Ben YanuszewskiOctober 6, 1933 ~ October 14, 2017 (age 84)
Ben was born in the Springhill District near Neepawa, Manitoba to Kazmier (Charlie) and Barbara Yanuszewski on October 6, 1933. The eldest of seven children, Ben left school when he was in Grade VI to lend a hand on the family’s mixed farm.
In the 1960s, Charlie and Barbara sold the farm and purchased the hotel in Bengough Saskatchewan. Ben, along with his sister Anne and brother Henry, also made the move and helped with proprietorship of the hotel. From there, he and Henry later purchased another hotel in Kinistino, Saskatchewan.
In the 1970s, Charlie, Barbara and Ben moved to Swan River, where they purchased a home on 5th Avenue South. The bungalow became a favourite gathering place during the holidays and extended family were always welcome there for a drink, an ample meal, or a game of basement pool. (And if you left hungry, it was “your own damn fault”.)
Perhaps the most remarkable thing about the property was in the backyard; Barbara and Ben were avid gardeners and every summer, along with the row of roses, vegetables of all kinds filled the entire plot of land. A small greenhouse enabled an early start in the spring and friends, family and neighbours always benefited from the produce they grew.
In his earlier years, Ben enjoyed hunting, but his real passion was fishing. Several times each summer, he would pack up his fishing gear and boat, and head out to his secret spot with his fishing buddies, returning with a haul of delicious trout and pickerel. Another favourite pastime was going out to the bush for his annual blueberry picking trip.
For his nieces and nephews, Ben was almost like a second grandfather, retreating to his bedroom to retrieve his famous piggy bank when youngsters arrived for a visit and filling their hands with his pocket change. At Halloween, you could count on receiving a couple of bags of candy, along with a five dollar bill, and an onion for good measure.
As his health began to deteriorate, Ben moved to the suite above the funeral home where he received homecare for several months. When his health declined further, he moved first to a personal care facility in Winnipegosis and then to the Lodge in Swan River. Ben passed away peacefully on Saturday October 14, 2017.
Despite his sometimes gruff exterior, Ben was always a kind and generous man who will be dearly missed by his family and friends.
Ben was predeceased by his parents, Charlie and Barbara Yanuszewski, his brother Henry Yanuszewski, his sister Marion Paull, and his sister Anne Yanuszewski. He is survived by his sister Helen Millan, brother Al Yanuszewski, and sister Bridget Overby; nephews Paul, Gerald, and Jim Millan, nephew John Yanuszewski and niece Maureen Yanuszewski, nephew Blair Overby, and nieces Dana Paull and Karla Rasmussen.
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