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Sam Kostiew

Image by Nick Andréka


June 2, 1995 - June 20th, 2024

It is with broken hearts we share that our beloved son and brother Sam Kostiew passed away unexpectedly on June 20th, 2024 at the age of 29. He is deeply mourned by his mother Tonni, father Dale, sister Morgan (Danny), grandmother Margaret, and many aunts, uncles, cousins and friends.

Sam was born on June 2, 1995, to the absolute joy of his parents and sister. Named for Samwise Gamgee, he embodied kind-heartedness and loyalty, was fiercely protective, and shared Samwise’s deep appreciation for all varieties of potatoes. Sam had the sweetest disposition from birth, and was always ready to mediate classroom and playground disputes. Sam grew up and attended school in North Kildonan, graduating from River East Collegiate in 2013. Although Sam never cared for school work, he did enjoy the social aspects of school which enabled him to make life-long friends, and he was often hailed by old pals while out in the neighbourhood. He left everyone he met with an unforgettable impression of friendliness and warmth. While a short stint at the University of Manitoba proved academics weren’t Sam’s path, he was an independent, adventurous spirit determined to carve his own path in the world. His journey was spiritual and philosophical, dealing with questions of faith and purpose; searching for answers to the unknowable and the unknown.

Sam tried his hand at several different occupations, ultimately deciding that office work was not for him. He preferred to work with his hands and be outdoors - a love which undoubtedly grew from many summers spent with family and friends at his Uncle Tom and Aunt Roberta’s cabin at Lester Beach. Sam was a dedicated hiker, camper, and outdoorsman - always ready to impress with his knowledge of edible plants and shelter-building, or simply to share stories from his latest adventure in the woods.

After much soul-searching, Sam determined that he wanted to try life on the road. This past year, Sam fulfilled his dream of backpacking the West Coast for six months, making many new friends along the way, before returning home to prepare for his next adventure, with a go-bag packed and ready so he could take off whenever the mood struck.

Sam enjoyed simple pleasures, once remarking that “but for me, I am happy with very little.” For him, nothing beat roughing it in the woods, tramping through the bush, setting up a camp and sitting around a fire with his “boys”. Sam could box, play the banjo, and give a pretty good haircut. He had dreams of becoming an author, spurred by a love of zombie movies and an encyclopaedic knowledge of weaponry. When he wasn’t found camping, reading, or writing, he would walk for miles every day while listening to his music or horror podcasts. 

Sam loved discussing his passions with his mom, and would talk for hours with her about both weapons and his zombie novel in great detail. He often boasted to his friends that his mom could hold her own in their many discussions about the merits or drawbacks of various weaponry during a Zombie Apocalypse. He loved watching Godzilla and John Wayne movies with his dad, with whom he was planning on starting a small T-shirt company. He also relished getting into spirited debates with his sister at any opportunity, and ultimately resolved any disagreements between each other with a beer and a laugh in the backyard of their childhood home.

Sam also had a special place in his heart for animals, loving anything soft and cuddly: dogs, cats, and especially hedgehogs. He could often be found doting on the family pets, or stopping to help a baby duck get back to its pond. Sam always wore his heart on his sleeve and wasn’t afraid to show it.

Sam’s most important journey was his spiritual one which he pursued by reading the Bible and other religious texts. He also visited churches of different denominations to speak with the priests, pastors and parishioners regarding his faith. His dedication to his spiritual journey continued throughout his travels, and during his texts and calls home he often spoke about the churches he attended and the members of the congregations who became his friends.

He planned to keep up his travels, noting that “Of everything I’ve done, being on the road makes actual sense to me.” While nothing makes sense to us without him we know that Sam’s faith has secured him a place in Heaven and that he has taken a piece of our hearts with him. We miss him, we want him back more than we can express, and we love him now, forever and always.

A church service honouring Sam’s faith will be held at 11am on Friday July 12, 2024 at the Immanuel United Church, 755 Golspie St, Winnipeg, MB.

Our family would like to thank the team at HSC Surgical ICU for their care and compassion during his stay. We would also like to thank Ethical Death Care for their moving video tribute honouring Sam’s life.

Donations may be made to Immanuel United Church in lieu of flowers.


Cremation & Life Celebrations

530 St. Mary Avenue - Winnipeg

204-421-5501 -

Memories, Stories and Condolences


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Liz Kleven

July 15, 2024 at 2:44 AM

Dale and Tonni, I just learned the news of the passing of your son Sam. My deepest condolences to you all at this difficult time.

