KYJANKA, Edward James
October 25, 1951 — August 21, 2023
♡ It is with deep sadness, and profound love, that we announce the passing of our beloved father, Edward James Kyjanka, at the age of 71. Those lucky enough to have known Eddy will remember his sweet, caring spirit and his generous, and often silly, nature. He was a lover of children and animals, especially dogs, and his intense thriftiness made him an expert at finding treasures amongst the rubbish at garage sales. Eddy was always willing to help anyone in need, and he had an incredible ability to talk with anyone. Above all, his family will remember Ed’s ability to shine love, even through the most difficult of circumstances. Dad was the guy who never gave up on anyone.
Eddy was born on October 25, 1951, in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada. His late parents, Kazmir and Mabel Kayanka, raised him alongside 3 younger siblings: Robert aka Bobby, Darlene, and Debra (who passed away in 2022). Being the eldest of four, Eddy took life by the horns and secured a solid career with the City of Winnipeg at only 18 years of age. Starting out in the Hydro department, he moved his way up the ranks, becoming a supervisor at just 25 years old, in the Works and Operations department. He played a vital role in the Flood of ’97, creating millions of sandbags to protect the city. Because of his hard work ethic and dedication, he was able to retire in 1998, at the ripe old age of 48, as the Superintendent of Primary Materials. He was very proud of his career and for his many accomplishments along the way.
Shortly after beginning his career, Edward met Patricia, and the two fell in love. They wed in 1974 and were married for nearly 30 years. Raising two feisty daughters and an anomaly dog, Kimba, both Patty and Eddy were hardworking, devoted parents. They each took roles coaching softball and ringette teams for their girls, and Eddy even became a softball umpire and enjoyed many years of calling strikes and balls for a game he loved. Perhaps the cousins will remember Eddy most for always dressing up as Santa Claus at the birthday parties, and calling Bingo. He never missed a piano recital or an important game, and he always had a riddle or trick or Donald Duck voice queued up and ready to make a child laugh. He was fascinated by the details of life, and he carried a spirit of appreciation for his many blessings.
Once retired, Eddy and his family uprooted from Winnipeg and moved across the country to the Okanagan Valley, British Columbia. Settling in Smith Creek on the Westside of Kelowna, Eddy enjoyed volunteering with the local RCMP, working casually at the Salvage Centre, and of course, many rounds of golf! Eddy adored many sports, but his favourite was golf. Since his young adult life, he golfed weekly with his beloved group of pals, who dubbed themselves the ‘Morocco’s,’ complete with a penguin mascot and trademark colour, yellow. He enjoyed yearly trips to Myrtle Beach and Hecla Island and looked forward to his weekly Sunday round at courses like Kildonan Park. After relocating to BC in 1998, Eddy continued to golf and even became the Marshall at Ponderosa Golf course in Peachland. He lived briefly in a cozy condo on the edge of Ponderosa, likely fulfilling a bucket-list wish!
Eddy’s other passion sport was curling, as demonstrated by his outstanding efforts to secure funding for construction of a curling club in the town of Peachland. Ultimately, the endeavour was unsuccessful, but it was a project that captivated Dad for several years. He just wanted others to experience the team sport that he loved, in a town he had made his home.
Eddy spent the later years of his life in Westbank. Living on a beautiful little piece of land, Eddy found so much joy in gardening. He turned his yard into many different crops and was known for his spicy dill pickles, salsa, jams, and soups, as well as his monster aloe vera plants. He enjoyed cooking and entertaining, and really just loved talking to people. He made many dear friends at the park he lived in, and he will be missed especially by Harvey, John, and Beth, his “happy hour” crew, as well as his long-time friend Danielle and of course, Cozzy!
Edward is survived by his loving daughters, Victoria Elise and Angela (Blair) Maffin, and his five incredible grandchildren: Adriana, Haley, Nicolas, Avery, and Breiden. Though they will miss their Papa Eddy dearly, they will most certainly carry his spirit of love into their own lives and future families. He will be lovingly remembered by many nieces and nephews in Winnipeg and Calgary, many friends both near and far, and his dear friend, in the end, Patty.
Eddy left this world during the late evening of August 21, 2023, after a brief but incredibly brave battle. Eddy fought to be here until his very last breath, shining love and finding humour all along the way. May his strength and determination be a true inspiration to all who were blessed to know him. May he rest eternally in peace.
We wish to express our gratitude to the many caring nurses and “house mums” at Central Okanagan Hospice House in Kelowna, who provided dignity, hope, and understanding through such a difficult time. Thank you as well to the volunteers of COHA for providing that extra special touch of care.
Eddy’s ashes will be placed in the Columbarium at Westbank Cemetery, where his family and friends can visit and witness the beauty of the Valley he loved so very much. A Celebration of Life will occur at a later date, to be determined and announced in the near future.
Papa Eddy, you are always and forever, in our hearts. ♡
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