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December 18, 1976 – February 15, 2021

It is with great sadness that the family announces the passing of Joel Onysko.


Joel is survived by his mother Bev; father Garry; brother Jay (Janet); nephew Emmett; niece Julia; as well as cousin and lifelong friend Matthew Laberge. He is also survived by his Aunt Shirley, Uncle Ken; along with cousins Kathy, Crystal and Trevor.


Joel also leaves behind a number of close friends, including Dylan, Roger and Beth as well as Marie and Brian in Yellowknife. Joel had many good friends, and he was never happier than when he could arrange a gathering at the Good Earth restaurant or at the St. James Hotel.


Joel grew up in Winnipeg and attended Carpathia Elementary, River Heights, Grant Park Junior High, and Kelvin High School. He found school to be a challenge and as a young adult he worked to earn his GED. Joel went on to study art at the Winnipeg Adult Education Centre. Here he was able to create many inspired pieces of artwork, which included drawing and print making. Joel liked to work with his hands and would enjoy going out with Dylan as a plumber’s assistant to learn new skills.


Throughout his childhood, Joel enjoyed spending summers at his family cottage at Grand Marais. In his youth, and well into adulthood Joel was an avid skateboarder. Not without injuries, it required a few trips to the clinic as well. He also had a number of other hobbies over the years, including practicing jujitsu, cooking and collecting watches. Throughout his life, Joel made countless Saturday afternoon visits to his favourite restaurant, the New Hong Kong. In fact, he knew how to use chopsticks well before he could ever operate a fork because he started dining there so early in life. Joel loved good food, was an adventurous eater and was never intimidated by even the hottest of hot sauces.


Joel enjoyed working with youth. A major highlight for him was the years he spent working with children with disabilities in both day programs and in group homes. He was passionate about helping the kids and prided himself in being a positive influence in their lives. Joel learned sign language to better communicate with those young people.


Joel particularly enjoyed seeing his nephew Emmett and niece Julia when they came to visit Winnipeg with their parents. He was always interested in hearing about their outdoor adventures and any accomplishments. He was proud to be their uncle.


Joel will be fondly remembered for his kind and gentle nature and his incredible sense of humour. Those who knew him will also remember the very special bond with his mother. Bev was always there to guide, support, and surround him with unconditional love.


A celebration of Joel’s life will take place at a later date. In the meantime, Joel’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.


Donations can be made to the Canadian Mental Health Association in his memory, or to a charity of your choice.


Cremation & Life Celebrations

530 St, Mary Avenue - Winnipeg

204-421-5501 -

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