DANIELLE CHRISTINE JOROWSKI
November 9, 1974 – January 5, 2024
With heavy hearts we announce that Danielle “Dani” passed away peacefully at home with her husband and soul mate Darren “Schmick” by her side. She was 49 years of age.
Dani is survived by her husband of 16 years Darren; Parents Stanley and Georgette; Brothers Brent (Cathy) and Brad (Jackie); Nephew Andrew and Niece Madeleine; as well as many aunts, uncles, cousins and friends.
Dani was born in Winnipeg and raised in the St. James Crestview area. She grew up on Highcliff Bay which was a great gathering point for all the neighborhood kids to meet up and play games like Kick the Can, Hide and Seek or to Jump rope. As a youth she was active in dance and ringette based out of the Crestview Community Center. She grew up in a family that was very enthusiastic of sports. She spent a lot of time in hockey arenas watching her brothers play. Unlike the other kids at the arenas, she took an interest in hockey and chose to watch the games rather than play with the other kids.
Dani attended Crestview School beginning in 1979 for kindergarten through grade 6. Then moved on to Ness Jr. High where she celebrated her Grade 9 graduation in 1989. She began high school in the fall of 1989 at Sturgeon Creek Collegiate. After finishing the 10th grade she entered the Health and Childcare program and graduated from Sturgeon Creek in 1993 with her Health Care Aide certificate.
Before graduating from Sturgeon Creek, Dani began working as a Health Care Aide at Deer Lodge Centre. She continued to work at Deer Lodge for 4 years before deciding to return to school to study massage therapy. In 1996 Dani began training for her new career at the Professional Institute of Massage Therapy. She graduated from massage school in 1998 and began her new career as a Registered Massage Therapist.
In 2004, Dani moved to a clinic called St. James Massage Therapy. It was here that Dani would discover that massage was her true calling. She quickly built a new clientele and became well known for her cold hands and warm heart. In 2012 she became a partner at St. James Massage and shortly afterward she started working from home part time to make room for new therapists at the clinic. Over her 20 years at St James Massage Dani’s healing hands touched more than just the physical injuries of her many long term clients. She was a part of their lives. With some she exchanged gifts at Christmas. With many she would be in frequent contact. Some were sharing recipes; others shared vacation photos or sometimes just a photo of something that reminded them of her. Most often it was discussing her beloved Winnipeg Jets.
Dani was a music lover her whole life. She loved Dancing and singing along to all her favorite artists from various genres of music. Growing up she attended several rock concerts and in early adulthood tons of local shows for many of her musician friends. Her absolute favorite venue would ultimately become the Winnipeg Folk Festival which she attended every year for 15 years. This was where she would expand her taste in music by artists from all over the world. She discovered so many new favorites at this festival by seeing them live in concert, a workshop or open jams. But even better than dancing and discovering new music, she loved to watch the other festival attendees enjoying themselves. She said many times that the Winnipeg Folk festival offers some of the best people watching.
In 2005 Dani began her relationship with Darren. He was a musician; he liked music festivals and shared her same love of nature. But most importantly they were already 2 of each other’s favorite people. They had been friends for years and told each other this many times. In the summer 2005 they were seeing each other daily and by that fall they had become a couple. They would go to his family cottage at Baubee Lake Ontario to paddle around the lake in his canoe. Soon they would begin to explore the hiking trails in nearby Whiteshell Provincial Park. This would spark a new passion in hiking and they would go camping in places further from the cottage so they could explore new trails in the northern Whiteshell and Riding Mountain National Park.
In 2007 Dani and Darren eloped. They were married in their campsite at the Prairies Edge Music Festival near Beausejour Manitoba. They celebrated through the weekend with friends until Monday then made plans with their families to share their exciting news. Later that summer, they took a road trip through BC and tried a little bit of hiking in the mountains. This was a very humbling experience that would lead yet to another passion. Dani had vowed to work on her fitness so she could hike in the mountains with ease. And so she did.
Dani began her fitness journey with hot yoga once a day eventually up to twice a day. Returning to the mountains every second year to seek new challenges. In the years between her vacations in the mountains of BC and Alberta she spent her summers at Baubee Lake hiking the most challenging trails that were accessible to her. Every Saturday she would hike the Hunt Lake Trail and time herself to set goals and get faster. Occasionally she’d spend the day on the Mantario Trail carrying a heavier back pack to train harder for longer distances. This would ultimately lead to some overnight back country hikes on the Mantario and the Rockwall Trail in the Kootenay Mountains. Sometime around 2013 Dani met a trainer that would take her fitness to a whole new level. She began with boot camps and eventually started doing personal training sessions. She became very passionate about her fitness and had become a part of a community of many friends made at her new gym. She remained active every day. Five days a week she would carry her 30lb back pack for her half hour walk to work which usually came after an early morning workout at home or with her trainer. Dani worked so hard at maintaining her level of fitness she was often referred to as a “Machine”. In just a few years Dani had accomplished the goal she had set out for herself, but most importantly, she flourished in the mountains.
