Obituary of Arthur Warnecke
It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of our beloved father and grandfather, Arthur James Warnecke, recently of Wascana Rehabilitation Centre in Regina, formerly of Moose Jaw and Assiniboia, Saskatchewan.
Dad passed away peacefully in his sleep on Monday, May 20, 2019 at the age of 72 years. He was predeceased by his loving wife, Gail Warnecke (Manz) in 2018; his parents, Gilbert and Leona Warnecke; and his father, mother and brother-in-law, John, Hilda and Donald Manz. He leaves to mourn his son Colin Warnecke, daughter-in-law Kirsten and grandchildren Jackson and Camryn; son Sean Warnecke and his partner Rochelle Graham; daughter Tara Leatherdale, son-in-law Brant and grandchildren Jayme and Jagger; siblings Dianne, Don (Joan), Sharon (Bill), Lawrence (Kelli), Gerald; and sister-in-law Darlene (Marvin), as well as numerous nieces and nephews.
Dad spent his formative years in southeast Saskatchewan, attending Talmage School and St. Michael High School in Weyburn. A bright boy, he completed Grades 5 and 6 in one year and read every single book in the school library. He came from a large Catholic farm family of six children, who worked hard together to make ends meet. Dad often told the story of mealtimes at the farm…with so many people around the table, if you didn’t dig in when the food was put in front of you, it would disappear! He and his siblings drove the tractor, did farm chores and worked in the barn taking care of the cattle, while entertaining themselves and each other with board games and card games. They played so much Monopoly that they had to replace the bills several times over.
Dad graduated from high school in 1964 and embarked on his future career. His first job straight out of school was at Brandt Machine as a bookkeeper, and the second, at the accounting firm of Reimer and Nagel, also as a bookkeeper.
It was during those years he met the love of his life, Gail, who caught his interest after the two were set up on a blind date to the Exhibition in the summer of 1968. Love blossomed, and a year later, they married on August 16, 1969.
In 1971, Dad joined the Bank of Montreal in the management training program. The young couple had their first son Colin shortly after and moved to Eastend, SK, where Dad worked as the bank manager. This is the scene of one of Dad’s most famous stories – the great Eastend Homecoming bank robbery of ’71 – where Art, as a brand-new bank manager, was robbed while terrified young mom Gail and newborn Colin hid in the cast iron tub of the bathroom in their upstairs apartment! Art loved this story so much, he told it to his grandkids several times, including just a couple of days before he passed.
Son Sean was born in 1973, and after being transferred to Lampman, daughter Tara was born in 1974. They moved with the bank to Estevan in 1975, and in 1976, Dad changed his career and took his first position as Secretary Treasurer of the Cupar School Division.
During the next few years, he finished his Junior and Senior Local Government diplomas from the University of Regina. The position of Secretary Treasurer was the start of a career he excelled at and enjoyed. In 1981, Art accepted a position with the Assiniboia (and later, Red Coat Trail) School Division where he worked until his retirement in 2004. One of his proudest moments during his time in Assiniboia was overseeing the building of the new 7th Avenue School, which was the pride of the division right up to his retirement.
In 2005, Mom opened her Herbal Magic store in Moose Jaw, and Dad joined her in 2006 once the house sold in Assiniboia. He took on the role of bookkeeper for the business, paying the bills, making up the deposits and printing paper, keeping copies of everything! Mom retired in 2014. From that time on, Dad enjoyed playing cards with his buddies at the McGuire Centre in Moose Jaw and spending time with his family. When mom passed suddenly in 2018, dad moved to the College Park senior home for three months in Regina and then to Wascana Rehab in December of 2018, in the long-term care wing.
Dad was known for his sense of humor. He loved telling jokes – some politically correct, some not so much. If it would bring a laugh, he would say it. You could often hear him say, “Did you hear the one about the rabbi, priest and minister…” and away he would go. While writing his annual Christmas letter for 2017 (just after he lost his right leg), he made light of the situation mentioning he was looking for a job as a pirate, should anyone know of one. That love of jokes has been passed down to his children and grandchildren, especially grandson Jackson. Dad also believed in giving back to his community. He was involved with Lions in Cupar and Kinsmen/K40 in Assiniboia, volunteering time when he was able to build parks and work at other community events. Dad was an incredible individual and the true inspiration of what it is to be a good, kind, selfless person.
If there was one lesson Dad passed on to anyone who knew him, it was to always look at the bright side of life. Dad started having health issues in 1986, when he was diagnosed with colon cancer. Shortly after, the symptoms of muscular dystrophy appeared. Eventually he became wheelchair bound in 2006. He later developed diabetes and lost one leg during Thanksgiving 2017, and then lost the second leg a year later. Even with these challenges, Dad had an amazingly positive outlook towards his friends and family, and as always, he loved to laugh. He was incredibly optimistic for someone with so many serious and debilitating health problems. With the sudden passing of mom in 2018, Dad’s world was completely turned upside down. He lost his wife, best friend, caregiver and home. Yet he was still positive and looking at the bright side of life, when he easily could have given up.
Dad’s suffering is now over. He has joined Mom in heaven. His grandson Jagger asked if Grandpa would remember how to walk? We know he is walking with Mom, hand-in-hand.
A Memorial Service in celebration of dad’s life will be held at Speers Funeral Chapel, 2136 College Avenue, Regina, SK on Saturday, May 25, 2019 at 1:00 p.m. Flowers are gratefully declined. For those who wish, donations in memory of Dad may be made to: Autism Calgary, 3639-26th Street N.E., Calgary, AB, T1Y 5E1.
Nos plus sincères sympathies à la famille et aux amis de Arthur
Warnecke 1947 2019..
Décès pour la Ville: Regina, Province: Saskatchewan