Kazmer Nowak passed away very suddenly on June 6, 2023. His last moments were spent at
the St Boniface General Hospital with his wife and family at his bedside.
Kazimierz was born in Pine River, Manitoba on December 10,1925. He was the second son of
Bronislaw and Francisca Nowak. He was predeceased by his parents, infant sister Yanina,
older brother Stanley and sister Helen King.
He leaves to mourn his passing his loving wife of 71 years Bernice, and their three children,
Son Brian, daughter Valerie, son-in-law Reid Minish, daughter Gail, and son-in-law David
He also leaves his four grandchildren, Melissa Kristofferson and husband Kirk, Brittney Terleski
and husband Eric, Christopher Anger and wife Caedence, Alanna Gerardy and husband
Kaz was blessed with five great grandchildren. Kellan, Kian and Kieran Kristofferson, Finley
and Adalyn Terleski. His sixth great grandchild was born a month after his passing, Layla
Surviving Kaz is his brother Edward, brother-in-law Barry Leslie and wife Marlene, his sistersin-law Babs Leslie and Mary Nowak. His numerous nieces, nephews, great nieces and
nephews will have fond memories of Kaz.
Kaz’s family moved to Swan River in 1927. There, his father established a blacksmith shop and
built their family home on Crescent Drive. He received all his schooling in Swan River.
He left home at age 16 and travelled with a buddy to Fort William, Ontario where they worked
at Canada Car assembling Hawker Hurricane airplanes for the war effort. He joined the
Canadian Armed Forces the week of his eighteenth birthday. He performed his basic training at
Camp Orillia and his advanced training on the Sherman Tank at Camp Borden. He was given
the rank of Trooper H1850. He shipped out to England on the troop ship New Amsterdam and
arrived in Blackdowns just as the war ended. He was assigned to guard duty and guarded
German prisoners of war in Belgium. He signed up for duty in the Pacific, but as the war
ended, he did not see see duty there. He received his honorary discharge and returned home.
He earned his Journeyman papers as a Sheet Metal worker while training at the Manitoba
Institute of Technology in Winnipeg. He apprenticed in Winnipeg and returned to Swan River in
1947. He was employed at Riddell's Plumbing and Heating where he worked for the next 42
On July 9, 1952, Kaz married Bernice Leslie in the Knox United Church in Minitonas. Together,
they built their home on Crescent Drive beside his family home. There they raised their children
and lived together for 70 years.
During his life, Kaz was very involved in his community. He was a volunteer fireman for 45
years, retiring as the Deputy Chief in 1996. He belonged to the Elks Lodge and worked his way
through all their committee Chairs, and was made a Life member. He was also a member of the
Royal Canadian Legion Branch 39 and held a Life Membership there after 70 years of service.
Kaz was a Life member of the Swan Valley Agriculture Society where he served on the Rodeo
committee for years. He rounded out his community involvement as a member of St. Andrew
United Church. Kaz preferred to be known as first a “worker” and in every organization, he was
always ready to serve his community.
After retiring from Riddell’s in 1993 he started his own business, Valley Wide Fire Extinguisher
Service. He and Bernice ran this business for 19 years, only giving it up when his mobility
would no longer allow him to perform his job safely.
On December 12, 2022, he was awarded the Queen’s Platinum Medal for his years of service
and community involvement. He was very proud to receive this honour at the Manitoba
Legislature from The Honourable Lt. Governor Anita Neville and Premier Heather Stephanson.
Kaz loved his family. He enjoyed his cabin at Wellman Lake, gardening, fishing, and travelling
with Bernice. He spent his quiet time reading, doing his Word search and playing Solitaire on
his I-pad until the time of his passing.
His last two years were physically difficult as he endured pain from his fractured hip and his
mobility was restricted. He missed his home and friends in Swan River greatly when they
moved to an Assisted Living Residence in Winnipeg.
Important to Kaz would be knowing that he had a life well lived and that he will be missed by
many. While we miss him greatly, we know he can journey on now with no pain and Rest in
Peace until we are together again.