Jocelyn Michael-Gagne

July 12, 2024 at 6:14 PM

I worked with Sam at McDonald's. We lost touch when we both left, but when he was in my life he was the sweetest guy ever. He was a gentleman, always tried to do his best, and he was ALWAYS smiling. So sad to see him gone. I pray that he Is with angels now, and for the family ❤️

Josh Laramee

July 11, 2024 at 9:13 PM

Will miss Sam very much. Our friendship started a couple short years ago, but he was always trying to influence my life in a positive way whenever we met. I will never forget rucking miles and going urban exploring with him and the boys.


I regret not being around more, a month before his passing he had asked to go do explore a spot, but I was too busy at the time... 😔.


Condolences to family and friends.

He will be deeply missed



Cassandra Gibb

July 11, 2024 at 12:40 AM

Dale, Tonni, family and all friends that loved Sam - I am so terribly sorry to hear of Sam's passing. My heart goes out to you during this difficult time. Such a beautiful tribute for your beloved Sam. Well I never had the privilege to meet him, I have a sense of knowing him from the beautiful words and stories that were shared. I hope that with time, your memories provide more comfort than pain and sorrow.

Drake Oldenburg

July 9, 2024 at 11:35 PM

I'm so sorry for the loss of Sam. Him and I were close friends. I met and became good friends with him so quickly on the first day of grade 10 at Kildonan-East Collegiate. Over the years we did lots together, made stories and had a million laughs. We worked together in construction for a bit and that made the job way easier as he was always a source of laughter and joy. He was always a great friend and a great listener and there was never a shortage of comedy coming from him. Rest In Paradise

Zach Klassen

July 9, 2024 at 11:22 PM

Sam was a good friend to me back in high school and beyond. We had a lot of adventures together. I will cherish those memories. I loved hanging out with him because he was unlike anyone else. He was bold, spirited soul who stood for what he believed in. We would share long nights together discussing the mysteries of the universe. I really felt alive when I was with him. While life took us in different directions a few years ago, I will never forget him. Hope you found some of the answers you were looking for in the great beyond.

Elaine and Scotty Mclaren

July 9, 2024 at 8:15 PM

Hi Dale and Tony ..Elaine and I.. Scotty McLaren would like to send you and your family our condolences ....first off whoever wrote his life story did an excellent job and we feel for sure that Sam certainly has an angel on his shoulder sounds like he had an amazing journey through life and his sister and you two deserve a pat on the back for raising such an amazing son I'm sure it was very hard and still is to imagine life without Sam we truly believe he has made it to another amazing adventure .

Yvonne & Glen Vincent

July 9, 2024 at 4:17 PM

What a beautiful write up you prepared. Sam's huge heart, passionate views and friendly outgoing nature was a credit to your upbringing Tonni & Dale. He could strike up a conversation with anyone. We've known Sam since he was in grade 6 and would see him often in the neighborhood walking it's many trails. We will all miss him. His tragic passing is unimaginable. Our thoughts are with you and we hope you can find peace in your faith.

Osaru Erhunmwunsee

July 8, 2024 at 6:31 PM

Dear Dale and Tonni, kindly accept my deep condolence. The good Lord will give you the fortitude to bear this loss. It is well 🙏

Angel Maniacco

July 8, 2024 at 1:51 AM

Dearest Tonni, Dale & Morgan.

I have no words. My heartfelt condolences Big ((hugs)). Angel & Jr

Corey Sylvestre

July 4, 2024 at 11:14 AM

I had worked construction with Sam here and there over a couple years and I didn't know him super well. But the times I was with him we always had good conversations and I was pumped for him heading out to B.C! It sounded so adventurous and cool and i really admired that adventurous side of him. I'll always remember how optimistic Sam was and the good mood he carried with himself through some of the work we did together. He had such a positive energy. We had many great conversations about life and earth and like aliens and random shit lol.. I'll never forget the time I spent with him. I'm so sorry for your loss. 😔.


July 3, 2024 at 10:54 PM

Very sorry for your loss sam was ah good guy good energy always when we work at vector construction together that was my swing stage partner and. Be told so many stories from. 500 feet up in the air RIP 🙏 bro so sad


Zeny Cruz

July 3, 2024 at 9:46 PM

Dale and Toni,


Our deepest sympathies during this difficult time. Wishing you peace and strength in this time of sorrow...

Rob, Cathy, Brendan and Tyler

July 3, 2024 at 3:48 PM

Tonni & Dale, We are so sorry for your loss!! Our hearts are broken over your loss. We are thinking of you all at this very difficult time. Love you guys!!! The Coupers

Ken, Susan, Kris and Sam (neighbours)

July 2, 2024 at 8:43 PM

Tonni, Dale and Morgan our heart is broken for all of you. Our thoughts a prayers are with you💔

Jo Plourde

July 2, 2024 at 1:59 AM

My daughter just asked me if I remembered Sam from her Drama class at Kildonan East Colligiate. Of course I said. He made quite an impression the first time I met him. My heart goes out to the family. There are no words that can express my condolences and thoughts for what you're going through. May God bless you and carry you through this time.

