Walter Yanchycki "Wally", is the youngest of August & Lena Yanchycki's two sons. He was raised on the family farm located 10 miles northwest of Elphinstone, Manitoba where he attended Prince of Wales School and Elphinstone High School. He then moved to Winnipeg to attend Provincial Normal School where he received his teaching certificate in 1956.
Wally's first teaching position was at Lund School, located approximately 10 miles east of Erickson, Manitoba. The following year he moved to the Elphinstone area and taught at schools there for seven years.
On June 27, 1959, Wally married Frances, daughter of John and Lena Shindruk from Sandy Lake, Manitoba, at the Sacred Heart Church in Elphinstone. They moved to Erickson in August 1964, along with their two sons, Dennis (born in Hamiota on April 27, 1960) and Richard "Rick" (born in Hamiota on May 11, 1963), where Wally was employed as Vice-Principal & Teacher at Erickson Elementary School. The following year Wally was appointed Principal, a position he held until his retirement in 1992 - a career of 36 years. Their third son, Darren, was born in Erickson Hospital on December 1, 1966. In 1970, Wally completed his studies for a Bachelor of Arts degree and a Bachelor of Education degree.
In 1992 Wally was elected on both the Rolling River School Division Board as School Trustee and also as Councillor on Erickson Town Council. In 1995 Wally was appointed Deputy Mayor of Erickson and in 1998 elected he was elected Mayor. Wally served on various committees while on the School Board and Town Council and was also appointed Vice-President of the Westlake Tourism Association and the Western Economic Development Association, covering all of Southwestern Manitoba.
Wally leaned to play fiddle, guitar, and steel guitar, and throughout most of his life was involved in music, playing and recording with various bands including the Sunset Valley Boys, the CKX Rhythm Ranch Boys, Peter Lamb and the Sundown Pals, the Serenaders, Sidewinder (with sons Dennis & Rick), and Parkland Country. Wally played countless dances, weddings, and anniversaries. Wally would also regularly volunteer his time playing music at senior’s homes in the area. The Ukrainian Musicians Associated awarded Wally the Legendary Achievement Award in 2010 and the Lifetime Achievement Award in 2015 for his efforts in preserving and promoting Ukrainian Music.
Wally was very active at his church and with the Knights of Columbus, serving in a leadership role as lecturer, Grand Knight of Parkland Council, and District Deputy for a council region. Wally was also a 4th degree Honour guard with Archbishop Sinnot Assembly and took great pride in wearing the Regalia at various events. In his final years Wally returned as Lecturer in Parkland Council along with his son Dennis who serves as Grand Knight. In church Wally served as Lecturer and Extraordinary Eucharistic Minister. An annual highlight for Wally was playing fiddle and guitar and singing Christmas carols with the Parkland Knights and Wives at the senior’s home in Sandy Lake, Erickson, and Minnedosa.
Family meant everything to Wally. He cherished get togethers, especially Easter and Christmas, where he loved to pick up the guitar and sing with the kids. Wally and Frances also would travel regularly when they could to attend sporting events and functions involving his children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren.
During their retirement years Wally and Frances enjoyed numerous annual bus trips to destinations such as Nashville/Dollywood/Branson (where they especially loved seeing the Christmas displays and shows), New York, Texas, California, Alaska, Atlantic Canada, and parts of Mexico.
Although many weren't aware, like his father August, anxiety and depression followed Wally throughout his life. He was able to keep it to himself and hide it from everyone including family. In his latter years, upon realizing that depression can be hereditary, Wally opened up about his illness and spoke about it regularly. Not only did this help Wally better cope with his condition but his hope was that family members and friends would know it is ok to talk about anxiety and depression and seek help if required.
Wally leaves to mourn his wife of 62 years Frances, his sons Dennis (Diane), Rick (Karen), and Darren (Cheryl), grandchildren Erin (Rob), Tannis (Justin), Johnathan (Kelli), Ashley (Andrew), Tyson, Brendan (Amy), Nicole (Nathan), Chad (Kathryn), Jenna (Burton), Riley (Dillon), and great grandchildren Lena, Anya, Blake, Harrison, Austin, Kohen, Walker, Hayes, Peyton, Emma, Summer, Case, Kinley, and Weston. Wally is predeceased by his parents August and Lena Yanchycki and brother John Yanchycki as well as numerous aunts, uncles, and cousins.
We wish to express our heartfelt gratitude to the compassionate and loving Doctors, Nurses, and Support Workers at Brandon General Hospital who cared for Wally not only in his final days but in the last year and a half while he attended the Renal Clinic.
Prayers are at 7:00 p.m. on Saturday, November 6 at St. Jude’s Roman Catholic Church, Erickson - limited attendance
Funeral at 4:00 p.m. on Sunday November 7 at St. Jude’s Roman Catholic Church, Erickson - limited attendance
Private Family Interment at 1:00 p.m. on Monday November 8 at Queen of Heaven Mausoleum in Winnipeg
Those wishing to attend prayers and/or the funeral are asked to call Rae's Funeral Service at 204-636-7727 in advance to reserve a seat. Covid protocols are in effect. Masks are mandatory and those in attendance must provide proof of vaccination. The funeral will also be live streamed via the Rae's Funeral Home website at www.raesfs.ca.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Kidney Foundation or the Heart & Stroke Foundation.
Kidney Foundation of Canada
310-5160 Decaire Blvd, Montreal QC H3X 2H9
Heart & Stroke Foundation of Manitoba
1379 Kenaston Blvd., Winnipeg MB R3P 2T5