each student remarkable. Don was a quintessential husband, father, brother, uncle, cousin, and friend who always provided unquestionable love and support, (most often accompanied with humour) to all those he came across. It is with our hearts that we will carry Don with us forever and strive to inspire, love and become a charismatic adult to those we meet. Maureen MacKay, Shona Kusyk, Meaghan Kusyk, Michael Kusyk, Cathy Kusyk, Jeremy Kusyk, Justin Kusyk, Gordon MacKay, Carla MacKay, Kathy MacKay, Jessie Pettinger, Luke MacKay, Blake MacKay, Jerrod Kusyk, Laura Kusyk, Jackson Kusyk and Muriel Cummings.
Publish Date: Feb 6, 2015

As published in Winnipeg Free Press on Feb 06, 2015

Condolences & Memories (32 entries)

  • Just in the last few days I was thinking about my favorite and most influential teacher and Don came to mind, so I tried to Google him and I found his obit. From the day he impacted my life he has been changing the lives of others...Wow! I can't sing Country Roads without thinking of him as he would play that song for our class and we would all sing with him....truly an amazing teacher! Thank you Mr K for making a difference in my life! - Posted by: Terri McDonald (Student from 1976) on: Feb 11, 2018

  • Although I was Marge Kohut's student teacher Don, like many other teachers at Bird's Hill School took me under his wing and gave me invaluable guidance and support. I often spent my breaks sitting with Don and listened to his education war stories. Although Don was not the most organized guy, he had a way of communicating and educating those around him about the priorities that mean the most. Don helped make the school a family and he made me understand what it takes to build a successful team, therefore a better school. - Posted by: Robert (Frank) McAuley (student teacher) on: Mar 14, 2016

  • Mr. Kusyk was and still is my favorite teacher through my 7 years at Birds Hill school. I fondly remember his great humor and love for logic and common sense. His old school way of marking was another trademark of this great teacher, and he will be greatly missed by the Glover family and friends. - Posted by: Robert Glover (Grade 6 student) on: Feb 17, 2015

  • It is with heavy hearts that we heard of Mr Kusyk's passing. Our deepest sympathies to family, friends and former students. This is a man who truly made a difference and will be sadly missed by many. Mr Kusyk was a beloved grade five teacher to our daughter who made such a life changing impact on her that we approached the principal to place her in his grade six class the next year. She had the privilege of two years with this wonderful educator. There are not enough words to convey our gratitude to this amazing man. He was a gregarious, loving, caring and truly authentic person and it was an honour to have known him. On behalf of my family we are truly sorry for your great loss. Our thoughts and prayers are with you at this most difficult time. - Posted by: Debbie Byron (Parent of John deGraff student) on: Feb 09, 2015

  • So sorry to hear about your loss, Maureen. You and your family are in our thoughts and prayers. - Posted by: Adele Rohulych (nee Burns) () on: Feb 09, 2015

  • Uncle Don was truly an amazing guy. He was always happy, friendly, outgoing and genuinely loved life. He loved to talk about his family and his students and always had stories to tell. He will be greatly missed and was taken from us far too young. He had a lovely service on Friday. My deepest and sincerest condolences to his family. - Posted by: Matt Murdock (God-Son) on: Feb 09, 2015

  • My condolences to Don's family and friends. Although many years have passed since I considered Don a great friend, many great memories remain. Rest In Peace. - Posted by: Jim Pachkowski (Friend) on: Feb 07, 2015

  • My deepest condolences. Mr. Kusyk was an amazing teacher. So many things he taught have stayed with me. You will be so missed. - Posted by: Debrah Demkiw (Student at John De Graff school (1991/92 school year)) on: Feb 07, 2015

  • I was shocked and deeply saddened to read about Don's passing. My sincere condolences to Don's family and friends. I was a guest teacher for Don many times; he was a wonderful person. - Posted by: Fred Betker (Colleague) on: Feb 07, 2015

  • Mr. Kusyk was my grade 6 teacher, but in grade 6 I got diagnosed with Cancer and had to leave school, He personally came to visit me and bring gifts to make me feel better he was very loving and caring. He'll be missed by so many people because he takes the time to make a positive impact on everyone that he can and always wanted to help. - Posted by: Mason (Grade 6 Teacher, Friend) on: Feb 07, 2015

