Obituary of Peter Stephen Kolenick
With family by his side, in the early morning hours of Sunday June 13th, 2021, our beloved husband and father, Peter Stephen Kolenick, passed away peacefully at age 69, leaving a legacy of love, humour, and integrity.
Peter was born on February 2, 1952 in Cupar, Saskatchewan to Peter Sr. and Esther Kolenick. He had two older sisters, Gayle and Janet and a younger brother Paul.
He excelled in both athletics and academics developing a lifelong passion for sports, especially hockey. He was accelerated in primary school and at the age of 19 gained early entrance into the College of Law. Soon after his 22nd birthday he graduated with his Bachelor of Law Degree.
It was in his first year of Law that he met the love of his life, Wanda Thorsness, a nursing student who happened to be visiting a classmate in Wakaw for the weekend. A lift back into Saskatoon with Peter was the beginning of their love story. He often told the tale of her “throwing the ring back in his face” and that “if she changed her mind, she’d be the one proposing”. Soon thereafter, she came to her senses and proposed. Best decision of her life! On July 20th, 1974 Peter and Wanda were married at the Saltcoats United Church.
Peter articled and worked at the law firm, MacDermid & Company until January of 1977 when he accepted a position with Legal Aid in Yorkton. Peter wanted to “put down roots” and Wanda’s dream was to raise a family, so as a “team” they decided to begin the next chapter of their life together in the nearby town of Saltcoats. They built a beautiful home on the lake next door to Mom and Dad Thorsness whom Peter loved to the fullest and they, him. In 1978 Peter and Wanda welcomed the first of their 4 children to be born in a 6-year span. Life was busy and so good.
Peter always dove heart-first into life, whether he was driving across the frozen prairie to defend a client in need; staying up too late hand-crafting a wooden locomotive for a son with an unhealthy train obsession; clearing and maintaining the annual skating rink on the lake; or spending way too much money on a bionic elbow for “Potash” the adopted family cat.
He served his community well spending 17 years on Town Council and almost as many as a member of session for the Saltcoats United Church. He helped with the coaching of the kids’ sporting activities of which there were many.
He loved loud music, jokes, and a blue rare steak. He loved physical fitness, playing tennis, shinny, crosswords, basement ping pong and Nintendo pinball. Above all else he loved his wife and children.
Peter played old boy’s hockey with the Saltcoats “Gang Green”. He was a loyal fan of the Philadelphia Flyers and the Saskatoon Blades. Even at the onset of his illness, he loved playing in the 60-plus league in Saskatoon.
Peter served nearly 20 years as a lawyer with Legal Aid. During that time, he served as President of the Yorkton-Melville Bar Association and was appointed Queen’s Counsel. He also served as a Bencher and later as President of the Law Society of Saskatchewan.
He contributed immensely to the legal profession and was dedicated to his clients and the administration of justice. In July 1996 he was appointed to the Saskatchewan Provincial Court where he served for over 16 years.
For the past 8 years our world has been clouded over by Peter’s declining health. As the sun set on his brilliant life, it was reflected in those clouds of grief, illuminating our lives in ways we never could have imagined. We are thankful to him for teaching us throughout his life and for the lessons we learned while losing him. We will treasure the time spent by his bedside; reminiscing; laughing; crying, playing piano, and singing softly (most of the time). It was truly a time of healing.
Peter believed in God and knew he was blessed, and with that awareness came an unwavering spirit of generosity and care. Losing Peter is a source of deep sadness for us but as we grieve, we also feel an enormous sense of relief that his suffering is at an end. He is now at peace.
Remembering Peter with hearts full of love and gratitude are his wife Wanda, sons Daniel (Stacey); Lee (Kriti); daughters Ellen (John Nasser) and Amy (Brian Pfefferle) and 10 beautiful grandchildren; Thomas and Matthew; Molly and Emily; Bella, Millie, Sam and Walt; Leah and Max. He is also lovingly remembered by his mother-in-law Peg Thorsness.
Since Peter’s death our family has been so grateful to receive countless messages of support and fond memories. They have made reference to his sense of humor, his intellect, approachability, mentorship, comradery, and the kindness he so often showed to others.
We wish to thank the wonderful, caring staff at Samaritan Place, Dr. Johann Kriegler, and Peter’s many friends and colleagues.
Condolences may be expressed online at www.saskatoonfuneralhome.com. Donations in memory of Peter may be made to a charity of your choice.
Our most sincere sympathies to the family and friends of Peter
Kolenick 1952 2021..
Death notice for the town of: Saskatoon, Province: Saskatchewan