Cover photo for John Michniewicz's Obituary
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John Michniewicz

June 8, 1918 — June 16, 2024

Emerson, MB

John Michniewicz

John Michniewicz, age 106 years, of Emerson, MB passed away on Sunday, June 16 at the Emerson Personal Care Home.

Funeral Mass will be held on Friday, June 21, 2024 at 11:00 a.m. at the Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Emerson, MB, interment will follow at the Emerson Cemetery.

Memories from the family

John Michniewicz was born in Poland on June 8, 1918. John was not just our father. He believed in fighting for his country. In his those years, he spoke of the memories he had in Palestine, Italy and Egypt. He was very motivated. He was a shoe maker and owned a saddle shop. He did carpentry as well. His dream was to own land in Canada. After World War 2, dad worked at a dairy farm for a nice Dutch family that served lots of food. Then he worked for a bee keeper near Emerson. Then a grain farm near St. Norbert. Dad and his friend bought some farmland sight unseen after signing a contract to work on a farm for 2 years before taking possession of his own property. The property was one mile north of Stuartburn. Dads friend told him that he needed a wife. They went to Sarto as his friend knew a lady there. That lady wasn’t there as she had gone fishing so his friend knew of another lady which turned out to be our mother. I guess you call this online dating in the 40’s. Dad says to her “You want to get married?” and she said “Might as well”. He married Sally Romaniuk in Sarto July 16, 1949. Another farm was purchased and became home for his wife and family . The house was abandoned for 16 years. Windows were broken and cracks were in the walls. The house was temporarily fixed as they made a living off the land and worked away at a logging place for extra income to built up the farm. Dad bought out his friend. He went to Winnipeg to help pay for the bridesmaid dresses. He built the platform to make the dance floor for the wedding. Sounds like it was a great time. While in Stuartburn, they farmed mixed grain and raised chickens, pigs, and cattle. Raising their family on grain fed animals, churned butter, cows milk and cream and a garden with many long rows. Vegetables and berries to no end to fill the cellar. Making sure his family was well looked after. One story stuck out when he kept driving Johann to the doctor in Vita but insisted the doctor drive out on a Sunday to meet at Stuartburn corner. They built their new house in 1961 with a big kitchen and living room where we could practise dancing. They were faithful members of the Roman Catholic Church in Tolstoi. Making several friends there and often inviting Cathy and Martin Jablonski after church for a roast chicken dinner cooked in the wood stove. In 1973, the farm was sold and a retirement home was purchased in Emerson. Dad retired from farming but kept busy tilling people’s gardens, tending to his own garden, cutting wood and picking blueberries and mushrooms in the bush. He was not a fan of cleaning them though. Had a chance to take his grandchildren fishing in the summer and tell them stories about black and white adventure photos. He had more time to watch TV. Never missing All Star Wrestling, Little House on the Prairie, The Walton’s and Lawrence Welk. In 1979, he took on the hobby of building violins. 30 to be exact. Spending 600 hours on each violin. Displayed in the living room. Who do you think did all the dusting? The violins were given to children and grandchildren. His grandson even has a tattoo of a violin on his forearm. He enjoyed playing HOLA card game with friends for a nickel. BIG STAKES. He made several trips to Europe either by plane or by boat to visit family. He always enjoyed Christmas Eve and Easter Sunday with his family. Attended church service with the Easter basket that he wove by hand. While in Emerson, mom and dad attended the Roman Catholic Church every Sunday. Don’t think that they missed many. Even before dad lived in the care home, he attended the church services there. He was guaranteed a cookie and coffee after. Dad was also a member of the Legion. Attending every meeting, Remembrance Day service and Decoration Day. He was proud of his medals on his suit jacket. After mom passed away, dad moved to an apartment in Emerson. He loved having people around and playing violin for them. He had his 100th birthday in the Day Room in his apartment block. Displaying his letters of congratulations from various delegates of the prime minister and the queen. His request was to have pizza and cake for his birthday. His daughter Agnes loyally came Fridays to visit and help him with tasks, Dad always had lunch ready in the frying pan ready for us when we came. He cooked for us but yet had meals on wheels for himself. Dad had a list for Agnes. He liked to make cookies and pies with her. Always looking for butter and lard on sale. Dad always had his memory so he never forgot how to give orders to us. While dad lived in his apartment he became good friends with his neighbor Walter. Walter was about 20 years younger but he was the one that had the wheels. What mischief could two single elderly men get into. Right! A few secret shenanigans! Dad borrowed one of his gardens as a guy in his 90’s needs a full sized garden. Walter took dad for his appointments to Winkler then shopping to Canadian Tire. They always ended their trip with a snack of A and W fries while drinking their own coffee that they brought from home in a Tim Hortons mug. Walter came to all the Christmas and Easter meals. After his 101st. birthday, dad decided that it was time to move to Emerson PCH. He had a period where he was not feeling well and says it was the salty French fries that his son-inlaw Fred brought him that gave him more will to live. He danced there at the New Years Eve Party to the violin music of his young friend Zenon. Zenon came back several weekends to play for dad in his room. He enjoyed visiting with the staff and had nicknames for some. Mainly after the town where they lived. One girl he named peaches because he couldn’t pronounce the PH in her name. We are forever grateful for the time that the staff spent with dad. Also a big thank you to the kitchen staff for the meals served. They were delicious.He drank more coffee, orange crush and ate more dessert there then in his whole life. At times, he didn’t like it and asked his daughter to hide him in the truck of her vehicle. Only wanting to take his shaver along. He was laughing but at the same time serious. He enjoyed hearing stories of God read to him. It kept him at peace. We knew that he was listening as always said AMEN after every prayer. At Christmas we read to him about the birth of Jesus and sang Christmas songs to him. At Easter we read about the Resurrection of Jesus and the blessing of the Easter basket. He also enjoyed being read to; Chicken Soup For The Soul. We seen many changes in our dad over the years but not as many that he seen. Oh the stories that he could tell! We celebrated his 106th birthday at the care home. The residents and staff enjoyed the birthday cake decorated with a violin that Winkler Co-op made. Our dad loved his family. He always says that his girls made the best choice in husbands and didn’t have to worry about us. He enjoyed the occasional “daj Boze” with them. John was predeceased by his wife Sally in 2006. John is survived by daughters: Johann (Dave) Kernot and their daughter Susan (Jason) Thompson and their children Maddie and Brendan; Agnes (Orest) Bespalko and their daughter Jolene (Mark) Dick and their children Emily and Ross (Rachel), their son Jason (Shawna) Bespalko and their daughter Mya; Christine (Fred) Dobchuk. 


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