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WALTER JOHN STEFANIUK (published on September 13, 2011)

WALTER JOHN STEFANIUK 1947 - 2011 Peacefully and in the company of his loving family, Walter John Stefaniuk passed away at 2:00 p.m. on September 8, 2011 at Riverview Health Centre. Walter was predeceased by his parents John and Olga Stefaniuk. He is survived by his wife Lillian (Lil); daughter Nicole; son Curtis (Emily); son Glenn Ward (Christine); granddaughters Claire and Grace; his brother Ron (Marian); niece Anea; nephew Todd; and many other family and friends who considered him an important part of their lives. Born December 20, 1947, Walter was the son of Ukrainian immigrants and spent his early years on the farm in Glenella, MB. Although the family struggled with the economic hardships of the times, Walter and his brother Ron found ways to enjoy the freedom of the farm, building their own toys and playing cops and robbers in the town lumber yard. After moving to Winnipeg in 1955, the family quickly integrated into the North End community and Walter was immersed in the Ukrainian cultural traditions of song and dance. Wally, as he became known, gained popularity through his illustrious career as a salesman and a founding member of Winnipeg's Hardware Houseware group. With a warm handshake and a joke at the ready, his social nature always made people feel comfortable as he travelled the continent from coast to coast creating friendships everywhere he went. Whether at the local meat market, or travelling for a sales conference, a ski trip or a golf tournament, Wally was always comfortable in the spotlight. His jokes were legendary and his stage performances critically acclaimed. In addition to his popularity and social nature, Wally is remembered as a loving husband, devoted son, and a proud father and grandfather. A family man through and through, he orchestrated wonderful fishing trips and backyard barbecues, opening his food-packed freezers and fridges to all. He honoured his Ukrainian heritage whenever he got the chance, and sang with the Ukrainian Festival Choir in recent years. Wally spoke with pride about his children and grandchildren, and never lost track of their latest adventures. Despite being diagnosed with prostate cancer in 2007, which advanced to multiple myeloma, Wally's social spirit never faltered. His courage and strength ensured that his later years were filled with the things he loved most. Gone yet not forgotten, Walter's kindness and laughter will echo through our lives forever. In lieu of flowers, donations may be sent to Manitoba CancerCare or the Riverview Health Centre. A celebration of Walter's life will be held at the Cropo Funeral Chapel, 1442 Main St. at 2:00 p.m. on Thursday, September 15, 2011.

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