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PETER DROSDOWECH  Obituary pic

PETER DROSDOWECH

Date of Passing: Feb 03, 2015

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PETER DROSDOWECH On February 3, 2015, with family by his side, Peter Drosdowech passed on "to the mystery of what comes next." Peter will be profoundly missed by his wife, Norma of 53 years; daughters; Laura, Linda, Sandra (Jason) and Carol (John); grandchildren; Emily, Sage, Zoe, Jackson, Lucy, Andrew and Gloria; sisters; Leona and Ellen (and family); nephews Mark and Phillip; friends in Canada and Ukraine. Peter was predeceased by his parents, his sister Phyllis, and brothers-in-law, John Symchych, Jim Tackaberry and Alf Hemingway. Peter was forever grateful to his grandparents who left an old world of hardship for a new land of opportunity in order to bestow better lives upon their children, and to his parents, Paul and Anastasia Drosdowech, whose willing sacrifices provided the means for Peter and his sisters to achieve their goals. Peter was proud of his Ukrainian heritage and was strongly connected to his ancestral homeland. Many happy times were spent in Dauphin with Ukrainian Christmas being his favourite celebration. Peter was born in Dauphin in 1927 and grew up in Gilbert Plains where he was a student at Brickburn School and proud member of the Gilbert Plains' Boys Band. Prior to becoming a teacher, he attended St. Andrew's College, the University of Winnipeg and the University of Manitoba. He was a founding member of the St. Vital Optimist Club. He wrote: "During my growing up years I fondly remember summer holidays on my grandparents' farm. Later I was a house painter, a beekeeper, a truck driver and a radio announcer at CKDM in Dauphin. I taught at Kelwood for a year before spending the next 38 years in the St. Vital School Division where I taught high school for six years followed by appointments as vice-principal, principal and executive assistant to the superintendent." Peter met Norma Johnson, a fellow teacher at Glenlawn Collegiate. They married in 1961 and honeymooned on a six-week tour of Europe. They walked side by side through life in unconditional acceptance. They hosted countless parties with colleagues, friends and neighbours. Pete's Punch was legendary. Peter was a loving, supportive husband and a romantic at heart. He never forgot to send flowers to Norma on February 12 - the anniversary of their first date. Peter was a man of many gifts but one of his greatest talents was being a father. He was the rock by which his four daughters were supported and loved as well as being a father figure to many people over the years. His children and grandchildren will be forever grateful for the house he made into a welcoming, safe, and fun-filled home. The pets, the pool, the trips and the many adventures he gave us are memories we will always cherish. Peter was an innovative educator. He worked early on to abolish corporal punishment for children in schools and the common practices of failing children and evaluating them by awards and grades. He wanted all children in his care to receive the same respect, support and guidance he gave to each of his own children. Peter was an entrepreneur before, during and after his career in education. Peter and Norma enjoyed their years as "innkeepers" at Clear Lake Lodge, co-managing with Phyllis and Jake. Over the past 14 years, Peter actively ran Tours to Ukraine with his business partner, Tania. He travelled many times to Ukraine and had three tours planned for 2015. He was still young at heart with many plans for the future, yet he also wrote that: "in the fullness of time, I want to experience death - simply and with dignity". Peter was a great philosopher, highly engaged in studying world history and current politics. His favourite book was "War and Peace". He enjoyed Ukrainian folk music and ABBA, and he watched many hours of baseball and curling. He loved the family home on the Red River, where he mowed the lawn in summer and blew the snow in winter. Peter was a man of honour, integrity, and quiet generosity, a liberal thinker with a wry sense of humour - unsurpassed as a husband and father. His legacy will serve us all well as we say farewell and carry on. Vichnaya Pam'yat Memory Eternal We will gather to honour and celebrate Peter's life at the Unitarian Church, 603 Wellington Crescent on Monday, February 9 at 4:30 p.m. Reception to follow. In Peter's honour, the Drosdowech family will be accepting donations to support causes in Ukraine. THOMSON "IN THE PARK" 204-925-1120 Condolences may be sent to www.thomsoninthepark.com

As published in Winnipeg Free Press on Feb 07, 2015

Condolences & Memories (24 entries)

  • I am saddened to hear of Peter's passing. I remember with fondness our trip to Ukraine almost 2 years ago. He was a fountain of knowledge. His compassion for the plight of the Ukrainian people was unparalleled. He was a man of integrity - something our world is sadly lacking today. May his memory live onward. Condolences to his family. - Posted by: Linda Marchuk (Member of Ukraine Tour, August 2013) on: Jul 09, 2015

