August 13, 1933 - December 19, 2022
Our dad has finally found comfort and peace after five strokes, three hospital stays and months in a personal care home.
It was painful to see a loved one who was so fiercely independent be overrun by a declining mind and body. We cherished the time we spent with him.
Dad was always a shirt-off-his-back kind of person. That’s the way he was wired. He was constantly giving, helping people, running errands for them - always wanting to repay people for their kindness.
The love he gave to us and our kids can never be repaid. Neither can the countless favours he did for us as we raised our families.
You could say that’s just what dads do, but we knew our father was special.
He came to Canada from a WWII refugee camp in Germany having gone through more than a child should ever have to. When war came to his village in Poland, people from a different nationality appropriated the family home. Dad and his sister worked as child slaves on that same property, while his siblings and parents were separated and forced to work on neighbours’ land.
His family eventually fled from his hometown on an old steam-powered truck and endured a multi-day trip in a freezing box car with other refugees. There was barely any food, no respite from the cold, and no physical comforts at all.
When he came to Canada he went to school here until Grade 8. Later he met the love of his life, our amazing mom Louise Kaethe Heese.
Dad and his brother Eugene started a heating and air conditioning business called Kirkfield Heating and had a small shop on Sumach Street in Westwood. My dad was a hard worker and took pains to make sure the jobs got done.
We had a great childhood on Banning Street in downtown Winnipeg. It was a neighbourhood with newcomers from all over Europe.
Dad got along with people easily and loved to have fun. So much that there were kids on our block who wished my dad was theirs. He did cool stuff - hunting, fishing, taking us to the movies, and related so well to kids on the block.
One summer evening, we were waiting on the front steps in our pajamas to greet him and say goodnight. He was a little later than usual. As he walked into the yard, he said, “Ok, get your pillows and blankets, we’re all going to the drive-in.”
Every Sunday, after church, he would take us for a ride, usually to the pavilion at Assiniboine Park, for ice cream. Often we’d drive around Tuxedo. Dad loved looking at the houses there. Sundays also meant watching Walt Disney World at our Oma’s house.
At bedtime, Dad would read us stories in funny voices and intentionally or unintentionally mispronounce words for our entertainment.
Dad took us to Grand Beach with Mom’s relatives every year and it was a blast. Whenever he entered the water at the beach or even a pool, he had to splash his chest and let out a loud and embarrassing howl.
He loved fishing. Both of us, and our kids, caught our first fish with dad. Dad cherished his grandchildren, Mark, Ryan, Vanessa (Dimitri) and his great grandkids Ippokratis and Andreas.
Dad and Mom were so in love. You could see it when they were together. One afternoon, Dad parked the truck in front of the house and my Mom cried, “He’s hurt, he’s hurt!” horrified to see both of his hands heavily bandaged. She ran to the front door to hear that he had fallen from a roof and hung onto the eavestrough as long as he could before letting go.
Later in his life, dad bought Kirkfield Heating from Eugene. He worked so hard building that business. He was a Lennox dealer and had great relationships with his employees and five trucks on the road. He was the best boss you could ever imagine. Dad taught us that we can do hard things and we will be forever grateful.
Even when cleaning out his apartment after his passing, people dropped by to freely express their love and admiration for him, and spoke of his generosity, how often he was ready to run an errand, give a ride, or reach into his pocket for people who were down on their luck.
To everyone who has loved our dad, to everyone who was helped by him and touched by his sweet spirit, please know that he loved to serve and that we all do, indeed, hold a place in his heart.
~Raman (Dora) Job and Corina (Todd) Coombe
A Celebration of Roman’s Life will be held at 2:00 pm on Friday, March 31, 2023 at 603 Wellington Crescent at Academy Road (Unitarian Church).
In the meantime, Roman's family kindly requests that all of his friends and relatives take a few minutes to honour his memory by sharing photos, memories, and stories, using the comment section on this page.
Memories, Stories and Condolences
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