  • Don was proud of the band THE Echoes. I remember rehearsing and playing for the annual Beausejour Bowling Banquet which THE ECHOES performed at for many years held in Ladywood. We would always have a good chat before and after practice of how many weddings and parties the band performed at over the years. My condolences to his family and band members. - Posted by: Les Rolsky (Friend) on: Feb 06, 2015

  • I am so sorry to read about Don's passing! My heartfelt condolences go out to you Maureen and the girls! I wish I was there for you! Always in my thoughts! Natalie - Posted by: Natalie Meyer (friend) on: Feb 06, 2015

  • Mr. Kusyk was an extraordinary teacher who had the ability to see the good side in every student. I was privileged to have him teach my son in Grade 6 at Birds Hill school. His brilliant smile and calming demeanour made me less anxious for parent teacher conferences. We are so sorry to hear of his passing. Our thoughts and condolences to his loved ones. Heaven gained a great educator! RIP Mr. Kusyk - Posted by: Janet R (Birds Hill School parent) on: Feb 06, 2015

  • I will always think of Don as a member of my family (brother of my son-in-law). I will remember him for all the good times we shared at family gatherings. We were colleagues in the River East S.D. Words cannot express my sympathies for the family. Olia Susky - Posted by: Olia Susky (Family friend and colleague) on: Feb 06, 2015

  • Thanks to Mr. Kusyk, I know understand math. He was my best teacher and he will be missed. - Posted by: Kaitlin (Birds hill Student) on: Feb 05, 2015

  • He was the one around school that never stopped smiling. - Posted by: Luke Lefloch (he was my teacher ) on: Feb 05, 2015

  • We're so sorry to hear about Don. He was a wonderful person, as kind and gentle as they come. Really and truly missed. I clearly remember and cherish our times at the farm...Yogi, Boo Boo, and Mr Ranger. We are in Southern California and will not be able to get back for the service, but know our thoughts and prayers are with you all. - Posted by: Chris and Deb (Cousin) on: Feb 05, 2015

  • "Mr. Kusyk" was an excellent teacher and role model for my son. He brought out the very best in his students and was always very kind and generous with the kids. My younger sons were very disappointed when they found out they would not have the opportunity to be taught by him. I hope his family can take some comfort in knowing that his legacy will live on in the hundreds of young minds he played such a vital roll in developing. - Posted by: Michael Swistun (Parent of one of his students) on: Feb 05, 2015

  • You were the one teacher that tugged on my boys strengths, shared your humour and treated all with individuality and emphasized COMMON SENSE :) you truly were one of a kind with your smile and selflessness and because of you the world is a better place, and you will forever be remembered and we will always carry the kindness you taught and keep sharing it forever. I will never forget our chats about how proud of your family you were and I will always see my son's desk attached to yours with his personal order for a roller chair like yours! You have had a tremendous positive impact that only extraordinary could possibly duplicate! - Posted by: Jodie Cornwall (Mother of Two of his students 2012and 2014) on: Feb 05, 2015

  • Mr. Kusyk was my grade 6 teacher and he was one of the most influential teachers I had in my school career altogether. He always brought meaning to the lessons, and he taught the most important lesson of all: Common Sense. After I finished high school I still remember him distinctly to this day. He was a very kind and charismatic teacher and he will be missed incredibly. - Posted by: Ashley Monkman (Grade 6 Student) on: Feb 05, 2015

  • I knew Mr. Kusyk through Birds Hill Elementary School where I worked as a lunchtime Supervisor for the last 7 years. Mr. Kusyk was always one of the favorites of mine to run into in the hallway. He was always friendly and positive. He saw the best in his students, especially the ones who had challenges. I was placed in his classroom on numerous occasions. Often he would be spending time in his classroom on his lunch hour when most teachers made their way to the teacher's lounge for a much deserved break. He was laid back and gentle and the kids respected him. Most kids would say that he was the best teacher they had ever had. I am very saddened to hear of his passing. He will be truly missed. My thoughts and prayers are with the family. - Posted by: Kay Wagener (Birds Hill School) on: Feb 05, 2015