  • My sincere condolences to Norma and family. I was fortunate, in having had the opportunity to be a part of one of Peter's "Tours to Ukraine". The experience was life altering especially because of the opportunity to walk in the steps of my ancestors. The courage Peter demonstrated in his determination to continue the tours in these troubled times in Ukraine are a true indicator of the man he was. Supporting the Ukrainian economy with our tourist dollars is likely one of best things we can do and I hope that his legacy will continue. We have lost a great man. - Posted by: Judy Kachkowski () on: Feb 28, 2015

  • I was shocked to hear about Peter's passing. My wife and myself travelled to Ukraine with his tour in May of 2011 and it was the most memorable experience we have ever had. In that short period of time we found that Peter was one witty, comical and very smart man. Our condolences to all his family. The world and especially Canada and Ukraine has lost a great man. Like you taught me on that trip, to you Peter Budma-Hay, Budma-Hay,Budma-Hay-Hay-Hay - Posted by: Bill and Robbie Tarkowski (Ukraine tour May 2011) on: Feb 23, 2015

  • I was saddened to hear or "Uncle Peter's" passing. It was my distinct pleasure to have known and visited with him. My thoughts are with you at this time. - Posted by: Gloria Doroshenko (Friend) on: Feb 11, 2015

  • My thoughts are with you, Norma. My love to your daughters. Peter was an excellent leader. I always admired his kind smile and wisdom. I am sorry for your loss. - Posted by: Debbie Hoffman () on: Feb 10, 2015

  • My deepest condolences to Family. It was a pleasure knowing Peter. Rest in Peace. - Posted by: Margaret Rutowicz (co-worker - St.Vital School Division) on: Feb 10, 2015

  • For Scott and I, Peter represented the neighbourhood historian. He had a passion for the stories and history of the cul de sac that we share with him, Norma and their family. The "circle" will forever be remembered by us as his pride and joy! Our thoughts and prayers go out to the family. Peter will be missed. - Posted by: Renee Sanguin and Scott Stirton (Neighbour) on: Feb 09, 2015

  • We had a wonderful trip to Ukraine in 2010. Because of Peter's kindness and organizational skills, we were able to visit Luba's family homes. We were impressed by his ability to develop warm group cohesion without intrusion. Through this experience, we continue to correspond with those we met on this tour. Our deepest sympathy to Peter's family. Veechnaya pamnyat! - Posted by: Luba and Graham Brown Woodstock, Ontario (Ukraine Tours 2010) on: Feb 09, 2015

  • We were so saddened to hear of Peter's passing but do rejoice in the legacy he left with the St. Vital School Division & the teachers & students who benefitted from his guidance. His love of Ukraine is shared deeply with Konstantyn (Konny) & we regret that we never got to see Ukraine with Peter as our guide. His love for Norma & "the girls" was always evident. He was a doting "Dedee' to his Grand-children. Norma...you have helped so many of us with family members' passing. Know that we are there in spirit for you & your loving family. - Posted by: Konstantyn Trus & Joanne Wilson (friend) on: Feb 09, 2015

  • So sorry to hear of the passing of your husband, Norma. The light of love can never be extinguished. - Posted by: Shannon Crowards (friend of the family) on: Feb 09, 2015

  • We’re thinking of you, Norma, and your family. We will always remember Peter as a man who led by example. He taught all of us qualities such as kindness, patience, respect, and honesty. Peter will live in our hearts forever as we have only the beautiful memories of him. "What we have once enjoyed, we can never lose. All that we love deeply becomes part of us." -Helen Keller - Posted by: Valeriy, Tania, Alla, Anna, Maksym, Vitalik () on: Feb 09, 2015

  • Peter was one of our very best tour guides in our many international trips. We never ate so much local food; saw local sites; or enjoyed the final banquet as much as this trip to Ukraine. We also hired a car for a day and visited my grandfather's local village & a local family. What a time we had. Peter was one of a kind and we all mourn his untimely passing, especially considering all the tough times he survived. Rest in Peace. May eternal light shine on him as he rests in the hands of Almighty God. - Posted by: Dennis & Carol-Ann Walker (Fellow Travelers July 2011 Trip) on: Feb 09, 2015

  • My deepest condolences to you Nora, Sandra, Laura, Linda, Carol and family. I'm so sorry to hear of Peter's passing. He was a wonderful, kind man and great educator who touched so many lives. I am sorry that I am overseas at present and unable to be at Peter's memorial. Sending you my love and wishes that you'll be comforted by so many wonderful memories, Kym Brown - Posted by: Kym Brown (Friend) on: Feb 09, 2015

