KUCHMA, Robert & Tonya
It is with great sorrow that the family announce the passing of Robert, 57, and Tonya, 47, Kuchma. They both died suddenly and painlessly on February 15, 2021, in a wintry automobile accident. They leave behind a broken-hearted family: daughters Brielle (Joey) Bugyinka and Leah (Stephen) Knapp, sons Jamie (Allison) Fielder and Jared Kuchma, and grandchild Ko Knapp. They also leave behind Robert’s parents, Morris and Anne Kuchma, sister Shari (Mike) Matvieshen, and brothers Sheldon (Shannon), Darwin (Joanne), and Travis (Karla) Kuchma.
Robert was born in Thompson, MB, the eldest of five children. On the family farm he was raised to work hard and play harder. He always had a great interest in cars (and trucks, and motorcycles), and loved to tell stories of how his Camaro was the fastest car in high school and how he never lost a race. His interest in cars naturally led him to his first career: autobody. His work ethic and precision were unrivaled and his friends from Mackenzie, BC say he was the best in the business. His next and final career was as a carpenter, although “jack of all trades” is far more accurate. We doubt there was a single family member or friend that he did not help with his masterful skills and limited time.
Although he never learned to stop, this last year he did become better at taking breaks, evidenced by (literally) hundreds of coffee times with his family, weeks spent camping, hours in his hot tub, and who knows how long in his massage chair. Robert loved people more than anyone we know, but most importantly he loved his Lord and Saviour.
Tonya was born in Toronto, ON, and was raised by her adoptive family. She loved fun in the sun and the beach was her happy place. When she moved to BC she lived with another family, the Blondins, who treated her like family as well. She made genuine connections everywhere she went, resulting in many that she would call her sisters, brothers, and mothers.
She worked tirelessly as a single mom to go back and finish high school, give her children a Christian education, and to put herself through school to become an Early Childhood Educator. She worked at Heritage Christian Early Learning Center for 21 years, ending June 2020. Since then she was enjoying, for the first time in her entire life, time off, and she didn’t waste a moment of it. She found her new calling as a grandma (Babi), and she deepened her relationships with her family and friends and with her Lord.
Robert and Tonya met in 2003 and although it wasn’t love at first sight, everyone around them knew that they were meant to be together. They got married July 11, 2006, in Kelowna, BC. It took an extraordinary amount of love, work, and prayer to bring together two families, but through their efforts the family stayed together, and that is perhaps their greatest legacy.
Robert and Tonya’s home was always full of laughter and love. They truly had an open-door policy (the door was never locked and no one ever knocked). They didn’t just make you feel loved, you truly were loved. Christ was the center of their lives, and amidst our great sadness we are so happy that He has taken them to their true Home.
“I will praise the LORD all my life; I will sing praise to my God as long as I live.” Psalm 146:2
Till we see each other again.
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