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GEORGE HOLOWKA  Obituary pic


Born: Oct 02, 1941

Date of Passing: Jan 27, 2005

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GEORGE HOLOWKA It is with deep sadness and regret that we announce the sudden but peaceful passing of our beloved George Holowka at the Health Sciences Centre on January 27, 2005. George is lovingly remembered by his wife of 37 years, Wirlana; his brother Slawko (Brenda); mother-in-law Wolodymyra Kysilewsky; sister-in-law Tatiana (Ostap); nieces, Natalka (Vlodko, Maksym, Nina) and Alexandra; nephews, Adio and Andriy; special relatives, Nestor, Marko, Natalia, Oxana and Anastasia; families, Stecura, Trach, Jones, Kozak; and numerous godchildren and family around the world. George was predeceased by his mother Olga and father Wasyl. Born in Lviv, Ukraine on October 2, 1941, George arrived in Canada in 1948 settling with his parents in Edmonton, where he spent his formative years. In 1964 George moved to Winnipeg, where he completed his B.A./B.Ed./M.Ed. Within a week of his arrival, George, the poor pining student, met the love of his life Wirlana Kitsiuna Kysilewsky. George's love of children was extraordinary and showed itself in his professional life and volunteer activities. In his teaching career he won numerous awards including Teacher of the Year on the North American Continent awarded in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. In 1971, he was instrumental in establishing the Winnipeg-Setagaya (Japan) Student Exchange Program which is still in existence today. For decades, George was managing director of a major youth choir called Tyrsa based out of Sts. Vladimir and Olga Cathedral. Countless hours were spent organizing five international tours including the Orient, North America, Australia and Europe. Simultaneously, he was an active board member of the Rusalka Dance Ensemble spending 14 years as their tour co-ordinator. George knew that culture was not something you could find in a store - it needed to be experienced. It is because of his unique talents that hundreds of Winnipeg's Ukrainian youth experienced the world. He expanded their horizons by making the world a more intimate place. George loved sports. He could talk about sports for hours. An accomplished athlete, he was a successful high school basketball coach and it is this love of sports that led him to be a moving force of the North American Ukrainian Olympic Committee. He helped organize the first contingent from an independent Ukraine taking part in the Summer Olympic Games in Atlanta (1996); the Winter Olympic Games in Salt Lake City (2002); the World Track and Field Championship in Edmonton (2001); the Canada Cup Volleyball Tournaments in Winnipeg (1994, 1995, 2001). As a historian, George believed that facts should be known and that history should not be ignored. Consequently, George was instrumental in the establishment and placement of the Holodomor (Ukrainian Famine Genocide of 1933) Memorial at Winnipeg City Hall. A deeply religious man, George had been in charge of the Marian Hour Centre, an organization that sponsors the praying of the rosary on a daily basis on CKJS in Winnipeg. Considering his list of accomplishments, you would think that George was a driven man, enamored with goals and agendas. Instead, he was a unique and generous individual. Gentle and caring, he had a way with people. Self-effacing, always quick with a witty comment or word of support, George could be counted on...anywhere and everywhere. His generosity of spirit knew no bounds and it is through that spirit that he has touched many a generation and generations to come. Our sincerest gratitude to Dr. Michael Raabe and the surgical, anesthetic and ICU teams for their herculean efforts and their sensitivity to our personal tragedy. The panakhyda will be held at 7:30 p.m. on Monday, January 31. Divine Liturgy will be celebrated at 11:00 a.m. Tuesday, February 1, both at Sts. Vladimir and Olga Cathedral, 115 McGregor St. Pallbearers: Andre Danyliu, Anatoliy Ciacka, Dr. Richard Grenkow, Andrij Zurawsky, Ihor Stolar, Bohdan Smycniuk. In lieu of flowers, donations could be made to the Marian Hour Centre and/or Help Us Help The Children. We miss him. VICHNA YOMU PAMIAT KORBAN FUNERAL CHAPEL 956-2193

As published in Winnipeg Free Press on Jan 29, 2005

Condolences & Memories (6 entries)

  • Mr. Holowka Being a student at general Byng school, I will always remember "Mr. Holowka", He was one of the first teachers to teach us to think for ourselves, and understand what we were actually learning, and why it was important. Years later after graduating, I would be walking to catch a bus to work, and he was leaving General Byng. Mr. Holowka still remembered me by name! (I wondered at the time if it was a good thing). I quickly became evident he was genuinely interested, and our chats were more than insightful. He was still in a way teaching by provoking deeper thought and understanding. As we walked and talked, it was evident he knew his calling (Teacher). and he taught from the heart, experience and accomplishment. I can say, I am a better person for it! always in our thoughts Thank you Mr. Holowka! Deepest Condolences & Prayers the family, Our thoughts are with you. - Posted by: Louis Dias (Student (1978)) on: Oct 03, 2022

  • Mr. Holowka (that's how I remember him) was one of my favourite teachers at General Byng school where I was a student of his in junior high. I think fondly of the mentorship he provided. I was so impressed to read about all of his accomplishments in his tribute above. Rest in Peace George. Kevin - Posted by: Kevin Hryclik (student) on: Nov 26, 2021

  • Do not stand at my grave and weep; I am not there, I do not sleep, I am a thousand winds that blow. I am the diamond that glints on snow. I am the sunlight on ripened grain. I am the gentle autumn's rain. When you awaken in the morning's hush. I am the swift uplifting rush of quiet birds in circled flight. I am the soft stars that shine at night. Do not stand at my grave and cry; I am not there. I did not die. - Posted by: Marta Romaniak-Dlugosh/Yurij Dlugosh & Family (Friend) on: Feb 01, 2005

  • Our most sincere and deepest sympathies on the loss of a lifelong friend. Georges' kindness, caring nature and generosity could not be matched. His memory will forever be with us. - Posted by: Alex and Sandy Kachmar (Friend) on: Jan 30, 2005

  • My Godfather Gorge I will miss you, and remember you, and I know you'll be shining down on Lauren. We love you The Lafleur family - Posted by: Suzanne Grenkow Lafleur (Friend) on: Jan 29, 2005

  • Our condolences.Our memories of George will forever be in our thoughts and prayers. - Posted by: Glen Konowalchuk and family (Friend) on: Jan 29, 2005

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