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HARRY MYRISLAW HARAPIAK
Born: Sep 17, 1938
Date of Passing: Nov 14, 2000Offer Condolences or Memory
HARRY MYRISLAW HARAPIAK September 17, 1938- November 14, 2000 Harry Harapiak, farmer, hardrock miner, beekeeper, railway engineer, cabinet minister, deacon, husband, father, grandfather, brother, uncle and friend has died at the age of 62. He has left his wife of 38 years, Carol, to carry on without him, as well as his five children, Marianne Lamb (Todd), Mark (Blythe), Christine (Jean-Louis), Kelly Graceffo (Peter) and Chad. Harry believed that everything had a purpose and a time. He accepted, with faith, the deaths of his mother, Mary, in 1977 and his father Bill in 1992. He took strength from the friendship and community of Steve, John, Walter, Leonard, Rosann (Wowchuk), Pat (Holowachuk) and Harvey, his brothers and sisters, along with their spouses and families. In the 1950s, Harry left the family farm to follow his brother Steve to Sudbury to mine at Inco. He was too light and too young to go underground. Ever resourceful he borrowed his brother Johns identification to correct the age problem and he gorged on bananas one day to temporarily increase his weight. He was hired and stayed until the cave-in convinced him there must be better ways to make a living. It was in Sudbury, however, that Harry mined his greatest nugget--Carol-- who caught his eye at age 17 and never lost it. In 1963, when Carol was 8 months pregnant with their first child, they moved to Manitoba to farm. Life on the farm was full and hard. After a few years of subsistence farming Harry began to work for the CNR, leaving Carol behind to run the farm and the family. This was destined to be a short-term situation. Carol, fearful of the family cow, drove to town whenever Harry was away, and bought store milk. Harry and Carols family grew quickly on the farm. Marianne was born in 1963, followed by Mark in 1964, Christine in 1965 and Kelly in 1967. In 1969, after a move to northern Manitoba, the family was completed with the arrival of Chad. Chad was diagnosed as autistic when he was 2 years old. The challenges of the blue-eyed, blond-haired infant were immense and at times unfathomable to the young couple. Harry, always a devout Catholic, turned to his faith for support. He was grateful for the opportunity to parent Chad, and considered him one of the greatest gifts he had received in his life. It was Harrys faith that drew him to service as a lay person within his Christian Community. In the late 1970s he considered studying to become a deacon. The opportunity to run for public office intervened and he took another path. From 1981 to 1990 he represented The Pas in the Manitoba Legislature, serving as Minister of Northern Affairs and Minister of Government Services in the Pawley administration. In 1997 Harry finally fulfilled his 20 year goal and was ordained a Deacon of the Catholic Church in St. Timothys parish in Winnipeg with his family and his Christian Community surrounding him. Harry was a family man. He adored and was adored by his six grandchildren, Julia, Thomas, Scott, Amy, Gwenan and Sophie. He was a 62 year old man who still knew how to play. It was not an uncommon sight to see Harry with the youngest grandchild nesting in his arms, moving from spot to spot in the house, naming the world. Picture, chair, table, car, cookie, tree...love. Gigi will be keenly missed. Harry was committed to service in his family, in his church and in his community. These are the works of your faithful servant, in whom we are well pleased. God Speed Harry. Prayer Vigil will be held on Thursday, November 16 at 8:00 p.m. in the St. Timothy Parish Church, 135 John Forsyth Rd. Funeral Mass will be held on Friday, November 17 at 10:30 a.m. also in the St. Timothy Parish Church. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in Harrys memory to the St. Vincent de Paul Society / St. Timothy Chapter, 135 John Forsyth Rd., Wpg, MB R2N 1R3. P. COUTU & CO. FUNERAL DIRECTORS 156 Marion Street 949-4864
As published in the Winnipeg Free Press on Nov 16, 2000
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