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Born: May 19, 1931

Date of Passing: Aug 11, 2022

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May 19, 1931 - August 11, 2022

It is with profound sadness we announce the passing of James (Jim) William Kowalchuk on Thursday, August 11, 2022, at the age of 91 years.
Left to cherish James' memory are his loving wife of 70 years, Rose, brother Paul, children, Glenn, Cheryl (Dave), Kathy, Ken (Lisa), Keri (Richard), Randal (Ashlee) along with 14 grandchildren, eight great-grandchildren, and numerous nieces and nephews, relatives and friends. He was predeceased by his parents, Mary Zywina and Nicholas Kowalchuk, son Richard (Ricky) David in infancy, sisters, Olga and Annie, brothers, John, Peter, and Mike, stepfather Wasyl Giblak, stepbrothers, Russell and Bob Giblak and son-in-law Bruce Kitching.
On May 19, 1931, James was born on the family farm near Goodeve, Saskatchewan, the youngest of eight children. He attended primary grades at Shappert School, a one-room schoolhouse typical of that time, then St. Joseph's College in Yorkton for high school. During his second year at St. Joe's, he applied to the RCMP and in 1949 with one half-filled suitcase he left to join the RCMP at 'Depot' Division, in Regina. Dad was a gentle giant at 6'4" and size 14 shoes. He described not having a uniform that fit him and being issued coveralls until they were able to fit him with uniforms. James proudly served on the force with honour and integrity over his 31-year career that took him to postings in Dauphin, Swan River, Churchill, Winnipeg, Ottawa where he worked in red serge on Parliament Hill, guarded the Governor General's residence and the Royal Canadian Mint; then on to Sudbury, Montreal and his final posting back in Winnipeg where he retired from the force in 1980 as Staff Sergeant. He began a second career with the Bank of Canada working in security up until his retirement as Senior Guard in 1997.
James married the love of his life, Rose Borkowski, on February 2, 1952, at the Trinity Ukrainian Catholic Church in Mink Creek, Manitoba. Fortunately for Dad, Mom was an excellent seamstress, and he appreciated her sewing clothes that fit him. Together they provided a loving home for their children.
James loved his family and supported whatever activities they joined, from sports to music and performances. He took family to "travelogues" at the Centennial Concert Hall and made time for "street tennis" after work.
James was resourceful with what was at hand and his hands were always busy working with tools, fixing and creating things, from building a unique family rec room, to solid wood bookshelves, a wooden kayak made from simple sketches of one he had seen while camping, a nifty crokinole board, the list is too numerous; it was his creative outlet. We have fond memories of Dad lifting us up as little children into his big arms and dancing around the living room to the music of Don Messer's Jubilee on TV. Dad enjoyed photography and recording family activities on 8 mm film accompanied by his blinding light bar. He was pleased to have years of family memories copied onto DVDs, with sets for all his children. He was passionate about his Ukrainian and farming heritage, often sharing stories of his farm life and working tirelessly with his brother Peter to produce and publish a family history book complete with copies of original documentation of relatives arriving by ship from Ukraine.
James enjoyed many activities including curling, swimming, camping, cross country skiing, and playing cribbage. He enjoyed communicating with family and relatives on the computer. He was a man of faith and active at St. Charles Church. He was community-minded and initiated a Neighbourhood Watch program on his street which he maintained for many years.
In their retirement years James and Rose travelled across Canada from British Columbia to the Maritimes, and to New Zealand, Hawaii, Arizona, Florida and Alaska. We have many great memories of camping throughout our childhood with Dad always up early to make toast over the morning campfire and the first one to plunge into the lake no matter how cold the water. We learned how to pick mushrooms and berries, work with tools, mow the lawn 'the correct way' and chop wood safely. Annual pilgrimages in the family's '56 Chevy to visit Dad's farming brothers and sisters and their families in Ontario, British Columbia, and Saskatchewan and visiting his mother's farm in Alberta where we picked veggies and berries and learned to stook hay, instilled a deep appreciation of the land and our family heritage.
James loved being a grandpa and his face would light up seeing his grandchildren and great-grandchildren in Canada, New Zealand and the USA, in person and online. He also loved his dog Molly, who misses him.
We thank the following for their care of James: Dr. G. Roche, Dr. C. Baillie, Grace Hospital, the dedicated staff of Home Instead Senior Care, the staff at Oakview Place, and Dr. Y. Kotecha.
At James' request there will be no formal public visitation or funeral service. A private family interment will follow at a later date at the Queen of Heaven Mausoleum within the Chapel Lawn Memorial Gardens, 3990 Portage Avenue.

Our Dad
He never made a fortune, or a noise
In this world where some men seek fame
But he had a healthy brood of girls and boys
And a wife who loved him all the same
He did his part to make the world good
A gentle giant, a mighty oak, he stood
Two willing hands who toiled so hard for us
Time now for you to rest - you've worked long enough
We'll always remember you Dad
Your light shines on through your loved ones
You are forever in our hearts
Thank you Dad.

In lieu of flowers, a donation may be made in James' memory to the Heart & Stroke Foundation or a charity of your choice.
Wojcik's Funeral Chapel, 2157 Portage Ave., Winnipeg, MB in care of arrangements. 204-897-4665. For those who wish to sign Wojcik's online Guest Book please visit our website at

As published in Winnipeg Free Press on Aug 20, 2022

Condolences & Memories (1 entries)

  • Uncle Jim was very special to us. He was somebody I aspired to be, including my desire to join the RCMP. He is somebody we highly respected. Aunt Rose and Uncle Jim had their wedding reception on our farm near Mink Creek. That too was a memorable event. To Aunt Rose and our cousins, please know that we cherished those times we spent with our Uncle Jim. Our prayers will continue - Posted by: Julian Borkowski (nephew) on: Aug 20, 2022

Wojcik’s All Beliefs & Faiths Funeral Chapel (Portage Avenue)

Wojcik’s All Beliefs & Faiths Funeral Chapel (Portage Avenue)

2157 Portage Avenue at Sharp Boulevard (Map)
Ph: 2048974665 | Visit Website

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