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Date of Passing: Jun 17, 2022Send Flowers to the Family Offer Condolences or Memory
On June 17, 2022, Walter Stefanchuk passed away at the age of 89.
Left to remember him are his wife Pat, son Mark (Mary), and daughter Lynne. He is also mourned by in-laws, nieces, nephews and countless friends whose lives he deeply touched.
He was predeceased by his parents, Metro and Annie Stefanchuk, brothers, John, Peter and Maurice and sister Mary.
Wally was born in Vita, Manitoba and spent his childhood on the family farm in Stuartburn. After graduating high school, he attended Teachers' College which began a decade's long career in public education. Wally attended the University of Manitoba where he obtained Bachelors of Education and Physical Education. He taught in Fort Garry and in Selkirk, as a classroom teacher, a phys ed teacher and a guidance counsellor. While teaching at Ralph Maybank School, he met and fell in love with a Grade Four teacher named Pat. They were married for 60 years.
A natural athlete, Wally had a great love of sports. In the 1960s, he coached gymnastics, was a national gymnastics judge and served on the original committees that formed the Manitoba Gymnastics Association and the Manitoba Diving Association.
In his retirement years, Wally was a competitive downhill skier and inline skater. At 69, he was the oldest competitor in the Manitoba Winter Games. In his words, "Skiing gives me a reason to stay in condition. Mostly, I compete with myself. But you have to have goals if you are going to train every day. You have to have a purpose for training."
Wally was an incredibly loyal and generous man, someone who showed up to help family, friends and neighbours, often before they even knew they needed help. He was a kind voice of reason who loved watching the news and cheering on the Jets and Bombers as long as they were playing smart. He would never invite you to dinner but simply make the meal and insist you stay.
The family extends profound thanks to the WRHA Palliative Care team, the staff at Riverview Health Centre and to family and friends whose support has been invaluable.
A private Celebration of Life will follow at a later date.
Donations in his memory can be made to Right To Play (righttoplay.ca)
THOMSON "IN THE PARK"
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As published in Winnipeg Free Press on Jun 25, 2022
Condolences & Memories (16 entries)
Pat and family - I had the privilege of working with Wally in Selkirk. The comment in the obituary about his being the kind voice of reason certainly resonated with me and I’m sure it did with his students. Our sincere sympathy to you all. May he Rest In Peace. - Posted by: Joe and Pat Lesko (Colleague at Selkirk Junior High) on: Jul 07, 2022
My sincere condolences to Pat and her family. I was a student of “Mr” Stefanchuk in grade school at Ralph Maybank. He was always my favourite teacher. He also taught me gymnastics while I was there. “Miss” Merrill was also my teacher in grade 4. I think I also probably met him as “Wally” without realizing he was Mr Stenfanchuk, when I joined the Manitoba Masters Ski group many years ago. - Posted by: Val Sangster (Student) on: Jul 05, 2022
Wally will truly be missed. He leaves so many great memories. He was so committed to his family and his profession. He was much admired for the example of fitness that he always maintained. He also was so kind and gentle. Our sympathy to the family. Henry and Judy J - Posted by: Henry and Judy Janzen (Friends) on: Jul 04, 2022
I got my first teaching job at Viscount Alexander School. Wally taught the boys Physical Education and Guidance to the boys and I to the girls. He was a wonderful mentor and went along with all my ideas, some good, some bad! I remember we had a “Gym Fest” in the evening where all the students were required to create and perform a gymnastic routine and be judged just like a gymnastic meet. The parents were invited to watch. It was amazing how he motivated the boys to participate in gymnastics and how much I learned about teaching gymnastics. I was always grateful to him for helping me set up the equipment too! Everything we did was safe and inclusive since students were able to create a routine to match their skill level. You do not see a program happening like that in schools now. I was so lucky to have him as my teaching partner for my first job. - Posted by: Heather Willoughby (Teacher colleague) on: Jun 29, 2022
My apologies… in my tribute that I had just placed.. I said I remembered when Mr. Stefanchuk fell in love with Miss Morrow… it was Miss Merrill… Once again.. my heartfelt condolences - Posted by: Sandra Mitchell (Student ) on: Jun 27, 2022
