Blaine passed away another grim statistic of the COVID-19 pandemic. He fought valiantly but succumbed 10 days after being diagnosed. Blaine was in long term care at Park Manor since July 2019 and thrived, enjoying visits from friends and relatives as well as connecting with all of the staff. Despite Blaine’s physical limitations his mind remained agile and engaged. The social isolation created by the pandemic had a dramatic impact on Blaine as he was confined to his room for months. In his final hours a gift was delivered when his granddaughter Nicole was able to be with him at his passing. This was his death but we want to tell you about some of his life.
Blaine was born and raised in Oakbank, Manitoba. He was the oldest of 5 children born to Wilfred and Christine Grapentine. Blaine had two brothers and two sisters all living happily in a 3 bedroom. Blaine shared a bed with his brother and rather than fighting nightly over who had more room, Blaine decided he would take matters into his own hands. He fastened a two by four to the headboard and centred it the length of the bed, problem solved. Thus began a life of critical thinking.
Early days consisted of earning his keep by cleaning up around the family owned garage. Blaine realized these skills could be transferred to an income stream and at a young age became the school janitor.
Blaine excelled in most sports but was mostly known for his baseball skills. His Dad told him one thing, that he had better learn how to hit the ball far because you are too slow of a runner. So he did and was known as a long ball hitter back in the day.
As he matured into a young man, at 16, he began working summers in logging camps in northern BC. It was hard work but he had great memories of some of the characters he came across. Dad a strong work ethic and a desire to succeed, he instilled that in all of his children. He placed a high value on education and playing to the whistle.
Deciding a life of physical labour was not for him and while he would have really preferred to attend University, the circumstances were not conducive, so he started a career. Blaine had a real love of farming and agri-business and so began a lifelong career in the marketing of farm machinery with Co-Op Implements, Massey Ferguson and Flatt Implements. Blaine left the farm equipment business to take a position with the Province of Manitoba as Secretary Treasurer of the Farm Machinery Board from which he retired in1995.
Our family journey started in 1953, when Blaine married our mom Phyllis and bought a home in Transcona in 1957. There they raised 4 children, Jeff, Jim, Shelley and Maureen. It was a busy home full of love and support.
Family was very important and we were enriched by having 14 cousins living in either Transcona or Oakbank. Family gatherings at our grandparent’s farm, no matter the season, were a cherished event full of laughter, fiddle and piano music.
Dad and Mom had a vision to give their children the lake experience and in1963 they bought a lot in Gimli. Our summers were spent roaming free, swimming and gathering with friends and family.
The cottage gift lived on as grandchildren arrived and spent time with Grandpa and Grandma. They have their own fond memories — Grandpa snuggling with them on the floor with his rum and Pepsi watching the Bomber games and calling the players bums, just to get a giggle from the grandkids; Grandpa taking them for ice-cream; a walk on the dock; endless tosses in air and into the lake; card games, stories and tickles. Skipping stones to wide eyed kids as they cheered him on for more.
Dad loved to go for long swims in the lake, this was one of his greatest pleasures in life. After that a little lay in the sun and then an afternoon nap while mom cut the grass!!
Dad was an avid reader of biographies of all kinds but a definite affinity to sports figures/stories. Favourite hockey hero, hands down Gordie Howe with Bobby Orr a close second.
Dad was a proud member of the Masonic Lodge as his way of giving back to the community. Both Mom and Dad were active in the Transcona Memorial United Church.
Throughout their married life Mom and Dad enjoyed, musical theatre, different types music concerts and were season ticket holders the original Jets. Watching or attending curling events was a mainstay of their life.
When Mom passed away in 2007 Dad had to find his own way. On that journey he met Dorothy Ross and they married in 2011. They shared their lives together for 9 years. Dad was loved, happy and contented.
Blaine is survived by four children: Jeff (Lorna), Jim (Louise), Shelley Wilson (Brent) and Maureen Davies. Dad had 5 grandchildren: Jason (Carla), Jamie (Billy), Melissa (Michael), Nicole (Graeme) and Lucas (Veronika). He was blessed to have had 5 great grandchildren: Ben, Ari, Hannah, Ava, and Samantha.
Blaine was predeceased by his wife Phyllis, her parents Joe and Katie Lipinske and his sister-in law Audrey Lowes. Blaine was also predeceased by his parents Wilfred and Christine Grapentine, his brother Glen (Florence) and his sister Yvonne Halliday (Jay). He will be missed by his brother Ron (Yvonne). Sadly, at the time of this writing, Blaine’s sister Gail Stoyko (Wally) passed away on December 26, 2020.
Thanks to all the staff at Park Manor for making a home for Blaine and providing him comfort and care.
Given the present pandemic, a graveside interment of ashes will be held on a warm spring or summer day.
Nos plus sincères sympathies à la famille et aux amis de Blaine Grapentine Tuesday December 22nd 2020..
Décès pour la Ville: Oakbank, Province: Manitoba