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Born: Jul 10, 1933

Date of Passing: Apr 29, 2021

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Born July 10, 1933 in Sifton, Manitoba
Died April 29, 2021 in Thompson, Manitoba

It is with profound sadness that the family of Stella Locker had to say goodbye to our exceptional Mother, Grandmother, Great- Grandmother after a heroic five month battle against invincible pancreatic cancer.
Stella was predeceased by her loving husband of 44 years, Don Locker (2001), her parents, Michael Kucherawy (1957) and Annie Lulashnyk (1971); siblings, Walter (1944), Pauline Ganczar (1992), Mary Burak (2004) and Jack Kucherawy (2015).
Stella is survived by her son Bob Locker and daughter Susan Buckle (Theo Lamers) of Thompson, MB, daughters: Deanna Cripps of Sherwood Park, AB and Karen Ommerli (Alan) of Portage La Prairie, MB. "Granny" cherished her grandchildren: Justine Buckle (Charley Ashcroft), Amanda Buckle (Anthony Sacco), Donald Buckle, Cassandra and Alexander Ommerli and great-grandson Thomas Buckle. She is also survived by her caring sister-in-law Marilyn Kucherawy, as well as numerous nieces and nephews.
Stella was the youngest daughter of Mike and Annie Kucherawy. She grew up on a humble farmstead near Sifton, MB and boarded for school at St. Mary's Convent. Sundays were spent playing the church organ for services at Holy Trinity Roman Catholic Church. After graduation she obtained a Registered Nursing degree in 1954 from Dauphin Hospital. Her desire was to move North and help the families of the children she boarded with at the Convent. This lead her to Hudson Bay Mining & Smelting Hospital in Flin Flon and marrying Insurance Broker Don Locker in 1957.
In 1963, the young family, with three kids under age three, joined Don's parents in the new mining community of Thompson, MB. Stella was unable to continue her RN career due to a policy of only hiring single women at the Inco owned hospital at that time. She turned her focus and joined the family business (Locker's Insurance and Real Estate) and by 1965 was a pioneer for women immersed in business, community, charity while having her fourth child before the decade's end.
During her 58 years in Thompson, Stella had a remarkable list of achievements. She was a Realtor / Broker-Owner / Insurance Broker, Manitoba's first female Certified Property Manager, Registered Public Appraiser, Certified in Marketing of Real Estate, obtained her Bachelor of General Studies (UBC), but what she enjoyed most was her six term, 25 year service to the City of Thompson as a City Councillor (1989 to 2014).
Her involvement in community and government began in the 1960s and extended from Municipal to Provincial and Federal levels. Some long time affiliations were with City Planning, Industrial Commission, University Grants Commission, Public Utilities Board, IODE, MARN, Member and President of MAUM, Director of the Federation of Municipalities, Canadian Real Estate Association and Director of Manitoba Real Estate Association. She established the Thompson Real Estate Board as well as Thompson Festival of Arts; serving as president and on executive and regional boards for 20 years.
Stella regretfully did not run for Council re-election after a hip fracture in 2014. More time was spent at her office or relaxing at Paint Lake visiting with family and friends.
After hospitalization and an emergency amputation in 2019, Stella was warmly received by the staff and elders at Thompson's Northern Spirit Manor Personal Care Home (NSM) in March 2020. She enjoyed her new home, wheeling around the manor being known as their "Property Manager" and cheerfully greeting all who lived and worked there. To EVERY staff member at NSM, we thank you.
Mom was caring, generous, loving and hard working. She was a business woman, community leader, breast cancer survivor, heart and stroke survivor, St. Boniface TAVI Research participant, amputee and pancreatic cancer warrior. To all the doctors and health care workers, we are forever grateful for your compassion towards Stella at Thompson General Hospital (TGH), Health Sciences Centre and St. Boniface Hospitals. Thanks to everyone for the visits, calls, flowers, gifts and cards while in TGH for six months before Covid-19; especially Arlene and Harvey Katchmar, Aunt Marilyn Kucherawy, nieces: Josie Ciccocioppo, Stephanie Waroway and Fran Barton. A special thank you to RN Wanda Lee Eveleigh, for the love and care that she provided to Stella over the past two years.
In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation in Stella's memory to the Thompson Community Foundation, PO Box 1074, Thompson, Manitoba R8N 1N9, ( so that her legacy of giving back to the community can continue in perpetuity. Rest in Peace Mom. You have earned it.
As per Stella's wishes, cremation has taken place. Due to Covid-19 restrictions, a service will be announced at a later date.

"Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord... they may rest from their labours, For their deeds follow them" REVELATION 14:13

Boardman/Northland Funeral Home, Thompson, Manitoba in care of arrangements, call 204-778-7982.

As published in Winnipeg Free Press on May 08, 2021

Condolences & Memories (2 entries)

  • Stella was larger than life itself. I enjoyed working with her on many things. She always had the North front and centre. My condolences to the family. - Posted by: Gordon Wakeling (Friend) on: May 09, 2021

  • Sorry to hear of the passing of an old Sifton school mate. Although she crossed my mind many times over the years I never had the opportunity to cross paths with Stella since our high school days which are a long time ago. She was a good softball player and was always one of the first players to be selected when making up opposing teams. My sympathies and condolences to the family. - Posted by: Orville Heschuk (School Mate) on: May 08, 2021

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