On November 3, 2019, Bill Picyk of Swan River, Manitoba passed away peacefully to his eternal home at the age of 93 years. He was born of January 18, 1926 to Grigorij and Tatiana Picyk in Smidyn, Poland (now the Ukraine). In 1930, along with his parents, brother, and twin sisters, he immigrated to Canada arriving in Halifax and eventually settling in the Swan River Valley. Their first days here in the valley were spent with the Doroshuk family until they eventually established their homestead west and south of Swan River. Bill attended school until Grade 6 at which time he worked along with his dad and brother on the family farm. During the winter months he found other employment, such as logging.
In the following years, he would alternate farming from spring to fall with employment in the Hamilton area in the winters. He also worked in a uranium mine in the Northwest Territories for a time. Even with his limited formal education, he was accepted into General Welding Works School of Instruction and earned certificates in electric arc welding as well as oxy-acetylene welding in 1949. He put this training to good us, especially in his work in Hamilton. He also took night classes in machine shop and mechanics. These skills came in handy on his farm as well.
Once his dad had stepped away from the farm operation, he established his own farm and became a very successful farmer. There was little doubt he was a hard worker and he was careful with his finances as most farmers needed to do. He lived in a small cabin for many years until finally purchasing a house that he moved on to the property in the late 1980s.
Bill was a hard worker, but he enjoyed spending time in the outdoors; hunting, fishing, gardening, and berry picking. He spent many summers at Whitefish Lake with his boat teaching many young people how to waterski. He even took the opportunity to show everyone how it was done, even at the age of 60. He later spent many summers at Madge Lake Bible Camp giving the campers a chance to enjoy various watersports.
Bill was a member of Christians of Evangelical Faith of Canada (Living Word) for 70 years. He cared deeply for the work of the church and later the Bible College. He was very supportive of the ministry and had a soft spot for the many students who attended throughout the years. He attended services regularly until his health would not allow.
Even though he never married, he had a large group of extended family and friends. He will be sorely missed by those closest to him.
Bill was predeceased by his parents; sisters Lydia Oberlin, Vera Olfrey, Olga Loewen; and brother Nick. He was also predeceased by brothers in law Frederick Kuzmick, Frelan Loewen, Norman Olfrey, and Walter Oberlin; sister in law Marie Picyk; niece Judy Hoffard (Kuzmick); and nephew Bud Hoffard. He is survived by sister Lillian Kuzmick of Salmon Arm, Nellie (Ray) Cameron of Winnipeg; brother Peter (Sharon) Sands of Edmonton; sisters in law Audrey Picyk of Hamilton, and Addy Oberlin of Valleyview; along with numerous nieces and nephews.
An evening service was held Friday, November 15, 2019 at 7:30 p.m. from the Chapel of Swan Valley Funeral Services, Swan River, Manitoba with Pastor Ralf Boettcher officiating. Following on Saturday, November 16, 2019 at 2:00 p.m. a funeral service was held from Living Word Ministries, Swan River, Manitoba with Rev. Nathanael Picklyk officiating. Interment followed in the Birchwood Cemetery, Swan River with both Rev. Picklyk and Rev. Dave Doroshuk officiating.
If friends so desire, donations in Bill’s memory may be made to Living Word Ministries.
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Living Word Ministries
Box 969, Swan River MB R0L 1Z0