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Frank Stecky

Image by Nick Andréka

FRANK STECKY

October 4, 1937 - April 21, 2024

On a bright and sunny Sunday morning, as a mama goose built her nest outside his hospital window, Dad left the world he’d known for 86 years and began his eternal life in heaven.


Born in Zhoda, MB, on October 4, 1937, Dad was the youngest of four boys in a family created by William and Mary Stecky. Tragedy would strike early in Dad’s life when, at less than 2 years of age, he would lose both his father and a younger sister to severe cases of the flu. Dad would often tell us of the tough times his mom, (our Baba), faced in the years that followed.


In 1943 Baba, through a friend, was introduced to Paul Premus from Port Arthur, ON. A proposal led to marriage and it wasn’t long before Baba and the boys moved East.


Settling into his new home, Dad began attending school, met many new friends, and developed an interest in a number of sports - especially soccer. In later years Dad would tell us many stories about his youth. How he and his friends spent hours scouring the streets for empty pop bottles which would be exchanged for treats at the corner store, or how they’d quietly raid Baba’s garden to get the supplies needed for late night potato roasts over a fire in the gravel pit across from the family home on Balsam Ave. As he got older, part-time jobs came along; a paper route, then as a pin setter at Gibson’s Bowling Alley. When he was 17, Dad’s oldest brother Russel, who worked for Ontario Hydro, arranged for Dad to get a job as an office clerk in White Dog Falls, a short distance from Kenora, ON, where many adventures would follow. As kids growing up, we’d often hear Dad start a story by saying “When I worked for Hydro at White Dog Falls….”, and we all knew a tall tale was about to follow. 


After 2 years working remotely for Hydro, Dad decided to move back to Port Arthur, where he would get a job dock job loading trucks for Krone’s Trucking. This would be the beginning of a lifelong career in the trucking industry. His dock job led to driving a truck doing local pickups and deliveries, and eventually, the opportunity to put on a suit and tie and begin working in Krones’ rate department.


In the Spring of 1960, a girl named Lorrie, a carpool friend of Dad’s, asked him if he would be interested in going on a double date with a girl she’d met at a downtown beauty salon. Unattached, Dad said “sure” - not realizing where the date would lead. An afternoon spent at Boulevard Lake Park would be followed by evenings at the movies, the Millionaire Drive Inn and eventually a marriage proposal.


On September 2, 1961, Frank and Nelda were married in Lac du Bonnet, Mb where Mom had spent part of her childhood and where her parents Paul and Anne Bilman lived.


The newlyweds returned to Port Arthur, where in June 1963, their son Frank Jr was born. 


In 1965 an opportunity came about for Dad to transfer with Krone’s Trucking to Winnipeg, so the young family packed up and moved to Manitoba, taking a top floor apartment at the corner of Watt & Talbot. 


One year later, Dad, Mom and Frank Jr moved again - this time to Willow Park on Burrows Ave. where they would meet many wonderful lifelong friends. The Zinkowskis, and through them, the Woodwards, Tymchyshyns, Walchuks and the Yeskys to name a few. Many happy memories that would last a lifetime were created by the young couples. It was also during this time Dad renewed his interest in soccer, by joining the executive of the United Weston Soccer Club of the Manitoba Senior Men’s League, where he would eventually become team president. Soccer became a large part of Dad’s life. In addition to serving with United Weston, he was proud of his work with the Canadian Men’s Soccer team at the Pan Am Games in Winnipeg in 1967, where he worked as the team’s media liaison.


The 1970’s brought about many changes for Dad and the family. In 71’ Dad and Mom proudly welcomed their daughter Melissa into the world. In 1972 a new job, when Dad went to work at Acme Fast Freight as a sales representative; a job he was born to do. Personable, and blessed with the gift of gab, Dad excelled in Freight Sales, eventually being named to Acme’s President’s Club recognizing his sales achievements. In 1974 the family moved to a new home on Mansard Close in the Maples, where Dad and Mom would live for the next 50 years. In 1976 Dad would take on a part-time job with Winnipeg Enterprises Corporation, as a gate attendant for sporting and music events at both the Winnipeg Arena and Winnipeg Stadium. Besides the extra income, his family also benefitted from this job as, Mom, Melissa and Frank Jr were often “snuck in” to concerts, hockey and football games free of charge. In 1979 Dad accepted a new job as a transportation sales representative with Penner International, which would be his “home” until he retired in 2005 at the age of 68.


