In Loving Memory of
In keeping with Edward's wishes, no formal service will be held at this time.
Edward Duchnitski was born on November 22,1935 to John and Rayme (nee Natalia Kerelchuk) Duchnitski at Buchanan, SK. Ed’s parents farmed in the Drobot area where Ed attended Drobot and Vasolowetz country schools. As a young man, he worked as parts manager at the Ford Dealership in Yorkton and also delivered tractor trailers from Ontario to Saskatchewan. In those days, Ed was well known and liked in the community, and it was thought that he held the record for number of times he was best man at a wedding. In the early 1960s, Ed moved to Kelvington, SK to work at a parts dealership. There he met his future wife, Doreen Bilawchuk and they married in May of 1964. Doreen and Ed had three children, two girls and a boy, over the next nine years. Tragically, in May 1976 Doreen succumbed to cancer at the age of 29, a loss from which he wouldn’t recover; He never remarried. To ensure his children’s future, Ed returned to school and graduated from the University of Saskatchewan with a diploma in agriculture. This provided him a new career with Saskatchewan Crop Insurance where he worked until he retired in the early 2000s.
Ed had many hidden talents and hobbies. He faithfully grew a delicious vegetable garden every summer, with flowers on the side, and in winter wowed visiting family with the giant, healthy, blossoming, 30-year-old Christmas cactus in his living room. He loved fishing, skiing and snowmobiling with his friends and his son. He was an exceptional carpenter, woodworker and mechanic; a natural problem solver, he could fix almost anything. He notoriously built a house for his true love, Doreen, near single-handedly, where he lived for 40 years. In the 1980s, he rejuvenated an old, rusty, motorless cube van into a camper that would put any Winnebago to shame. Taking the boys out fishing in his "shark boat” was a source of joy, and a summer fishing trip with his buddies eventually became an annual tradition. Yet above all, securing his children's future was his primary goal, no small accomplishment for a single parent of three active kids. Ed loved to travel to Calgary, Alberta and Dawson City, Yukon visiting his children, and eventually four grandchildren, who were a bottomless well of joy and pride in his retirement. In Dawson, Ed enjoyed tours, fishing, exploring, and got a bad case of gold fever when panning the famous Bonanza Creek.
In his 70s, Ed moved into a senior’s apartment in Kelvington and three years later, to the Canora Gateway Lodge where staff knew him or his parents (who lived in Canora for over 40 years after leaving Buchanan) and treated him like family.
Ed was a quiet man but had a keen sense of humour and loved teasing and small pranks. He stood by his values and did the absolute best he could in raising his children.
Ed was predeceased by his wife Doreen, his parents John and Rayme Duchnitski, his brother Mike, his sister Elaine Eskovich, his in-laws Hazel and Nick Bilawchuk, and his brother-in-law Jerry Bilawchuk. Ed leaves to mourn his three children, Tyla (Michael) Petrie, Mindy (Wayne) Potoroka, and Tristan (Michelle) Duchnitski; his grandchildren, Hazel, Clement, Rayme and Molly; his sister Virginia as well as many nieces and nephews, cousins, in-laws and two elderly aunts.
Ed’s children would like to extend their deepest gratitude for the exceptional care Ed received in his last years both by the hardworking and caring home-care team in Kelvington, and at Canora Gateway Lodge. The nurses, aides and doctors truly are the best. Also, to his sister, our Aunty Virginia, who was nearby giving companionship, care and Cheezies; being there when we couldn’t, you have our eternal thanks and love.
In lieu of flowers, donations in memory of Ed should be forwarded to the Kelvington Rec Arena Box 608 Kelvington, SK S0A 1W0, a place where Ed spent endless hours enjoying hockey.
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