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LLOYD BYRON KASTRUKOFF (published on March 05, 2011)

LLOYD BYRON KASTRUKOFF June 25, 1946 - February 21, 2011 The world will never be the same because of the beautiful difference one life has made. It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of Byron Kastrukoff of Grandview, MB at the Grandview District Hospital, with his beloved Linda by his side, after a lengthy and courageous battle with cancer. Byron Kastrukoff was born June 25, 1946 in Kamsack, SK to John and Ida Kastrukoff. He was their first child followed by his only sibling, Lyle in July 1949. His earliest years were spent in Clanwilliam before moving to Kenville where the family resided until Byron completed Grade 9, at which time they moved to Swan River where he received his high school education. He attended United College, now the University of Winnipeg, and received his B.A. degree majoring in Economics and Political Science. He then went on to the University of Manitoba for one year in the education faculty before moving to Grandview to begin his teaching career. During subsequent summers, he attended University of Manitoba summer schools until he attained his Bachelor of Education degree. In his early years, Byron was a good hockey and baseball player but his sport of choice was curling. His high school team was the School Boys Provincial Championship runner up one year and was very competitive for a couple more years. He was then chosen by a rink to curl second in the British Consols play-downs (now the Safeway Select) at the very young age of 17. He was quite proud of this but also quite modest about it. At the time he was considered one of the best seconds in Swan River, if not the best, and as he later proved, also one of the better ones in Manitoba. During his university years, he competed on a rink that won the Winnipeg city university championships and traveled to Saskatchewan for the Western Canadian championships. He was also a very good golfer and enjoyed playing with his Dad at Madge Lake, making it out on the course every day in the summer for a number of years, often shooting in the low 80s. Byron also loved to travel. In the years following graduation from college, he travelled to Chicago by himself and also to Los Angeles and Las Vegas. It was in 1968 that he began his teaching career in Grandview where he taught until his retirement. A couple of years later, he met Linda Hatch who had moved to Grandview to teach Grade 3. Byron and Linda enjoyed many vacations together including Hawaii numerous times and Las Vegas, as well as many camping trips. By and Linda also enjoyed attending many curling events together. They both retired in 2002 after a 34 year career for Mr. K. He taught a wide variety of subjects in the high school and spent many years in Grade 5. He also taught Grades 4, 6 and 7 over the years. He was a well respected teacher at Grandview School. The size of the crowd which assembled to celebrate his retirement as well as the many fond tributes in his honour were evidence of the impact that he had on the students and parents of Grandview. Byron followed in his father John's footsteps when he became a teacher and always enjoyed a close relationship with his parents. He was sure to always make regular phone calls and visits to Swan River. Byron and his brother Lyle spent a lot of time together growing up. They would endlessly curl on the linoleum in their house. Byron devised ways of drawing the circles on uneven parts of the floor so they would have curl in the ice . The other kids would often come over and have bonspiels . They spent many hours playing football, scrub baseball and street hockey - with no TV, their hours were passed with outdoor games. As adults, Byron and Lyle traveled together occasionally including a driving trip to Las Vegas in the early 1970s with Linda and Twyla. More recently, the four of them also took a bus trip to Minneapolis to watch his life-long team, the Yankees, play the Twins. Byron also developed a special relationship with his two nieces, Hollie and Heidi. He would spend time reading books with them, playing and being goofy. There was never a shortage of laughter when Uncle By was around. He always took time to make two little girls feel loved and there was always a special gift under the tree chosen and wrapped by Uncle By. He was also close with Linda's nieces and nephews, spending many holidays with them as well. Whether he was your teacher, friend or family, Byron had a voice that was memorable. It was such a strong and powerful voice, yet never used in an intimidating way - always patient, sincere and honest. Byron was a kind, reliable and respectful man - a true gentleman. He had a truly unique sense of humour and shared it with those around him - if only to go over their heads once in a while! He loved to joke and jab, especially when his team was winning, and maintained this sense of humour of everyday things until the last possible moment. At the time that he was diagnosed, Byron was given only weeks to live. He never considered giving up or giving in to his illness. His positive attitude and determination gave him four years to enjoy. This was a true victory and one of many examples of his deep rooted stubbornness! Although those years were not without pain and struggles, he was thankful for every day and was able to continue to enjoy life. Byron and Linda took more trips to Hawaii and Mexico, attended more curling events and made eight more trips to Grand Beach. Byron never wanted pity or attention drawn to him because of his illness and rare is the person who can say that they ever heard him complain. He was content to keep to himself and was happiest when it was just him and Linda together. Linda was by his side for every moment of this difficult illness and her care allowed him to maintain the quality of life and dignity that he so desired. Byron was truly an inspiration in his courage, optimism and strength of mind. He taught us to make most out of every day and to take comfort and enjoyment in the little things. Byron was predeceased by his father John Kastrukoff, as well as his mother-in-law and father-in-law Harry and Winnifred Hatch. He is survived and greatly missed by the love of his life Linda Hatch, mother Ida Kastrukoff, brother Lyle (Twyla) Kastrukoff, sisters-in-law Sharon Zilkey and Lee (Eric) Penner, nieces and nephews Hollie (Todd) Luhowy, Heidi (Simon) Thomas, Jennifer (Darcy) Clevett, Jon (Jodie) Zilkey, Kelsey Penner, Trevor (Robin) Penner and Ryan Penner, great-nieces and nephews Teagan and Tori Luhowy, Grace and Chelsea Thomas, Emerson and Griffin Zilkey and Trey and Tessa Penner. A Celebration of Life was held in Byron's honour on Friday, February 25, 2011 at the Grandview United Church, officiated by Reverend Steve Wilson. Eulogists were Hollie Luhowy, Heidi Thomas and Sharon Zilkey and soloist was Eric Penner. The service also included the music of the Grandview United Church choir with organist Deneen Fisher. Pallbearers were Don Luhowy, Jim Winfield, Cliff Kutzan, Jack Boyko, Tony Kalechyn and Dennis Storozinski. Private interment followed at the Grandview Memorial Gardens and a time of fellowship and lunch was provided by the United Church Women. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Dauphin Community Cancer Program, Dauphin Regional Health Centre, 625-3rd Street S.W., Dauphin, MB R7N 1R7 or CancerCare Manitoba, 1018-675 McDermot Ave., Winnipeg, MB R3E 0V9. Sneath-Strilchuk Funeral Services (204) 638-4110

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