  • Mr. Kusyk taught me Grade 6 at John de Graff Elementry. I will always remember the stop light he and Mr. Wagner used to keep us under control. Sorry for your loss. - Posted by: Kim Nemis nee (Doherty) (Student) on: Feb 05, 2015

  • Don was a true professional and a wonderful teacher. He will be missed by his former students and teaching colleagues. He will be loving remembered for his kindness, jokes and his laugh. - Posted by: Cathy Hrabi (teaching colleage) on: Feb 05, 2015

  • My deepest sympathy go out to you Maureen, Shona and Meaghan. Don was a good friend to us and a pleasure to know him. Barry always enjoyed when he came around, they where good friends. My heart goes out to you and your family. Need someone to talk to please call, Linda - Posted by: Linda Romas (Neighbour) on: Feb 05, 2015

  • Best teacher I've ever had! Without him I don't know what I would have done. He taught me to never be afraid to ask questions even if it's a dumb question. Asking a lot of questions has helped me through junior high school and now high school and will for the rest of my life. He taught my sister the same thing. He was a great guy and always will be known as one. He will be missed. - Posted by: Taylor Engel (Student ) on: Feb 05, 2015

  • Don was a wonderful person and teacher. He taught our son and I spent time with him at Camp Stephens when we took our students there in the spring. Don and I would get up early in the morning before the students were up, sit on the deck at camp and watch the sun rise. There was one year at camp that the only time we saw the sun was one of these early mornings. No one believed us that the sun actually came out as it was pouring rain when everyone else got up. We would also look at the Big Dipper and talk about my son, John. Don had a wonderful sense of humour and would keep us laughing. I was hoping to have the opportunity to work with Don this year but unfortunately that did not happen. We will miss him. - Posted by: Wendy Toews (Friend) on: Feb 05, 2015

  • We were very sad to hear of Don's passing. We remember him fondly as a very friendly person with such amazing musical talent. We always enjoyed listening and dancing to the numerous tunes the boys used to play at the many social events we attended. Our thoughts and prayers are with you, Michael, and your families at this time. - Posted by: Jerry & Lynne Chabluk (friend) on: Feb 05, 2015

  • On behalf of all members of the River East Transcona Teachers' Association I want to pass on our deepest sympathy to Don's family and friends. For 39 years Don inspired the lives of countless students, families and colleagues. Don's passion for his craft was well known. He changed lives and helped make our world a better place. Don made a difference. He will be missed. - Posted by: Frank Reeves (President River East Transcona Teachers' Association) on: Feb 05, 2015

  • Mr. Kusyk was not only my Grade 5 teacher; he was also my favourite teacher. Mr. Kusyk was a kind, caring, gentle and compassionate teacher. He loved his students and we knew it. Mr. Kusyk had a way of inspiring us and making us want to learn. He made school fun and exciting. I didn’t want to miss any of his classes. If fact, I would have gladly attended school during the holidays. He taught us guitar lessons at lunch and played the accordion while we sang pop songs to break up the day. Mr. Kusyk’s great example became one of the driving forces in my career as a teacher. I will never forget you, Mr. Kusyk. Thank-you for leaving such a wonderful legacy behind. - Posted by: Carla (Goeres) Froese (Student of 1977 at Princess Margaret School) on: Feb 05, 2015

  • My sincerest sympathies to all of Don's family, especially Shona, who worked with us at Robert Andrews and is carrying on Don's tradition of excellence in teaching. We were looking forward to Don joining our staff this year, and know he will be sadly missed by all who were lucky enough to know him. - Posted by: Sandi Evans (Colleague) on: Feb 05, 2015

  • We always enjoyed our visits from Don and we are deeply saddened to hear this news. We will always remember him as a most wonderful human being with a beautiful soul. Our condolences to all. - Posted by: Penney and David Romanyshyn (Friends) on: Feb 05, 2015

  • I will remember Don as an exceptional teacher who always put the needs of his students first & foremost. I am so sorry I cannot be there to play for his Service but Maureen & family you will be in my prayers & heart. My condolences to the family & the St. Stephen's Church family. - Posted by: Lorraine Kovachik (Teacher friend) on: Feb 05, 2015

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