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Date of Passing: Nov 04, 2022

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1937 – 2022

Art Sawatzky of Winkler, Manitoba died peacefully on Friday November 4, 2022 after a short time at Boundary Trails Health Centre at the age of 85. He was predeceased by his mother, Margaret Sawatzky in 2007 and his father, Frank Sawatzky in 1939. Art was one and half years old when his father died. He was a member of the Winkler Mennonite Brethren Church. Art grew up in Gnadenthal and attended the Gnadenthal school until grade 10. He and his mother then moved to Gretna so that Art could take his grade 11 and 12 at MCI. Art had a passion for teaching and this led to a successful career as a teacher. His career started in 1956 to his retirement in 1992. Even after his retirement Art continued to substitute teach and tutor students that needed some extra help. Many of his former students have memorable stories of Mr. Sawatzky teaching at their school. These stories include the wonderful Christmas concerts directed by Art; even his mom would come to the school to help the students rehearse their lines and get things ready for the concert. Sports: Art was very passionate about sports. He was a fanatic of hockey and baseball. This rubbed off on his students too. Whatever school he was working at Art would constantly be thinking of ways to improve the community ice rink or baseball diamond. This was especially true for Chortitz. He was legendary for his contribution in setting up the Chortitz skating rink and warm-up hut. This was a major accomplishment together with his students and appreciated by the surrounding community. Art was a lifetime Executive Member of the Winkler Minor Hockey League. This was an honorary position and in 1982 he received an Outstanding Service award for his involvement in the Winkler Minor Hockey League. He was also the timekeeper for the Winkler Flyers hockey team. Art's love for baseball led him to coaching the Winkler Hawks for several years. He really did love these two sports. Art loved to go to his garden in Gnadenthal to see how his plants were growing, especially his tomatoes. Art really loved his garden tomatoes. He always said he would have liked to be a farmer. He liked to look at the Peters fields and always wanted to know how the crops were doing. Art did become a farmer of sorts – a bee farmer. He ventured into learning all about bees and this often required the help from his cousins. He would explain to them in great detail how the bee operation worked. Art loved to read books and even wrote some poetry. He was a great historian and knew many facts on various topics. He loved to share his knowledge and visit with people. Art moved into the Buhler Active Living Center in 2016 and in January 2021 he moved to The Villages on 2nd floor in Buhler where he could receive extra care. Art really enjoyed getting know the staff and visiting with them. He had many great things to say about Silver Lining Care and appreciated the care he got there.
Art is survived by his Aunt Mary Fehr from Winnipeg, his Aunt Susie Harms from Abbotsford, B.C. and his Peters and Sawatzky cousins. The family would like to thank Silver Lining Care at Buhler Place for the excellent care Art received while he lived there. Art, we will miss you and your stories.

Psalm 136 :2 Give thanks to the God of gods. His mercy endures forever.

Memorial service was held on Thursday November 10, 2022 at the Winkler Mennonite Brethren Church with interment prior at the Gnadenthal Cemetery.

Wiebe Funeral Home, Winkler
In care of arrangements

As published in Winnipeg Free Press on Nov 12, 2022

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