In Loving Memory of Dan "Springer" Shewchuk
Daniel Joseph Shewchuk was born on August 17th, 1958 in Lestock Sk to his parents Anne (Wielgoz) and Joe Shewchuk. He grew up on a farm south of Wishart, the place he always considered home. He was the fourth out of five children, and lived his early years like so many prairie boys of the era. The days consisted of a lot of work on the family chicken farm, time outdoors, making his own fun with his siblings and all the things of prairie life in the sixties and seventies. Cousins were plentiful, every weekend a family wedding. He could dance like the wind and loved to spin his partner around. He loved to polka especially. Kalla learned to polka on our kitchen floor and she had her dads rhythm - the rest of our family not so much. Every dance shared over our marriage he slowed it down for his partner, as a gentleman does. He had a million stories about his youth. A special memory was the summer he and his brother, Mike stayed the entire summer in a old broken down granary on the farm. They set it up with a mattress and a prized transistor radio. That was it. They spent the nights out there under the stars doing what brothers do. To this day, every time he heard the song, ‘American Pie’ by Don McLean he told the story how this just reminded him of that summer. He would sing along and just be right back there. We asked, “Well, what about the mosquitoes and the discomforts of no power?” He replied with a smile, “it was the time of my life.” As a child, he got the nickname, ‘Springer.’ People would always say, “Huh? Is that a last name or a first name?” Well, it’s really just his name. At the time, he had his maternal grandfather living with the family. Every morning, Anne would be getting everyone going and she would call out that it was time to get up. Gido would be at the table already and little Danny was the first out of bed, bounding up the stairs and ready for the day. He was like that with everything, the first to get it done. Gido commented, “That boy is like a spring.” He’s always ‘springing up everywhere’ - to get up, to get food ready with his mom, to get the job done. Many of his friends had nicknames too, and to hear him talk about them using nicknames was often funny. You had to be from Wishart to know who he was talking about. Everyone there had a nickname and his just really stuck. It stuck so hard his immediate family used it too. People wrote it on checks and the bank cashed them; a parcel arrived addressed to, “Springer Wynyard SK’; he wrote the one word when he bought a raffle ticket or signed up for golf, etc. It really was his identity. Springer had many interests. His love of games and sports started from the basics, home made competition with his brothers and cousins. Maybe it was ball with sticks for bases, dugout canoe horseplay in the summer, skating in the winter with one shared pair of skates or wrestling after supper. There was no money or access for organized sports like hockey until he was a late teen. Then, it was because he saved his own money. He scrounged up equipment, painted the scuffed skates with black paint and off he went. Every sport there was, he played with gusto. He had a deeply competitive spirit. If you were going to bother to play, you were going to know what you were doing and put in 100 percent. Playing a game meant you were in the game and paying attention. Springer played cards like that too. I can hear him shuffling like an expert, wanting everyone to lay their cards quickly and efficiently and ready for their turn. If you made a poor play, he would give you the side eye. He taught our kids crib and three spot - I loved to hear them all hooting and hollering at the card table. He was now on to the next generation. Grandpa didn’t let you win very often, you were for sure taking your turn and you were definitely not peeking. Over the years, he picked a ton of wild mushrooms, grew gardens that flourished, made thousands of pots of soup and more. He walked, biked and golfed for hours; he reffed, coached and played hockey and baseball; he was an avid follower of professional sports too. Springer did many things in this work life. He was a farmer and part of their poultry operation at the time; he joined the army and the railways; he drove an ambulance; he tried the oil rigs; he cooked in restaurants and bartended; he drove trucks and worked for Lilydale in a variety of capacities; he had a delivery business too. He believed in hard work and would have done any job with pride and good effort. His best work years were at Maple /Pattison Ag. Customer service selling ag parts was the perfect occupation. He loved the challenge of finding a part. We remember years of him answering the work phone in the evening, pulling out his trusty notepad, getting his glasses on and getting down the business. He wasn’t the best communicator at times and it could be a challenge getting it clear what he was asking you for or telling you, but his heart was in it. If he sold you a gadget, it came with a lifetime warranty of him helping you figure it out. He finished his last day of work mere hours before he died. He had boundless energy and could accomplish more on his lunch break than we could in a day. We married in 1990 and would have celebrated 33 years May 19th. A Hawaii trip was planned for Jan 11/23. We booked a convertible Volkswagen, a cottage on the beach and were planning to bask in the beauty neither of us had experienced before. We had a perfectly imperfect life. There were wonderful times and some hard times; great joy and immense heartache; our share of head butting over silly things; raised voices and a few slammed doors. There were a million ordinary days in there too. Our children were his greatest joy. Davis came in 1995, and Michael and Kalla in 1999. He was the most involved dad ever. Our first grandchild, Ember, was born in 2016 and she was the light of his life. We will miss his laughter and teasing, his snap chats and texts (punctuation free as they were). We will smile and giggle that it was true - he was never going to have to learn e-transfers and he got away with having the oldest clip on your belt cell phone of anyone we knew. We will remember with fondness, his generous spirit and his loving ways. We will smile every time we see a leaf blower or chainsaw, a golf grip, two friends sharing a joke, or a great lawn. We will enjoy his pickles, sausages and perogies for months. We will feel this loss forever. We are awestruck by our community and the support we are receiving - thank-you doesn’t seem to cover it. Please know your kindness is like balm to our broken hearts. Life truly can change in a flash. He wanted to have a big party when he turned 65. We want to invite friends and family to our yard / garage on August 19th, 2023 for a “come and go” from 3 pm till the backyard fire is out to celebrate a life well lived. Please consider this your invitation and bring a lawn chair if you can. 513 9th st East in Wynyard. We plan to sponsor men’s night on his actual birthday Aug 17 if we can make it happen. If he had anything of yours he’s been fixing/ regripping, don’t be fearful reach out and we can find it.
Much love from Tera, Davis (Sara and Ember), Mike (Samara) and Kalla (Brett)
In lieu of flowers please consider a donation to the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada in his name.
Those wishing to send cards of caring & sympathy may send them to
The Shewchuk Family
Wynyard, SK S0A 4T0