Baubee Lake was a very special place for Dani. She and Darren shared a rustic off grid cabin on a large property that came with all kinds of chores and challenges. Dani met and conquered each challenge and loved every minute of it. She spoke of how gratifying this work was. She loved mowing the lawn on this large hilly property and the exercise that came with it. She enjoyed splitting wood for the fire, hauling water to flush the toilet, cutting and planting trees. She even dug a deep hole for the new outhouse.
Dani loved to cook and made every meal from scratch. Not an easy task working out of a cooler in a dimly lit kitchen with a propane stove and no electricity. But she did this all while dancing and singing along to one of her all time favorite song writers, Little Miss Higgins.
Baubee Lake was her place to be one with nature. Every day she would have her morning coffee down on the dock watching all the local critters start their day. She would come back to the cabin with photos or videos of amazing encounters with foxes, otters, beavers, ducks, geese or mink. She referred to this glorious time of day as “rush hour”. Of all the wildlife she would encounter, Dani felt the greatest kinship with eagles. A low flying eagle passing in front of the dock looking for fish would become one of her favorite encounters. Whenever this would happen she considered it a good omen.
Being submersed in nature, it was natural that this would spark an interest in amateur photography. Dani began taking scenery photos along her hikes in the Whiteshell, the Rockies and on morning drives in Riding Mountain National Park. Dani spent Thanksgiving long weekend in Riding Mountain every year since 2011 and would take stunning photos of the sunrise from various locations in the park. On their morning and evening “moose cruises” she would capture wildlife photos from numerous amazing animal encounters with bison, moose, elk, lynx, bears, wolves and onetime a cougar. At Baubee Lake, Dani spent most evenings on the dock photographing the sunset. She captured many beautiful sunsets over Baubee at just the perfect moment to show unique colors in the sky and reflected in the lake. She never once had used a filter when sharing her beautiful photos. She just had the knack to capture these phenomenal moments at the perfect time.
Dani loved hockey. The return of the Winnipeg Jets was a very exciting time for her. She didn’t have cable TV at the time because she preferred to read. Now that there was something on TV that she was interested in watching, she started making plans to meet at a sports lounge for dinner and watch the games with friends. Eventually she started making dinner to take over to family or friends houses on game nights. Ultimately it became more feasible to just get cable. On game days she was tuned in to TSN radio keeping up to date with her team. On game nights it would be the pre-game and post-game shows. Once she discovered podcasts her entire day was filled with sports talk and she always wore Jets gear on game days. She even named one of her cats Armia after a favorite player of hers. Dani would go to a few games per year whenever tickets became available eventually becoming a shareholder in season tickets for a few years. In 2015 she traveled to Florida to watch Winnipeg beat Tampa Bay 2-1.
Ever since she was a teenager Dani kept a journal. She summarized all of her hiking and canoeing adventures in one, daily life in another. But the one she wrote in the most was her gratitude journal. Every day she would acknowledge all the things in life she was grateful for and was quite comfortable vocalizing her gratitude so the recipient knew they were appreciated. The most common entries would be her friends, her family members, her husband and her first cat Dimitri. Dimitri absolutely lit up her life when she got him 16 years ago.
By April of 2023 Dani’s gratitude had shifted toward the many doctors, nurses and health care aides tasked with caring for her. She made a point of getting to know them and asked them about the things going on in their lives. She would mention them in her gratitude journal by name. Just like the other people in her life she was happy to tell them how much she appreciated them and everything they did for her. All of them replied with how much of a pleasure it was to have her as their patient and would comment on her glowing personality. One month after learning she had cancer, Dani learned that her disease could not be cured and that her treatment could only help to extend her life for a few more years. She chose to remain positive and did everything she could to help her doctors fight her disease. She fought hard and did so with full positivity. Sadly, during the course of her treatment Dani’s cancer had aggressively mutated and treatment had to be discontinued. On January 5th 2024 Dani’s fight and all her pain and discomfort that came along with it, came to an end.
A celebration of Dani’s life will be held at 11:00am on Saturday, January 27, 2024 at 3584 Portage Avenue (ANAVET 283). Please come have a drink and share a story to celebrate Dani. Please wear Jets gear if you have.
In accordance with Dani’s wishes, cremation has taken place. In lieu of flowers, please consider a memorial donation to Cancer Care Manitoba Foundation in Dani’s honour.
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