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Richard Olynyk

OLYNYK, Richard - OBIT PHOTO-gigapixel-standard-scale-2_00x.jpg


December 07, 1942 - October 09, 2022

“All the world’s a stage, And all the men and women merely players; they have their exits and entrances. And one man in his time plays many parts”.

- William Shakespeare

Richard (Big Rich) passed away after suffering health complications at the Grace Hospital in Winnipeg Manitoba on October 9, 2022.


He spent his last days surrounded by his children. We did our best to share memories and laughter despite his rapid decline.


Humour is our inherited Big Rich trait that provides us with solace during difficult times. And Rich could make anyone feel better through humour. No one could get one over on Big Rich. He was a shark who could spot a con a mile away. 


He was forever performing. His acting skills knew no bounds and people were always in tears around him because of his wit, charm and amazing humour. Also, a fabulous storyteller his laughter was contagious. He is well-known for his early performances on the MTC and Rainbow stages. He also worked with the CBC over the years.


He is beloved by all who met him. 


With the birth of his children he put acting behind him and laboured for the rest of his life at difficult assembly line jobs, selling cars and part time day labour if required. His passion for War history is best exemplified by the pride he held toward his son Christopher Olynyk’s years of service to the armed forces. And like his son David Olynyk, he maintained an amazing library collection of aircraft and military machinery, rare books on cultural warfare alongside war memorabilia, and documentaries.


All his life he was generous and compassionate toward others.


His daughter inherited Rich's love of theatre and the arts and remains an avid supporter of artist-run communities. At one time he took on the position of union leader. A very unique man he wasn’t afraid of back breaking labour, long hours and unfair pay; and he gave voice to many who were silenced and mistreated. Yet he always remained a humble and proud Ukrainian dedicated to his parents, his sister Theresa and extended family.


He never aspired to be a rich man, but he was wealthy in incomparable spirit and soul.


He will be deeply missed.


Richard was predeceased by his father Michael; mother Katherine; and his sister Theresa. He is survived by his daughter Kimberly Anne Olynyk Mackay (Angus Mackay); two sons, Christopher (Liza) (granddaughter Megan Olynyk) and David; and wife Sonja. Richard also leaves behind his sister Jane and her husband Ted (Chamberlain); their three children Mark (Ashley), Jeffrey, Jennifer (Travis) and their children.

Rest in Peace Big Rich


Cremation & Life Celebrations

530 St, Mary Avenue - Winnipeg

204-421-5501 -

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