Suddenly, on December 21, 2022, we lost a good man.
Mike enthusiastically participated in a great number of activities and had a zest for getting things done. In 2017, Mike and Carole moved to East Selkirk so Mike could enjoy more of the outdoors. His favorite activities were snowmobiling, hockey, design & construction, quadding, boating, water skiing, fishing and ice fishing. Mike became an avid snowmobiler and ice fisherman. In 2021 he went ice fishing 18 times often bringing home a catch for supper. He enjoyed his favorite post ice fishing/sledding snack “haddags” with mustard.
When the Jets returned to Winnipeg, Mike was ecstatic. He was a huge fan of the Winnipeg Jets and immediately began preparing to become a season ticket holder. Leading up to securing their tickets, Mike and his friends spent a week practicing signing up for tickets with maps of the arena and credit cards strewn about on tables set up in the garage. When they were successful that Saturday afternoon, there wasn’t a dry eye among them.
He loved hockey and never missed a game whether in person or on TV. He did however take a pass on the Toronto Maple Leafs, teasing his friends Mike MacGean, Ken and Ethan Dunn relentlessly about the Leafs. He relished Poker nights with his buddies as well as playing the card game King and the A**hole at house parties – He usually took control early on and was always “The King”. No one else stood a chance!
Mike loved to go on tropical vacations and he meticulously researched the location, amenities and pricing of the various resorts before making his final decision. He always ensured that he had selected the facility with the most bang for the buck and it had to be a deluxe resort. His most cherished vacations were in Cuba including Varadero and Cayo Santa Maria. He loved the beaches, the hotels, our butlers and all the amenities.
Mike also liked to vacation closer to home and he enjoyed cabin rentals in Manitoba and Ontario. Friends Mickey and Lisa were the go-to people for renting a cabin – The two couples enjoyed Nestor Falls, ON, Big Whiteshell, Erika Lake and Belair. Friends Grant and Aprille frequently had Carole and Mike at their family cabin in Ingolf, ON. Mike helped Grant achieve his renovation dreams at the lake by taking charge of the projects and getting them done. He was very appreciative of their hospitality and wanted to contribute his time and effort in a constructive way. He was always a very useful person to have around! Carole later purchased a “fixer-upper” tiny trailer, and Mike was the fixer upper, no detail was left unfinished. They hauled their little camper to many festivals and events including Summer Winds, camping at Jill and Colin’s, Folk Festival, Bolerama and countless trips to the beautiful parks in our province including Birds Hill and Buffalo Point.
Mike liked to be creative in the kitchen and was quite an accomplished chef. He is most remembered for his delicious, petite meatballs that left people wondering how such big hands could create such a delicate meatball. He was famous for appetizers that could be consumed during a game or served at a house party. He liked his Crown Royal and often ventured into the creation of exotic cocktails.
He was always more than willing to pitch in and help anyone in need or to take the lead on a project. No job was too big or too small to pique his interest. There isn’t a deck or cabana from Netley Creek to Winnipeg Beach that did not benefit from Mike’s talents.
He never stopped learning. He embraced volunteerism and helped at the Folk Festival’s Tavern Finance and was a crucial member of the team. Amidst Covid, Mike planned and created a new event “Folk Fest at Home” complete with banners, camping, giant games, music and carnival style food. Whenever he had an idea, he gathered recruits to help him get it done.
Mike was an extremely dedicated assistant coach to Barry Bonni, Head Coach, for the River East Royal Knights, volunteering for over fifteen years. Mike took this job very seriously and he truly cared very deeply for his team and their well being. He was a mentor to the players and was always in their corner when they needed him. His team was dear to his heart. As Mike’s memorial to the River East Royal Knights, Carole intends to establish a bursary in his name so he can continue to support his team. In lieu of flowers, if you should desire, a donation to the fund for the bursary would be greatly appreciated and will help to keep Mike’s memory alive. He would have been proud to still be supporting his team.
In July 2011, Mike experienced a serious health scare and both Carole and Mike realized life is short. There was no time like the present to experience all life has to offer. They made the decision to live their lives to the fullest and did their best to do so. A decision was made in 2020 that it was time for Mike to retire and to spend time doing the things that he loved the most. Carole is grateful they made this decision, so Mike at least got to enjoy a couple of years of retirement without the stress of his very demanding career.
Mike leaves to mourn his loving wife of fourteen years, Carole Lynn (nee Stoyka), their dog Jackson, his sisters Julie Dendwick and Mary Horbaty, and his brother Steve Urias. He also leaves behind his father and mother-in-law Tom and Joyce Stoyka and his sister in-law Sheryl and husband Derek Chalmers. He was predeceased by his parents, John and Anna Urias, his sister Jean Urias, his brother-in-law John Horbaty, and his sister-in-law Barbara Urias and brother-in-law Christopher Dendwick.
He will be missed by all his nieces and nephews: Michael (Anne), Kimberley (Gerry), Stephen (Mindy), Lisa (Lance), Adam (Mandy), Laurie (Sean), Lauren, Sean and Chantell. His newfound Ukrainian family, Andrii Lukasevych, his wife Liudmyla, and their children Diana and Danylo, will miss him as well. They will surely feel a void in their lives without Michael. The little ones, Diana and Danylo, taught Mike how to enjoy children and he came to love them as part of his family. He welcomed them into their home with open arms and have helped them to establish a life here in Canada
Carole would like to extend her sincerest gratitude to first responders for their professionalism and compassion in her time of need: East Selkirk EMT’s, Dr. Terry Babick, Medical Examiner Marco Pena, District First Call, Roland, Constable Scott Brauer and his colleague, and Rick Kotaska from Interlake Cremation & Memorial Services. Gentlemen, you handled what was a very chaotic situation with infinite grace and poise. You are commended for caring for a very fragile wife during her most difficult moments. A Celebration of Life will be held on Friday, January 6th, 2022 at Cooks Creek Community Center (30026 Zora Road, Cooks Creek Manitoba) in his honour. The event will convene at 4:00 pm and end at 8:00 pm. All friends and family are most welcome and encouraged to come and pay their final respects to a dear man who has left our lives far too soon. Please bring your stories about how Mike touched your life.
We will be compiling a memory book which will give you a chance to write down your favorite thoughts of him.
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