26 November 1923 – 29 September 2018
Steve passed unexpectedly at Sunnybank in Oliver on Saturday 29 September 2018. He was the last of his generation, predeceased by his parents, siblings, and wife Irene.
Stephen was born to Grzegorz “Harry” and Mary (Hrynik) Kwasnica in Palo, Saskatchewan on 26 November 1923, the second of their three children, joining Katherine “Kay” (Buster Smithers) and followed by Olga “Margaret” (Jim Corbett).
The family settled in the Rutland area and as a young man, Steve worked in the local orchards. At 20 in 1943, he joined the RCAF, trained in Ontario and served in Quebec and Nova Scotia where he met Irene May Rose – a young WD. At war’s end they married in Toronto and started their family on an orchard in Rutland with daughter’s Karen (Stuart Syme) and Marie.
Within a few years, Steve rejoined the RCAF, trained as a heavy equipment operator and served in Edmonton, Marville, North Bay, Borden, and Chilliwack, adding two sons to the family: John (Angela) in Edmonton and David (Lynn) in North Bay.
Retiring from the service as a Warrant Officer in the mid-70’s, Steve returned to ‘apple ranching’ – this time on Pine Hill Road north of Oliver. Eventually, Steve and Irene retired to town and lived on 342nd (now Skagit). Throughout these years in Oliver, he served in Branch 97 of the Royal Canadian Legion, with the Knights of Columbus at Christ the King, and with the RCAF Association in Penticton.
Retirement brought time for travel and hobbies. Though the family had camped through Europe in the 50’s, Steve and Irene now flew to Israel, cruised to Alaska, and towed a series of travel trailers throughout BC and Alberta in convoy with their friends. He captured each event and every vacation on slides and video beginning while stationed in France. Always skilled with his hands and always an amateur musician, Steve became a luthier in retirement.
Following a fall at home and surgeries, Steve lived his final years at Sunnybank.
His friends, comrades, and family of four children, eight grandchildren and three great-grandchildren are called to Prayers at 6:00 pm on Sunday 14 October and Funeral Mass at 11:00 am on Monday 15 October at Christ the King. Online tributes may be directed to the family by visiting Nunes- Pottinger.com.
The family thanks Dr. Mark Hamilton and the staff at Sunnybank for their exceptional care.