Susie Moloney

July 1, 2024 at 5:28 PM

I've known Sam since he was in junior high, going to school with my son. He's spent many an hour at our house. He was always so full of ideas and fun. He will be very missed. My deepest condolences to his family. Tonni and Dale I only met you once or twice but know that you raised a helluva great guy.

Esther MacDonald

July 1, 2024 at 12:32 AM

I am so sorry for your loss prayers to all your family.May he rest in peace

Jamal Habib

June 30, 2024 at 5:10 AM

I'm so sorry for your loss, Tonni and Dale. I can't imagine the depth of your suffering. I hope you find comfort knowing he is in a better place. My heart and thoughts are with your family. May Sam's soul rest in peace 🙏🏻

Debby Nasuti

June 29, 2024 at 4:04 PM

Dale and Toni so sorry to here of your loss no words can express my condolences to you please know you are in my thoughts of your family .

Lynda Hay

June 29, 2024 at 3:14 PM

Dale and Tonni, I am so very sorry for the loss of your son, Sam. It's such a tragic time that you're going through. Please know that my thoughts and prayers are with you and your family. He will forever be in your hearts.

Gia Di Fabrizio

June 29, 2024 at 3:11 PM

Dale and family, sending you my sincere condolences on the loss of your beautiful son.

Chris White

June 29, 2024 at 12:20 PM

While I never had the privlege to get to know Sam, what I do know is he has two very loving parents who treasured him immensely and he knows that. In reading the stories of his travels and passions he clearly sought out the best in what life has to offer and pursued what made him happy. as a fan of Lord of the Rings, I remember a Samwise quote, " there is light and beauty up there".......... I am completely heartbroken for everyone who was close with Sam, in particular both Tonni and Dale...My deepest, deepest condolences.


June 29, 2024 at 12:02 PM

"In western lands beneath the Sun
the flowers may rise in Spring,
the trees may bud, the waters run,
the merry finches sing.
Or there maybe 'tis cloudless night
and swaying beeches bear
the Elven-stars as jewels white
amid their branching hair.

Though here at journey's end I lie
in darkness buried deep,
beyond all towers strong and high,
beyond all mountains steep,
above all shadows rides the Sun
and Stars for ever dwell:
I will not say the Day is done,
nor bid the Stars farewell.”
J.R.R. Tolkien, The Return of the King

Janette Peacock

June 29, 2024 at 5:39 AM

Dale and TonnI, I am so very sorry to hear of your sad loss. My heart goes out to you and your daughter. I hope you will find peace with the many memories of Sam

Liz & Dan Gauthier

June 29, 2024 at 12:12 AM

Sam's tender-warrior spirit, his respectful nature, his concern for justice, his protectiveness for friends and family, his gentlenss with animals, and his humor, all brought warm, loving, bright blessings into our home. We grieve foreveryone who has loved Sam and will miss him. Deepest condolences from our family.

Liz & Dan Gauthier

June 29, 2024 at 12:12 AM

Sam's tender-warrior spirit, his respectful nature, his concern for justice, his protectiveness for friends and family, his gentlenss with animals, and his humor, all brought warm, loving, bright blessings into our home. We grieve foreveryone who has loved Sam and will miss him. Deepest condolences from our family.

Adam Richardson

June 28, 2024 at 10:32 PM

Sometimes God calls His best Angles home early... sending you love and prayers Tonni and Dale

Mark Sowerbutts

June 28, 2024 at 9:50 PM

Dale and Tonni, Tarra & I are sorry for your loss, please know you are in our prayers, and my heart is breaking for both of you right now.

I was told this once many years ago "remember when" let me add this "When Sam did this" and hope it will bring a smile.

Irene Goerz

June 28, 2024 at 9:16 PM

Dale and Tonni. Please know you are in my thoughts and prayers during this incredibly difficult time. My heartfelt sympathy to you and your family.

Tammy Knowles

June 28, 2024 at 9:11 PM

Tonight, Dale and Morgan

My sincerest condolences on such a heavy loss. Sam's smile and kindness will be greatly missed.

Bonny Gray

June 28, 2024 at 8:44 PM

Dale and Tonni, I am so incredibly sorry for this unimaginable loss, p.ease know you are thought about and in my prayers

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