Passed on November 3, 2023
Jan 29th, 1932 – Nov 3rd, 2023 It is with great sadness to announce the passing of the best Husband, Dad, Grampa, and Great Grampa a Family can ever have, Jacob Warkentin (Jack). He lost his best friend, Business partner and loving wife Marilyn in March this year just shy of their 64-wedding anniversary. A role model, mentor and teacher who led by example to his children; Wayne (Gloria), Tim (Lisa), Paul (Jane), Debrah (Chris), Terry (Tammy).
A caring and supportive Grandfather who loved his Grandchildren so much: Brandy (Dan); Cara (Curtis) David and Deanna; Dakota (Jeff); Gabe (Kristin); Zach (Mina); Jayme (Hanna); Sydney and Isaiah (Kat); Amanda (Cameron); Rebeca (Kallem); Zane and Cole. Jack adored and always had time to play with and tease his Great Grandchildren Ashton, Payton, Bree, Claire, John, Sadie, and Abbie. When it comes to the littles in Jack’s life grandchildren and great grandchildren, a sense of play and adventure came through with a sparkle in his eye. He was always ready to help them learn to walk, read them their favorite books or just get down on the floor to play! He had many adventures with them because he stopped to take the time knowing those were precious moments. He carried that trait thru even the years he was in personal care. Family and unity of family took priority for him. “A Family that works and plays together stays together.”
Jack was the middle child of 11 of the late Abram and Helena Warkentin from Glenlea Manitoba. He is survived by one brother Peter (Helen) and 1 sister Margaret (Ben) Dyck along with sisters-in-law Edith (Abe), Lynda (Frankie) and Agnes (John) Warkentin. There were many stories from Dad growing up in Glenlea; about playing hockey with his brothers and hitching the horses to go to school in the winter. Apparently, it was uphill both ways!
Jack met the love of his life at a Bingo dance. Marilyn soon became confused that Jack was never available Thursday evenings. Dad had taken it upon himself to take dance lessons because he knew how much Marilyn loved to dance! Shortly afterward the courting on May 2, 1959 they became partners in Life and Business. Quickly the 2 turned to 7! They bought a small hobby farm in Teulon and Dad’s entrepreneurial spirit started by raising pigs then chicken for extra income. Jack worked at various jobs to support his brood. From commuting back and forth to Winnipeg to driving a school bus. Dad always was available for his kids on the farm. He coached us in hockey, baseball, and curling. Jack was always the first volunteering to pack up the station wagon with as many kids as possible to take us to an out-of-town hockey or baseball tournament. We were the first in our area to have a skidoo and a dirt bike, not sure how they afforded it? One day he came home from an auction with a Pony for us kids much to Mom’s chagrin!
Jack was an avid golfer, one of the first chartered members of the Teulon Golf Course. He was also passionate about curling which he didn’t take up until moving to Teulon. Jack loved and enjoyed his fishing, packing up his brood and heading north to his favorite fishing holes.
In 1977, Jack and Marilyn took on a new adventure with their 5 young kids. They literally “sold the farm” and bought a Tourist Fishing Lodge on Lake of the Woods, which they ran for the next 20 years. Portage Bay Camp is situated 32 miles by boat, south of Kenora.
Jack was a “Jack of all trades”. He was able to fix a diesel generator, rewire, re-roof, and re-do most of the cabins and docks at Portage Bay. The guests loved Dad. He always had a warm greeting, a joke, a story and a big smile for them. Jack was an optimist-always looking for the positive things in life. That coupled with hard work and long hours made him successful.
Jack was not a man of many words. His handshake was gold and a man who let his actions speak for him. Upon retiring and selling Portage Bay Camp the Propane barge owner asked Dad what his plans in retirement where. Dad said perhaps buying property closer to Kenora. The Barge owner said he had a piece of property on Channel Island. They negotiated and shook hands with one concession. The Barge owner was to haul Dad’s cabin on his barge 25 miles to Channel Island. Through Jack’s ingenuity and common sense, we lifted the cabin and “gently” slid it on the barge. It still stands today, with a few additions on Channel Island where many Family gatherings and memories were made. One such memory is Jack and Marilyn’s 60 wedding anniversary in 2019 where they renewed their vows in front of all their Family. Jack was 87 at the time and spent the day fishing, swimming and even went for a Sea-Doo ride with his grandson.
During the 20 years running Portage Bay Camp, Jack was the caretaker of the Teulon Curling Club. He took great pride in making the curling ice. Jack constantly experimented with different ways of scraping and pebbling the curling ice. The competitive curlers nicknamed him “Shorty”. He instilled in us kids to always do the best possible job you can (measure twice and cut once) and take pride in your work. Jack’s handy work can be seen in many of the sibling’s homes. Dad’s philosophy was “things in motion stay in motion”. Jack loved to fix, build, and help. Even in his retirement he would always be the first to volunteer to help put the ice in at the curling club. Besides the love of fishing, curling was a passion of Jack’s. He curled in many Bonspiels till his mid 80’s with all of his children at one time or another. Dad was also able to curl with some of his grandkids. Many a Warkentin Christmas get together were held at a curling club either in Teulon or Kenora. Dad took great pleasure watching and curling with 4 generations of Warkentin’s having fun on the curling ice. In 2019 Jack threw the opening rock for the Northern Ontario Provincial Curling Championship in which 4 of his kids participated in. He enjoyed needling Al Hackner!
Jack was a wonderful, amazing, loyal, caring, and thoughtful Husband, Father, Grandfather, Great Grandfather and Friend! He was a person to look up to and to emulate.
You are my sunshine, my only sunshine. You make me happy when skies are grey. You never knew dear how much I love you, please don’t keep my sunshine away.
As per Jack’s request there will not be a formal service but a celebration of life for Family at Channel Island.
In lieu of flowers, donations to the Alzheimer Society or Teulon Curling Club would be appreciated.
A special Thank-you to the Dr. Loudon along with the staff at Goodwin Lodge in Teulon for the support and care of Jack over the past 3 years.
I never got to meet Jack, but because of this obituary I really wish I had. I have met his son Tim and have gotten to know him well over the past year. I can see a lot of those wonderful traits that Jack had, represented in Tim. Me and Marcie are very sorry for your losses this past year Tim and family. Even through your grief and sadness you have been an amazing, caring, and wonderful friend. All traits that I’m sure you picked up from Jack. Your friends always, Todd and Marcie
Sorry for your loss. Jack always held a special place in my heart as he would let me throw rocks on one sheet as he scraped another bumping me over a sheet when he finished the one he was working on. Rest in Peace Jack.
I got to know Jack through his brother Peter who was my room mate at MCI gretna in 1952/53. I played hockey 0n the open air rink we built with the Warkentin brothers at Glenlea and to this date keep in close contact with him.We attended Jack and Marilyns wedding and in later years we were privelidged to spend a weekend at Portage Bay camp with Peter and Helen.We have great memories. Our condolences to all the Warkentin families. Vern and Aggie Fast
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