Along the way, Dad and Mom bought at cottage on Oak St in Winnipeg Beach where they would enjoy many wonderful Summers socializing with friends Murray & Sandy, Jim & Joan amongst many others. As the years progressed, travel became a big part of their lives with numerous Winter excursions to Mexico.


As good as life was for Dad, he was unfortunately plagued by numerous health concerns through the years. An ulcer, Gallbladder issues, back surgery, two knee replacements and then diabetes all did their parts to slowly chip away at his health. In his early 80’s he began feeling discomfort in his abdomen and an IPMN or Intra-Pancreatic Mucinous Neoplasm, (a form of cancer), was discovered. Dad and Mom fought this disease together valiantly, but on April 21, 2024 at 8:35am, the fight and the pain mercifully came to an end.


The family would like to recognize the staff of the 3 East Palliative Care Unit of Riverview Health Centre for their constant care and compassion during Dad’s final days. We'd also like to say a special thank-you to Dr Ian Kasloff, Dad’s family physician, for his unwavering care and support during Dad’s health journey.


Dad is survived by his wife of 63 years Nelda (née Bilan); son Frank Jr (Helga); daughter Melissa (Harry); granddaughter Alexa; and Great granddaughter Elizabeth. He also leaves his brothers, Russel and Elie (Mary); and numerous nieces and nephews. Dad was predeceased by his father Bill; mother Mary (née Hallock); brother Walter (Mary); and half brother Eddie.


Dad, we love you and will miss you.


A celebration of life will take place at 1:00pm on June 26, 2024, at the Royal Canadian Legion Branch #215, located at 215 Maxwell King Drive.


Frank’s 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.

ETHICAL DEATH CARE

Cremation & Life Celebrations

530 St. Mary Avenue - Winnipeg

204-421-5501 - www.ethicaldeathcare.com

Memories, Stories and Condolences

 

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Dan

June 1, 2024 at 7:58 PM

This was really nice to see and read about Frank. Thank you! Lots of hugs.

Midge Onufreychuk...

May 25, 2024 at 6:23 PM

This is such a lovely family tribute.To a life well lived, May he rest in eternal peace...So sorry for your loss...

Natasha and Miro

May 20, 2024 at 3:43 PM

To our best friend of 30 years , RIP dear friend . We will never forget you . Thank you for everything .

 

James and Ingrid White

May 20, 2024 at 12:20 AM

Frank and Helga,

So sorry to hear about the passing of your dad. You and your family are in our prayers.

James and Ingrid

your ol buddy Gordon Z

May 19, 2024 at 12:46 AM

An awesome individual, always made you feel welcome and was willing to go far beyond to help.

Dawn

May 18, 2024 at 4:38 PM

I remember working with Frank at the old Winnipeg Arena. Always looked forward to his friendly face on his nightly visits. I am sorry for your loss. He was "one of the good ones".

Olga Strymbiski & Family

May 18, 2024 at 4:09 PM

Sending deepest sympathies to you and your framily. Our thoughts and prayers are with you.

Dee Polowski

May 17, 2024 at 11:27 PM

My Uncle Frank was a big part of my life ~ especially in the last 10 years. Our visits to Winnipeg (2 or 3 times a year) always included a wonderful visit, a meal out, a "hotel room party" and of course many stories, laughs and lots of hugs. He will be missed tremendously by myself and my family.

 

Sending much love to Auntie Nelda, Frank Jr and Helga, Melissa and Harry, Alexa and Elizabeth ~ keeping you all close in heart and prayers xo

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