We Remember

TYMKIW, Leonard Norman “Len”

May 30, 1940 — February 12, 2024

Leonard Norman Tymkiw passed away peacefully on February 12, 2024, just a couple months short of his 84th birthday. He was surrounded by his immediate family: Gail; his son Keelen (Jennifer); his daughter Dianna (Scott); and his grandchildren Jayden, Tye, Marshyl, Jakson and Ava. Born in Fenwood, Saskatchewan, Len was the second youngest in his family, and he is survived by his younger sister Gloria, as well as numerous nieces and nephews and their children. Len spent his last few days in palliative care at Kelowna General Hospital. He had dementia and his body just gave up. While his passing is hard on those he leaves behind, his quality of life was declining, so it brings with it a sense of relief knowing he is on his journey home where he will reunite with his loving family.

Len’s earthly journey began on a farm in Saskatchewan, where he was a typical farm-boy full of fun, mischief, and exploration. But this farm-boy also loved music – his whole family was musical, and from a very young age Len sang and taught himself to play the guitar. Full of natural talent and with the ability to play by ear, Len won a radio contest at the age of six and was invited to perform live on air. In 1949, his family moved to a valley farm in Solsgirth, Manitoba and eventually moved to Calgary, AB, where Len finished high school. Through these moves, music remained a constant. He played in a band for years, he’d jam in the basement for hours, parties were always accompanied by his singing and strumming, and even as his memory failed him, he was still able to play his favourite tunes and entertain the residents at his care home. And, while you could ask him to play anything, and he’d be able to pick up the tune in seconds, a session never ended without a robust rendition of Chuck Berry’s, Johnny B. Goode.

When he wasn’t playing music, Len was hard at work. While still in high school, he delivered mail between Calgary and Banff, AB. As a professional he became a Purchaser and worked for large construction companies in both Montreal, QC and Calgary, but he eventually settled back in Calgary. Then in the late 80s, he switched gears and used his natural salesmanship to become a successful Business Broker. His career ended with a wall full of Salesman of the Year plaques and lots of satisfied clients. He retired in 2005 and settled into a comfortable routine in the home he’d owned since 1972.

Speaking of the home front, Len was probably best known for his lawn – truly it was the greenest and most perfectly manicured in the whole neighbourhood. The same could be said for the lawn at his cottage at Pine Lake. And it was at the cottage that Len realized his talent for woodworking. He handmade lamps, tables, and many different decorative pieces… his birdhouses were works of art. He loved building and tinkering and fixing. So much so, that even as he got older, he was known as the fix-it guy. In the end his ‘fixes’ often needed to be fixed, but it made him happy so it was all worth it.

What made us happy was moving Len to Kelowna, BC in August 2020 to be closer to his kids and grandchildren. And, even as his memory began to show increasing signs of failing, his love for his family remained strong. Indeed, family meant everything to him and his time in Kelowna was full of festive gatherings, time spent on the lake and up at Big White, and even a trip to Tofino, BC. As his health deteriorated, visits became less adventurous but just as plentiful, and his guitar still featured prominently. The years together as one big family in Kelowna will be cherished forever.

Dad, Father, Grandpa… you will be missed. You always had a joke to share, a story to tell, or a tune to play. Now it is your time to rest in peace. So with Chuck Berry’s tune playing in the background, Go Go, Go Leonard Go Go… Go to heaven.

A Mass of Christian Burial will be held on SATURDAY, APRIL 6, 2024, 11:00 AM (PDT), at CORPUS CHRISTI ROMAN CATHOLIC PARISH: 750 Rutland Rd N, Kelowna, BC.

If you wish to send a condolence, post photos, or share a memory, please scroll down the page to the area called “Condolences”.

A Mass of Christian Burial will be held on SATURDAY, APRIL 6, 2024, 11:00 AM (PDT)


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