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David Agnew

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 January 16, 1946 – May 8, 2022

“I come to the garden alone” is the first line of David’s favourite hymn.  He talked often about the solitary path each of us walks, even when surrounded by the love of family and friends.  David’s journey ended in the early morning of Sunday May 8, 2022.  He died bravely and with dignity, with his loving wife Barbara, and devoted daughter Elizabeth at his side.


David was pre-deceased by his parents Joe and Roberta (Black) Agnew; and his sister Joanne Phillips (Agnew).  He is survived by his wife Barbara; children, Clarissa Hunt, Jennifer Agnew (Johnson Sherrard), Elizabeth Agnew Kazina (Colin), and Joseph Agnew (Bonnie); grandchildren, Finnley and Farley Sherrard, Ivan Kazina and Jovie Agnew; siblings, Maurice Agnew (Lorraine), Art Agnew, and Eleanor Slobodian (Cal); as well as many nieces and nephews.


David grew up on a farm, the 4th of 5 children born to Joe and Roberta Agnew in Hartney, Manitoba.  He finished his schooling in Hartney and was proud to be elected school President in his final year.  Music was a big part of growing up in the Agnew family.  Roberta was an accomplished pianist and the United church choir leader. She proudly taught her children to sing four-part harmony which they all embraced and became a regular part of family life on the Agnew farm.  In addition to singing alongside his brothers and sisters, David started playing guitar at a young age and regularly accompanied his mom on the piano, and dad on the fiddle at house parties and family get togethers.  David’s talent led him to be part of a local band called The Rocketones with whom he enjoyed playing at many dances throughout southern Manitoba.  David’s guitar stayed close to him throughout his life, along with his fiddle and ukulele.


David left Hartney to study Business Administration and Economics at Assiniboine Community College in Brandon and pursued a career as a real estate broker. During these years, music also helped David to make a living, this time playing drums in a country western band called Willy and the Garlics. David was blessed with four precious children: Clarissa, Jennifer, Elizabeth, and Joseph.


David and his family moved to Dauphin, Manitoba to follow a dream of owning a restaurant.  David purchased the La Verendrye restaurant and became the owner manager of the fine-dining, and well-known Steakhouse and Side-Street Club.  He continued his foodservice career contracted to the Manitoba Chefs Association where he pursued and achieved red-seal chef status, a professional designation that brought him great pride. David was a fun-loving and charismatic man who made friends easily and had a great sense of humour.  He was forward-thinking when it came to business and politics and adopted a progressive take on life.  


David always enjoyed fresh air, nature and being outdoors.  He spent many days cycling through Riding Mountain National Park and Assiniboine Park in Manitoba, and Fish Creek Park in Calgary, Alberta.  He also enjoyed gardening and prided himself on rendering a bare-flower bed colorful, fragrant, and full of life. David also had a talent and passion for carpentry, renovation and working with his hands. Together with Barbara in both Calgary, Alberta and Oshawa, Ontario, David dedicated himself to large home renovation projects, and also flipped many additional real estate properties.  He took great pride and satisfaction in his work, calling the newly renovated homes his “jewel boxes”.


In 2015 David, Barbara and little dog Hunter moved to a property in Prescott, Ontario on the banks of the St. Lawrence River.  The property was large, and the renovation project larger.  It truly was a labour of love. They often celebrated their efforts with a glass of bubbles on the newly constructed dock overlooking the blue of the St. Lawrence River.


Following a significant change in David’s health status it was time to move once more, home to Winnipeg and family.  David spent the first year back in Winnipeg in a “jewel box” of a condo, this time overlooking the Assiniboine River.  From his bedroom he enjoyed a beautiful view of the river complimented by the ever-changing seasons, surrounded by pictures and visits from his children and grandchildren.


In the last month of his life, David was blessed to receive warm and compassionate care from the palliative team at Riverview Health Centre.  May 8 was a perfect spring morning. The grass was green after a light rain, the sun was coming up and the birds were singing brightly.  David would have liked that.  Rest In Peace my love.


A private memorial is planned for the end of May.

Davids family kindly requests that all of his friends and relatives take a few minutes to honour his memory by watching the photo-biography above. Please, also consider sharing your own photos, memories, and stories by making use of the comment section on this page.


Cremation & Life Celebrations

530 St, Mary Avenue - Winnipeg

204-421-5501 -

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