It is with deep sadness that we announce the passing of Steve Mentan-ko on Friday, August 21, 2015 at 84 years of age. Steve was born in the Sturgis, Sas-katchewan District on October 27, 1930 to Nestor and Pau-line Mentanko, the 7th of 11 children.
He attended school in the Sturgis Area (Cavelle School) until 1942. After he was done school he helped at the family farm north of Stur-gis. In 1949 he went to Flin Flon, Manitoba and worked hauling coal and ice blocks and then drove taxi. After that, he worked for Hudson Bay Min-ing and Smelter.
In 1951 he started working in lumber camps until 1955. It was in 1955 that he moved to Vancouver to be with mom and worked various jobs until they moved back to Saskatchewan where they were married on July 15, 1957 in Sturgis, Saskatchewan and farmed in the area. From Sturgis, they moved to Atikokan, Ontario in 1963 where dad worked at Steeprock Mines. After that, they returned back to the Sturgis district later that year and lived on the Lesanko farm. In 1963, Steve and Louise purchased the 9 & 49 Esso Station and Dairy Bar with Louise’s parents at the corner of Highways 9 and 49 near Preeceville, Saskatchewan.
In 1969 they purchased the Massey Fergusson dealership, across the road from the Esso station and ran it from 1969 to 1979. They called it 9 & 49 Cor-ral. In 1971 they moved into their new house on an acreage east of Preeceville that dad built while running back and forth to the Massey shop. They lived there until 2006. They then bought land at Lady Lady, SK and moved a log-type cabin on the site, where they took pride in making the new homestead their own. Throughout the years, he learned from his dad the skill of car-pentry, after working with him from when he was a young boy, which he transferred that knowledge to his son Kelly. With this skill, along with building their home east of Preeceville, also helped build Louise’s parents’ house at the bottom of the hill, near the sportsgrounds in Sturgis. After selling the Massey deal-ership, dad did a lot of carpentry work around the region, and told us stories of working on church steeples, perched high above the ground, never afraid of heights.
He would go and build garages, do renovations on homes and businesses in the area. He also worked on the pipelines for a time period. Dad was a ‘jack of all trades’ and a ‘master of all trades’; carpenter, outdoorsman, mechanic, gardener and Mr. Fix-It Anything. We will not see the likes of a man like him again. Dad and Mom were blessed with 4 children: Shelly born in 1960, Darci born in 1962, Jody born in 1968 and Kelly born in 1971. Dad and mom had the luxury of travelling to many places during their marriage. Some of the travel was courtesy of Massey Fergusson with dealer incentives when they travelled on a Caribbean cruise, to the Canary Islands, Mexico, and Rio de Janerio to name a few places. They took us kids as well on trips to California and Flori-da when we were in our early teens.
They also took us on many outdoor trips as well, whether it was on camping/fishing trips, travelling through Canada in the truck, tenting it, or in the moto-rhome all over Saskatchewan, Manitoba and Ontario. We would spend our summers out on the road, visiting parks and lakes each year. They took a CPR train trip out to Vancouver one year, that was memorable for them to see some of the places they once knew when they lived there for that short time. One place they never did get to was Churchill, Manitoba, to see the polar bears. Dad was proud of the gardens he and mom grew over the years. From the ‘they pick’ strawberries, saskatoons, and raspberries, to all the delicious vegetables; they got quite crafty in the wine making over the years.
They made some good concoctions of wines using various mixed berries, from cranberries, blueberries, chokecherries, saskatoons and apples. Dad and mom made their own sausage and then smoked it in dad’s home-built smokehouses along with his own bacon slabs. Dad was an avid hunter throughout the years, passing on the skill to his son, Kelly - partridges, deer, moose, prairie chickens. Over the years, dad and mom cherished their fishing trips up north to Cormorant Lake and Clearwater Lake, Manitoba, where they say was the best fishing all around. Or they would stop wherever they could find a riverside or lake to throw a line or two in or do a night or two of camping.
They also enjoyed going to the Ukrainian Music Festival in Dauphin, Manitoba. As kids we were always brought along with them to go out picking berries and mushrooms in the woods, despite all the bugs and mosqui-toes and complaining we did do. We had some very fun times as family no matter what we were doing. Steve was prede-ceased by his father Nestor, his mother Pauline and siblings: Katie, George, Harry, Harry Jr., Anne, Mike and John. He is also predeceased by the love of his life for close to 60 years, Louise (who passed away in May of this year, 3 months - less one day, to his passing).
They are together again, in eternity. Steve leaves to mourn his passing and cherish his memory his chil-dren: Shelly (Greg) Dunn, Wolseley, SK; Darci (Scott Layton) O’Connell, Calgary, AB; Jody (Rob) Coleman, Estevan, SK; Kel-ly (Carol Coghill) Mentanko, Moose Jaw, SK; 10 grandchildren: Sade (Danny) Dunn of Calgary, AB; Montana (Brad) McLeod of Calgary, AB; Shaw (Bobbie Balicki) Dunn of Saskatoon, SK and Rory Dunn of Regina, SK; Gary (Gemma) Mentanko of Dublin, Ireland and Michael O’Connell of Vancouver, BC; Austin Cole-man and Kaeli Coleman of Estevan, SK; Jordan Gailey and Kal-lie Mentanko of Moose Jaw, SK and one great-granddaughter, just 11 months old, Roselyn Ella Dunn of Saskatoon, SK.
He also leaves behind his sisters: Margaret (the late Bill Lazaruk of Kelowna, BC), Elsie (the late John Semeschuk of Sturgis) and Rita (the late George Anaka of Sturgis). He also leaves behind numerous extended family and friends. Friends so wishing may make donations in Steve’s name to the Preeceville Hospital Auxiliary Fund as tokens of remembrance. As per Steve’s wish-es, there will be no funeral service. The family will hold a private interment at a later date. The family of Steve wishes to thank everyone for their kind words of sympathy, thoughts and prayers, visits and phone calls during this difficult time. Preece-ville Funeral Home in care of arrangements.