The world has lost a great man. We have lost the best dad, grandad and great grandad ever. We are saddened to share that Walter Stecky left us suddenly but peacefully on Sunday September 10, 2023 in his 90th year. We were blessed and honoured to have celebrated his 90th birthday at a surprise party in June with his family and friends.
Walter was born on June 19, 1933 in Vita Manitoba. He came to Port Arthur as a young boy and told stories of selling newspapers and setting up bowling pins for his first jobs. After graduation from Port Arthur Technical School he began working at Northern Wood Preservers, where he had a wonderful career spanning nearly 50 years. He was a very hard working man and was known for his strong work ethic.
Walter was always an energetic and vibrant man. He had many interests and was involved in a variety of activities. He was a lifelong sports fan who loved playing and reffing soccer and hockey. He was an ardent soccer fan and loved watching Arsenal with his grandson Matt and great grandson Eli, especially in Matt’s pub. He was a natural runner, running marathons and many road races. He enjoyed golfing with his daughter Dee and walking, and hiked 350 km of the Camino de Santiago with his granddaughter Sarah at the age of 76. He also loved curling, wearing the Disney sweaters with the family team at many out of town bonspiels with his son and son in law. In 1988 he was selected to carry the Olympic torch in anticipation of the Calgary Olympics. His healthy lifestyle was very important to him and inspiring to others, and enabled him to have many wonderful adventures. In addition to giving his all in his career and being active, Walter engaged in his community. He was a lifelong member of Knox United Church (Harmony) on Shuniah and enjoyed singing in the choir. He also sang with the Gentlemen of Harmony with his son Al and son in law. Due to Walter’s rich, active life, it was common to find people who knew him wherever he went.
Walter was a true renaissance man (“Man Thinking”). He was hard working and capable and was self taught in many areas, always interested and willing to learn and try something new. He was a consummate fix it man who loved to fix, build and putter until the job was done, including helping out at his granddaughter Jess’ home in the country. He proudly built the family camp at Hawkeye Lake and did lots of projects with his sons and son in law. He enjoyed investing and was able to provide his family with many opportunities including wonderful trips in Canada, the US and Europe. He was well loved by his in laws in the UK and enjoyed his Disney adventures with his grandkids. If you needed a hand, Walter was there to lend it, with a smile and a patient and positive can-do attitude.
Walter was a proud family man. In 1954 he married Mary Robertson and they built a beautiful life together. Together they had four children: Kathie, Glenn, Dee and Al. He was an exceptional father who set a fine example for his children and family. He was a proud Grandad to Sarah, Matt and Jess, and in his last years he was an amazing and involved great Grandad to Eli and Arisa. He was also well loved by his brothers and their families, nieces and nephews, and his in laws in the UK. He will be very missed by his family and friends.
Walter is survived by his daughter Dee Polowski (Stan), son Al Stecky, grandchildren Sarah Polowski (Callum), Jessica Fiorito (Lilly) and Matt Polowski (Annie), and great grandchildren Eli and Arisa. He is also survived by his brothers: Russ, Ellie and Frank, and their families. He was predeceased by his wife Mary, children Kathie and Glenn, and other relatives. His impact will be felt even in his absence: the man, the myth, the legend.
A Celebration of Life will be held on Thursday September 21, 2023 at Harmony United Church (former Knox United), 1 Shuniah Street at 11:00 am. Luncheon to follow.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made in Walter’s memory to the charity of your choice.