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Paul Smandych passed away on Thursday, March 5, 2020, at the age of 88 years, just short of his 89th birthday. He was living at St. Paul Lutheran Home in Melville at the time of his passing. His family was by his side, and he had been visited by many special friends and family over the course of his journey.
Paul will be forever missed by his two daughters, Kim (Jim) Ludwar of Melville and Andrea Smandych (Dwayne Zerebeski) of Saskatoon; grandchildren Christopher (Alicia) Ludwar and great-grandson Rykr of Melville, SK, and Carrie (Jarrett) Czernick and great-granddaughters Kyla, Kasey and Rilee of Regina, SK, and Sandy Zerebeski and Derek Zerebeski and families, all of Saskatoon, SK. Paul was the last living member of 13 children. He is survived by a brother-in-law, Gilbert Love of Benito, MB, and sisters-in-law Linda (Tony) Shewchuk of Gardenton, MB, Della Love of Winnipeg, MB, and Helen (Peter) Smandych of Guelph, ON, and many nieces, nephews and very special friends. He was predeceased by his wife of nearly 58 years, Gay; his parents, Thomas and Lena Smandych; his in-laws, as well as all his brothers and sisters and a number of brothers-in-law, sisters-in-law, nieces, nephews, cousins and special friends.
Paul was born on March 14, 1931, in Kamsack, SK, and grew up there. He met Loretta (Gay) Love in Kamsack, where they were married and made their home for 16 years until Paul’s career with the Canadian National Railway saw the family move to northern Manitoba, living in the communities of The Pas and Gillam. After leaving the north, the family moved to Saskatoon; Paul lived in Saskatoon until November 2019. With thoughts of a difficult winter approaching, Paul decided to spend the winter in Melville with his older daughter and her family.
Although the family lived in various places, Paul and Gay’s “real home” was Madge Lake, SK. The cabin was a central gathering place where everyone was welcome. There was always time for friends, family, happies and appies, a tradition that continues.
Paul worked for the Canadian National Railway, in the express area, for 35 years, and he was proud to say he collected his pension for nearly the same length of time. In retirement, he spent many hours wood working, making bedroom suites, kitchen cupboards and other projects, all with meticulous precision. As he aged, Paul spent more time doing word searches from the newspaper and puzzle books. As he became unable to manage projects around the cabin, he closely followed and monitored the work being done by his son-in-law, Jim, to ensure it was “being done right”.
Paul will be remembered for his quiet demeanor, twinkle in his eye, devilish chuckle and sense of humour, as well as his genuine smile. His family had a special spot in his heart and were deeply loved. Great- grandchildren Kyla, Kasey, Rilee and Rykr melted his heart like no others. In his later years, he played library with Rilee and was continually entertained and amused by Rykr. Paul will be remembered for the pride he took in his family. His home, yard, garden and vehicles all were immaculate. Paul loved fishing, golfing, curling and hockey and enjoyed beer with the boys after golfing and a few rum here and there. He was an avid curling fan, a long-time Toronto Maple Leafs fan, a loyal Saskatchewan Roughriders fan, a dedicated Saskatoon Blades fan, and well on his way to becoming a Melville Millionaires fan. He was a member of the Legion, Masons and the Saskatoon Traffic Club and was recently honoured to have been named Legionnaire of the Year and a Legion member for over 60 years.
Paul’s family would like to thank the staff at St. Peter’s Hospital and St. Paul Lutheran Home in Melville, Dr. Eshawesh, and the staff at the hospitals in Saskatoon and Dr. Chin and Dr. Brose in assisting us on our journey. Paul’s family would also like to thank all the very special family and lifelong friends who visited, called and offered hugs, hand squeezes, special looks or giggles when needed. Your support has meant more than you could imagine. Paul missed his wife desperately and will now rest easy being eternally united.
As requested by Paul, there will be no funeral. Interment will take place at the Riverside Cemetery in Kamsack, SK, at a later date. Those wishing to commemorate Paul’s memory may do so by making donations to Sunrise Health Region, Palliative Care.