  • In 1959 I began teaching at Glenlawn. When Peter was Vice Principal, I always greatly admired him. Before he and Norma were officially dating, I remember the glint in his eye when he caught sight of her. What a lovely man! You will miss him dreadfully, Norma. So nice that you have a large family to support you at this time. - Posted by: Maizie and Richard Walton (Maizie was a colleague at Glenlawn Collegiate) on: Feb 08, 2015

  • Dear Laura, Our condolences to you and your family. Tannis has many happy memories of your father and your family. I remember how happy I was when after the birthday sleepovers..it was on to the pool party at your parents' home. Will think of your family on the Monday. Love. - Posted by: Gloria and Ed Cooper (Friends of Laura) on: Feb 08, 2015

  • I went on the first tour in 2005 with my mother. One of the most moving times in my life. We saw our ancestral home and with Peter's help travelled to the villages of origin of both sides of my family. In 2011 my wife Phyllis and daughter Roxanne returned on Peter's tour and actually found and visited with relatives in both villages all thru arrangements made by Peter and Tanya. One of the most cherished and memorable moments was visiting the property where generations of Olynyks were born and lived. All of this would have never happened had we not had the privilege of having traveled with Peter. One thing I have always said and believed was for what the trips cost and what you got he wasn't doing it for the money but for the sheer love of it. Rest in peace Peter, yours was a life worth living. - Posted by: Ivan Olynk (guest on two of Peters Tours to Ukraine) on: Feb 08, 2015

  • MAY BEAUTIFUL MEMORIES GIVE YOU COMFORT IN YOUR TIME OF LOSS... We were on an unforgettable trip to Ukraine with Peter... very well organized and informative!! Veronica & Marvin Sichewski - Posted by: Veronica Sichewski (Ukraine tour in 2000) on: Feb 08, 2015

  • I was a student at Glenlawn in the early 60's. When I was in grade 11 in 1961, his home room was across the hall - an all boys room. They were unruly 'boys'. He controlled them and they loved it. Mr Drosdowech was legendary! - Posted by: Peter Crockatt (student) on: Feb 07, 2015

  • Norma and Family We are in Playa del Carmen but tomorrow or thoughts will be with you and our fond and very respectful memories of Peter! As teachers we learned much about inclusiveness and the need to support and not punish children -- and yes Peter was a catalyst to get many of his colleagues talking about treating all children with respect. Punishment of a physical nature was often the choice of educators who were dealing with difficult children but Peter had us stop-think-and ask us to support rather than punish - to teach all children regardless of their backgrounds or abilities - his voice changed negative practices into positive ones for his teaching colleagues and his legacy has been significant - and transformative in public education. He will be remembered! - Posted by: Wayne and Barbara Ruff (Teaching and Administrative Colleagues) on: Feb 07, 2015

  • Mr. Drosdowech was one of my teachers at Glenlawn Collegiate and when I look at my school yearbooks, he appears in the 1958 one and the 1959-60 and 1960-61 books. He had a bit more hair then and it was black or dark brown. Wow, I am now 71 myself and thought all my old teachers were long gone. Though I never had her for a teacher myself, Miss N. Johnson also appears in all those yearbooks. Robert A. Klassen, CStJ. - Posted by: Robert Arthur Klassen (known as Clem in high school) (Student ) on: Feb 07, 2015

  • Our condolences Norma to you and your family on the passing of Peter. He was a very nice man. We are sorry we can't attend the celebration of Peter's life as we both have physical problems, but we will be thinking of you. Sincerely Gwen and George Radley. - Posted by: Gwen&George Radley (Friends) on: Feb 07, 2015

  • I'm thinking of you, Norma, and your entire family at this sad time. I will always remember Peter as a fine educator and wonderful person. Rest in peace, Peter. Vichnaya Pamyat! Memory Eternal! - Posted by: Terry Borys () on: Feb 07, 2015

  • A wonderful man who will be missed by all. Peter's life was a tribute to those who come to our country as "new Canadians" as we were called. He worked hard, played with joy and created lasting memories for all who knew him. - Posted by: Margaret Eagle (Sorority sister to Norma) on: Feb 07, 2015

  • I am very sorry to hear that Peter will not make those 2015 trips to the Ukraine, but I know that his spirit is there. I really enjoyed working with him at Hastings and I loved having Carol in my home room!!!! Peace to all of you. - Posted by: Nancy Gates (Colleague) on: Feb 07, 2015

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