Cover photo for Mike Zaretski's Obituary
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1924 Mike 2021

Mike Zaretski

January 1, 1924 — May 14, 2021

January 1, 1924 ~ May 14, 2021

Sadly, the world has lost a good man.  Dad passed away peacefully of natural causes at HSC late Friday evening at the age of 97, one of the last pioneers of the Berryland/Brightstone area near Lac Du Bonnet.  Born on the family farm to parents William and Eva Zarecki the seventh of nine children.  He was predeceased by his parents, and all his siblings Nellie, Mary, Joe, Jean, Frank, Walter, Paul and Lance (Ed).

He was also predeceased by his wife Gloria (Shauman) in 2019, his only son Richard in 2014, and son-in-law Wayne Arndt in 1986.

Proudly carrying on his memory are daughters Judy Arndt and Brenda (Jason) Molinski, four grandchildren Dustin (Michelle) Molinski, Stacy Molinski Sanders (Ryan), Cam (Melissa) Molinski, and Opal Arndt, as well as eight great-grandchildren.

From a young age dad knew the meaning of hard work which built a strong work ethic in him.  He attended Red Deer School to grade 8, and was then needed to work on the farm.  Throughout the years he worked in the bush camps, drove pulp trucks, worked for Osis, worked on a bridge in Alberta, and drove school bus – but it was his true love for farming that captured his heart.  Working endless hours in the fields, raising cattle, and the ability to fix anything and everything was always a rewarding challenge.  Married for 61 years, mom and dad farmed and worked hard together, side by side 24/7 tackling disabilities and doing whatever needed to be done, without complaint.  For better, for worse….they grimaced and they danced their way through life’s journey – till death did they part.  They passed that love and positive outlook onto their children and grandchildren, and we will forever honor their legacy.

Dad was always very good with numbers, he did not need a calculator, and he loved keeping track of the daily weather, recording it morning, noon and night.  When they moved to town, dad loved meeting friends for coffee breaks, loved feeding the birds, he tended to his dieffenbachia till it grew to the ceiling, and he became obsessed with collecting drink can tabs.  He loved puttering in his garage – building and fixing things, and he always found a way to do it even though he was missing an arm and missing 7 out of 10 fingers.  Just last year at age 96 dad gave up driving with a perfect driving record.

In February 2019 dad moved to Ironwood Assisted Living in Pinawa – he learned to love that wonderful ‘jail’.  After a bad fall, he spent four months in Pinawa Hospital, before living the last seven months of his life at Luther Home in Winnipeg.  For the past year plus we could have only window visits with him which were very difficult – but he was always happy to see us.  The staff at all three of these places gave dad exceptional care and we are forever grateful.  All the staff always said how they loved dad’s easy-going personality, his positive attitude, his ‘never give up’ determination, his smiles, and his strong will.  And now dad’s nine lives have run out, and we must say goodbye to a man we truly loved and admired, the patriarch of our family.  Mom has prepared a place for you and we are happy that you will be with her once again….and we know you will be reporting on the weather ‘up there’.

Funeral Service will be held on Friday, May 21, 2021 at 10:30 a.m. at Sobering Funeral Chapel in Beausejour.  Due to Covid-19 restrictions, the family welcomes you to be a part of the service in the parking lot of the funeral chapel by tuning your radio station to 98.1 FM.  There will be an opportunity to sign the guest register and acknowledge the family from your vehicle. Private Family Interment will follow in Brightstone Cemetery, R.M. of Lac Du Bonnet, MB.

In dad’s memory, please keep donating your drink can tabs for wheelchairs.

A heart of gold stopped beating, hard working hands at rest

God broke our hearts to prove to us, he only takes the best.

A long life well lived, well loved.

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