September 6, 1927 - August 7, 2020
Peter Senkow passed away peacefully on August 7, 2020 in the Oakview Place Personal Care Home, at the age of 92 years.
Peter is survived by his daughter Michelle Snare (George); sons Michael Senkow and Matthew Senkow; grandchildren Darren, Bellamy, Anna, Jacob, Merrick, and James.
Dad was born in Skylake, Manitoba on September 6, 1927 to Anna (Dickie) and Michael Senkow. He was one of 12, including sisters, Mary, Teenie, Sally, Edith, Rose, Kay, Olga and Nancy; and brothers, Bill, Steve and John. The family would eventually settle in the Arborg area. Clearing the land for planting crops by picking stones would be part of some of Dad’s earliest memories. School was put by the wayside around sixth grade but that didn’t stop his education. Not a big reader, Dad learned by doing.
This is where his lifelong love of music would begin. A self-taught fiddle player, Dad received his first one at the age of three. It may have been just a toy, but it would be his passion from the first swipe of the bow. Playing for a crowd was his joy and many, well, all get togethers were not complete without Uncle Pete getting the fiddle out of the case and if anyone else had a guitar, accordion or just a pair of spoons, the jam session would last well into the night.
Dad’s other love was cribbage. In the car, right beside the fiddle case, was a crib board and a deck of cards. He showed no mercy. Somewhere along the line, it became a loonie a game, two if you got skunked. It’s unclear how much money crossed the board over the years but one thing is certain: Dad always had change for the car wash.
Dad had many different jobs in his lifetime but eventually settled at Assiniboine Park and retired in 1992. He was so proud of his work at “City Park”. He started in 1972 as a gardener, tending the flowers in the English Garden and over the years, spent some time as a security guard and ultimately drove the garbage truck and kept the whole park clean.
After retiring, Dad kept with busy with all of the things he loved: music, crib, gardening and anything outdoors – snowmobiling, hunting, trapping, showshoeing and quading. The hours and days he spent in Falcon Lake are incalculable. His “cabin” was nothing more than a tarpaper shack with no running water, electricity or phone. Every visit included cutting the grass, adding logs to the woodpile, getting water from the spring. When the cabin burnt down in the 90s, he would buy an old school bus, park it on the land (with the landlord’s permission) and create a personal oasis in the middle of the jack pines. Hours were spent making the bus liveable – insulation, a wood stove, table and chairs, a bed, the radio on Portage CFRY. These were days of peace for him and he cherished his solitude.
Amongst all of this, Dad did find time to start a family. Although his marriage was somewhat brief, he did have three kids with Linda, whom he described as being the “love of his life”. In later years, Mom and Dad spent a lot of time together as friends. After Dad stopped driving, Mom would help him run errands or go out for coffee. She was even his emergency contact at the hospital. He missed her terribly after she passed away in 2014. He often mentioned that he felt like she was going to walk through the door any minute and that he probably owed her gas money. Dad spoke of Heaven often – that he knew he would meet with her there again. Although not particularly religious, Dad found comfort in his Ukrainian Catholic roots and thanked God for the day, every day.
Dad was an outgoing, talkative man who enjoyed the company of family and friends. He could take any machine apart and put it back together better than new. He could build a machine to do the job if one didn’t exist. He always had a candy in his pocket. He never arrived empty-handed. He liked marigolds and dusty miller. He enjoyed watching kids laughing and dancing while he played the fiddle. He listened to Reggie Bouvette, Andy Desjarlais and Eddie Arnold.
Dad never came right out and said I love you. It wasn’t his way. But he cared deeply for those around him. And he thought of you all often.
Any stories that you may have of Dad would be greatly appreciated. Pictures and if possible, video or audio of him would be a gift to all of us.
ETHICAL DEATH CARE
Cremation & Life Celebrations
530 St, Mary Avenue - Winnipeg
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