STRONCISKI, Mike Born January 22, 1929 – September 2, 2023 Aged 94 years
At the age of 94, beloved husband of Anne, peacefully passed away at the Grandview Hospital on Saturday, September 2, 2023.
Dad was born January 1929 on the family homestead in the Hollybourne district in Grandview, to the parents of Peter and Mary (nee Deydey). We used to ask him when his birthday was, but he would say “I was just a baby, I don’t remember”. His dad would say “3 days after the black heifer calved.” Dad attended his early years education at the Hollybourne School until the age of nine. He then attended the Mears School in Rossburn district from grades 5 to 10.
In 1946, Dad went to seek his fortune in Winnipeg at the age of 17 where he got his first job setting pins at a bowling alley on Arlington and Sargent. He stayed only a short time at this job until a co-worker had an accident, then he said that was enough. Dad then worked at a tannery on Chalmbers Avenue tanning animal hides for the next couple years until the company closed down. We used to ask him how they did the tanning but he would always say “It’s a trade secret. Never mind the smell”. With the coming of the diesel locomotives, steam engines were no longer needed. It was, at this time, that he started working at the CPR scrap dock, cutting up the steam engines. He got his welding certificate while working at CPR.
One weekend in 1952 while visiting his uncle in Rossburn, he attended a Box Social. There he met the love of his life, Anne Derkach. A year later they were married in Winnipeg’s Saint Vladimir & Olga Church on November 22, 1953. Soon after, he was no longer needed at the CPR scrap dock. His Uncle Paul suggested he buy the blacksmith shop in Sandy Lake. In the summer of 1954, Dad took over the shop from the Peansky’s. The townsfolk often referred to him as Mike Peansky. This became a great family joke. During the summer he would only work during the early hours of the day at the furnace hammering shears because after lunch it was “to darn hot”. During the winters, dad would cut ice from the lake. The blocks of ice were loaded on to the box cars and sent to Winnipeg for people’s iceboxes. With the tractor taking over from the horse, business was slow so Dad worked for Sandy Lake Transport. Ken was born in Erickson in November 1954, followed by Karl in Sandy Lake a few years later in September 1956. During this time, he was also the town Constable. He said this job was pretty easy as there was little crime in the town. During a snowstorm in February 1964, their daughter Dianne was born. When Dianne was just a baby, they decided to move the family to Grandview to take over the farm from his father Peter who just turned 65 and decided to retire. Dad continued to be a welder and blacksmith for the community. They completed their family with their son David, who was born in Grandview in November 1966. While farming he expanded the cattle herd and bought another quarter of land from Frank Dropchuk. He also rented some farmland from the Tobin’s who soon became a close part of the family.
Mom and Dad where members of the Riding Park church and hall where they made lifelong friends with the people in the area (Tobin’s, Novalkowski’s, Tooties’s, Kichak’s, Chyckowski’s, and Kozakowsky’s). The family has many fond memories of attending weddings and dances at the hall. It was a great place to raise a family. Fellow neighbours and family would help in times of need and celebrate in times of joy. All the neighbours would spend many hours playing cards and having social time.
Mom and Dad retired in 2004 and moved to their final home they shared together at the Grandview Manor. The farm continued to be one of his happy places where he enjoyed helping his son cutting hay and harvesting crops. All winter he would look forward to the next year helping David on the farm. In 2018, Mom moved to the Grandview Personal Care Home, where Dad would ride his scooter often to visit with her.
Last fall Dad lost his beloved wife, Anne. Dad missed her dearly.
Dad was such a hard worker but enjoyed so many great times with family and friends. He will be remembered as being such an honest man, having such a kind personality and sense of humour. There were never many days without laughter and joy with dad around.
Dad is predeceased by his wife Anne, his parents Peter and Mary, sister Stephania (George Fedak), mother in-law Nellie (Roy Saley), father in-law Mike Derkach, Uncle Paul Yasonek, brother in-law Tony (Jane Derkach), Ernie Derkach, sister in-law Florence Krulicki, nephew Leonard Krulicki, and grand-daughter Cynthia.
He leaves to cherish in his memory his children Ken (Susan), Karl (Anita), Dianne (Fred Van De Kerckhove), and David (Jamie), his grandchildren Jason (Monica), Scott (Marcie), Michael, Crystal, Joey, Jordyn, Maximus and McCoy, his great grandchildren Harmonia, Tate, Taylor, Brandyn, Jayden, Breanna, Emily, Johnathan, Abegayle, Declan, Quinn, and Callen, his brother in-law Raymond (Lorraine) Saley, and sister in-law Mary Derkach and many nephews and nieces.