Mr. Stefanchuk was my Grade 5 teacher and also got me into gymnastics. Without question he was my favourite teacher. I remember when he and Miss Morrow fell in love… it was a big thing in our little Ralph Maybank School… He also taught my brothers… Deepest condolences to all the family… He was a wonderful man… - Posted by: Sandra Mitchell (One of his students ) on: Jun 27, 2022
Wally was a great ski buddy for a number of years with Manitoba Masters. We travelled to a number of ski events together, roomed together, and skied together often. One of the "great ones", for sure! - Posted by: Bob Piper (Ski buddy) on: Jun 27, 2022
Mr Stefanchuk was my teacher at Viscount Alexander Junior High School circa 1975-76. He was a memorable man, stern in his ways but also kind, funny and approachable. He was tall and imposing, with a big fat moustache. He would stride into the classroom with purpose, that I remember! He liked to carry a yardstick while he was teaching and he would use it as a pointer and an attention-getter (a giant whack on the desk!) if there was too much talking. He was fair and friendly, and on the « favourite teachers » list for many of us. Thanks for the memories, Mr. Stefanchuk. - Posted by: Karen Torgerson (Former student) on: Jun 27, 2022
We are saddened to hear of Wally’s passing. He was an incredible man with a huge heart. Our condolences to, Pat, Mark, Mary and Lynn. We will treasure the times we have spent with all of your family. Ed and Shirley - Posted by: Ed and Shirley Zacharias (Friends) on: Jun 26, 2022
Pat and Family, we are so very sorry to hear of Wally's passing. We did not have the pleasure of knowing Wally, but our chats at the luncheons and your FB posts kept us informed as to the life he lead. Sending warm hugs and prayers to comfort you all at this difficult time. Vichnaya Pamyat. Steve & Bonnie Novak - Posted by: Bonnie Novak & Family (Dear Friends) on: Jun 26, 2022
My sincere condolences. Mr. Stefanchuk taught me at Ralph Maybank School in Grade 5 and gymnastics. I consider him one of the best teachers I had. We had so many animals in the classroom and we were all given the responsibility to care for them. Teaching that responsibility for some was a very good life skill. Although my mother was not impressed because the white mice I was to take care of chewed through the wood cage and escaped and our cat found a couple of play toys in the middle of the night and I found the cat and woke the whole family. Life lessons. - Posted by: Anne Barg (Scott) (Former student ) on: Jun 26, 2022
Wally was a wonderful neighbour and friend for many years. He loved to look at after his flowers. We could see him in Kildonan Park Roller Blading, biking like a young man. Rest in Peace🙏 Our Sympathy to the Family - Posted by: Matt and Mary Sobocan (Long time neighbours and freinds) on: Jun 25, 2022
Mr. Wallie Stefanchuk was my Grade 2 school teacher in Sand Hill school district 1372, in Manitoba, starting teaching there in the fall of 1954. He was a permit teacher and only stayed in our school for one year. He saw the potential in me and promoted me from Grade 2 to Grade 4. My family was honoured that I received this privilege. I worked very diligently in Grade 4 to succeed. Thanks to Mr. Stefanchuk, I graduated with honours in grade 12 before my 17th birthday. I attribute this entirely to him. The faith and pride that a school teacher influences a child is very important. It was his faith in me that I could succeed at anything helped me to feel confident, hard working, and successful in life. I have always remembered his strong confidence in me all of my life. Greatest respect to him always, God Bless him and his goodness, from a grateful student. - Posted by: Katherine Krawchuk Fecio (Walter was my grade two school teacher in Sand Hill, manitoba) on: Jun 25, 2022
My sincere condolences to Wally’s wife Pat, daughter Lynne, son Mark and their families. I was in the same graduating class as Wally and he was such a generous gentleman, very caring and sensitive to others. Our year will miss him. Maureen - Posted by: Maureen Dowds (Colleague) on: Jun 25, 2022
Very sorry to see this. Our condolences to the family. Owen & Kolleen - Posted by: Owen Clark (Friend) on: Jun 25, 2022
Heather and I wish to extend our sincere condolences to Pat and the family on their loss. Wally was a wonderful man and a good friend. - Posted by: Larry Borody (Colleague and friend ) on: Jun 25, 2022
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