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Updated: May 27, 2022

October 9, 1929 - May 14, 2022

On May 14, 2022, this energizer bunny of a man passed away peacefully at Seven Oaks Hospital after a battle with cancer.

Maurice is lovingly remembered by his daughter Shirley; granddaughters, Robyn, Vicky (Neil), his three greatest opponents or partners in crib. Also, his nieces and nephews and extended family, being neighbours, church and community members, many friends and of course, his feline companion, Albert. He is also survived by his sister-in-law and husband, Olga and Mike Makodanski. We would like to thank Steve and Linda, Boris, and Ina, for always checking in on him.

He was predeceased by his wife Victoria in 2013; feline buddies, Smokey, Bert, and Willie; his parents, Anne and George Lakusta; in-laws, Anne and Wasyliw Krelaty; siblings, Alec, Lillian, and Ernie. He was also predeceased by Victoria's siblings, Joseph, Mary, Fred, Sidney, Anne, and Nick.

Maurice had more than a full life. He was raised on a family farm in Senkiw, MB, and finished high school in Winnipeg at age 16, when he moved on to Normal School to achieve his teacher's permit. He eventually became part of the reunion committee. He taught in small communities in southwestern Manitoba and then moved on to his next big adventure; he married Victoria on October 6, 1951.

Victoria and Maurice lived in Gardenton for a few years and then moved to Gonor, MB for his next teaching gig. This is where they also discovered their favourite hot dog stand, the Half Moon. They then moved into Winnipeg's North End where Maurice spent the rest of his teaching career in the West End. He absolutely loved his connection with families and students at Sargent Park, Cecil Rhodes, and Tec Voc. He eventually came to become a fundraiser extraordinaire for schools, churches, and community, even helping to raise funds for the first two snow leopards at the Assiniboine Park Zoo. Maurice supported so many fundraisers but far too many to mention, but you always knew he had tickets in his left chest shirt pocket (if he had a shirt on). Grey Cup, Super Bowl, and raffle tickets were always available.

As a philanthropist, he gave to United Way, St. Mary's the Protectress Ukrainian Orthodox Church, Veselka Camp, Winnipeg School Division Heritage Fund, the Robert Coffey Memorial Sports Fund, and so many others.

Maurice spent his life working, supporting family, friends, and community, and enjoyed life by serving others. He also enjoyed his life by taking part in sports (hell of a baseball player and eventually an umpire). He also really enjoyed watching the Jets, Bombers, Raptors, and the Jays on TV. He also truly enjoyed the outdoors: fishing, picking berries, mushrooms, and yes, even pulling weeds anywhere. He also enjoyed taking his granddaughters on adventures (dragging Baba along), and creating extraordinary projects for their amusement, such as a winter luge track that took up the entire backyard.

To the staff of the Amber Meadow Assisted Living Residence, and to the staff of the 3rd floor, Unit 7, at Seven Oaks Hospital, thank you for your sincere care, patience, and professionalism. We now know Maurice (dad, gido), will be welcomed into a host of great company and we are grateful for his time here with us.

If anyone would like to donate in honour of Maurice, we know he would appreciate if you donated a 'pint' to the Canadian Blood Services, for which he was a lifetime donor. You could also choose to donate to the Ukrainian Relief Fund.

Cremation has taken place according to Maurice's wishes, a later interment will take place in early 2023 when all family and friends can be together.

Vichnaya Pamyat

As published in Winnipeg Free Press on May 21, 2022

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