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July 29, 1936 ~ November 1, 2023 (age 87) 87 Years Old
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With heavy hearts, we announce the passing of Apolinarius “Percy” Statkewich on November 1, 2023, leaving a void in our hearts that can never be filled. He passed away at the age of 87 years at the Benito Health Centre.
Percy was the sixth child of seven, born to Vladymir (Wolodymir “Walter”) and Zonka (Elsie) Statkewich on July 29, 1936. He was born and raised on the family farm in Kobzar District, south of Vesna, Saskatchewan. He attended Kobzar School until eighth grade with his siblings and neighbours. Percy enjoyed telling stories of walking to and from school every day during good weather and receiving horse-drawn buggy rides in the winter, along with all the (mis)adventures he got into along the way. Percy and his brother Bill would frequently explore fields and barns, work for neighbours, and figure out ways to fish or otherwise occupy themselves on their way home from school.
Percy took on responsibility for his family from a young age. He hunted, fished, farmed, and worked in many capacities through his life to provide for his family. During these experiences, he learned woodworking. His love and skill for carpentry grew throughout his life. He went on to build several houses and many sets of custom kitchen cabinets for people near and far. In addition to this, he would complete any custom project presented to him with creativity and enthusiasm. Some of his notable work includes the pulpit at the San Clara Catholic Church and Duck Bay Catholic Church. With his strong work ethic, Percy was able to purchase and move to the current farm in Alpine, Manitoba in 1969. There he farmed and raised cattle, eventually marrying, and raising his family in Alpine, too.
It was 1983 when Percy met the love of his life. He married Jacomina Tardij on June 18, 1983. They welcomed their two children with open hearts: David Michael Hermanus and Karin Lynn Maria. Percy was involved in many aspects of his children’s lives, from coaching their softball teams, providing many opportunities for fun, learning and exploration on the farm (not to mention the work!), and teaching them the meaning of life and love through example. Family was most important for Percy. He would give selflessly of his time and resources to help those he loved and the community he lived in. There were countless times neighbours and travelers would come by needing tools, equipment, or another form of assistance. Percy would not hesitate to help. His kindness and generosity were felt by many in need.
Percy had a mischievous personality; he could find fun and misadventure in almost anything he did from the time he was a child, particularly when his ability to innovate combined with his need. A pair of his mother’s new boots were missing the tongues when he needed to make a slingshot! Many photos show Percy wearing a half-smile and twinkling eyes, as if there was always a joke to be told. He loved to tell stories and regaled his family with many from his early life, especially playing baseball. He loved to play the game in all its forms, and told stories of playing in tournaments all weekend, only to arrive home Monday morning just in time to start the day’s work.
Throughout his life, Percy was a devoted Catholic. His faith never wavered. He was a member of the Descent of the Holy Spirit Ukrainian Catholic Church in Benito, Manitoba for many years, eventually serving as church president. As well, Percy was a longtime member of the Knights of Columbus, Father Siry Council #6670.
He is predeceased by his parents, Vladymir (Wolodymir “Walter”) & Zonka (Elsie), in-laws Hermanus & Maria Tardij, brother William, and sisters Patricia, Helen, Mary and Ann and spouses.
He is remembered by his loving wife, Jackie Statkewich, children David Statkewich and Karin (Nathan) Bugiera; grandchildren Aubree, Owen & Isaac Bugiera; sister Virginia (Richard) Kozicki, and numerous nieces, nephews, cousins, and friends.