For Posterity's Sake
A Royal Canadian Navy Historical Project
In memory of those who have Crossed the Bar
HEWLKO, Frank William - age 95, Dad passed away peacefully at Grace Hospital after complications from pneumonia. Recurring pneumonia issues had plagued him the past several years, but he never let these stop him, and fought every step of the way.
is survived by his wife Laura, whom he was married to for 72 years. He is
also survived by his three sons and their families, Larry and Shayne, Bruce
and Sonia, and Guy and Brenda; six grandchildren, Christy and husband Mike
Field, Cory and wife Tracy, Shannon, Odessa, Mallory and husband Justin
Kious, and Brittany; and three great-grandchildren, Dylan, Lola and Liam.
He was predeceased by his brother Ed, and sisters, Stella, Jean and Isabel.
He attended Whytewold School and was a gifted athlete competing successfully in many track and field events. Unfortunately, he had to miss some events to work in the family garden.
In order to help support the family Dad and his two youngest sisters walked miles daily throughout the summers selling dairy and garden produce to the campers at the beaches in Matlock and Whytewold. In the winter he snared rabbits and trapped weasels.
After graduating school, he took a job briefly with the T. Eaton Company delivering parcels with a team of horses. In 1943, at only 18, he joined the Royal Canadian Navy, and served as an anti-aircraft gunner on H.M.C.S. Quesnel, a Corvette which served as escort to convoys of troop and supply ships crossing the Atlantic Ocean. A decorated Second World War veteran, he was discharged in 1945 and returned to Winnipeg to attend the University of Manitoba.
In 1947 Frank married Laura Wotton. The couple moved to Gilbert Plains in 1948 where they purchased a small bakery business (The Plains Bakery and Sportsman Inn). Since Dad had no prior knowledge of baking, it was learn fast in order to survive. Business was growing and in 1951 Dad took on his good friend, Bill Murray, as a partner and together they enjoyed 25 successful years in business.
Dad was very community minded, serving on Town Council, the volunteer fire department for 26 years, Legion member, and first president of the local Kinsmen club. Dad played on the local hockey and baseball teams (Gilbert Plains Beavers), curled (scoring a rare 8 ender in 1960), golfed and was an avid outdoorsman enjoying hunting, where he was an excellent marksman, and fishing. The family enjoyed many meals of moose, elk, deer, geese and ducks, as well as fish.
Dad enjoyed the outdoors and we spent several summers with our trailer parked in a seasonal spot at Blue Lake in the Duck Mountains, where Dad was commonly referred to as the Mayor of Blue Lake. Boating, swimming, water-skiing and fishing were all part of the summers at the lake.
the early 1960s Dad, with two other local businessmen, Frank Drebnisky and
Clarke Davis, purchased property in the valley at the edge of town to build
a 9 hole golf course. With the help of the Village and Municipality, and
many dedicated volunteers, the Gilbert Plains Country Club opened in 1967.
Dad served as its President for 10 years and received a life membership for
his foresight and dedication to the course.
Dad and Mom enjoyed many vacations abroad during their time with Pioneer Life and after retiring spent 26 winters in Mesa, Arizona, golfing, swimming and actively participating in the community life of Palmas del Sol.
At 93, and with health issues hindering his ability to drive, Dad and Mom moved to The Wellington, an assisted living facility. They enjoyed the helpful, caring service they were afforded there until again their health necessitated the care of the Deer Lodge Centre.
Many thanks to the dedicated staff at the Wellington and the Deer Lodge Centre.
A Celebration of Life will be scheduled at a later date. (Winnipeg Free Press 31 Dec 2019)
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