Lives remembered: A list of the 16 seniors killed in Manitoba bus crash

Lives remembered: A list of the 16 seniors killed in Manitoba bus crash
The 16 seniors who died after their minibus was struck last week by a semi-truck west of Winnipeg. Top row (left to right) Louis Bretecher, Margaret Furkalo, Vangie Gilchrist, Ann Hill and Helen Kufley. Middle row (left to right) Arlene Lindquist, Dianne Medwid, Nettie Nakonechny, Shirley Novalkowski and Frank and Rose Perzylo. Bottom row (left to right) Jean Rosenkranz, Donna Showdra, Lillian Stobbe, Patsy Zamrykut and Claudia Zurba.

Grandmothers, great-grandmothers, a former school teacher, a music lover and a gardener are among the 16 seniors who died after a fiery bus crash in western Manitoba on June 15. The bus had been taking a group from Dauphin and the surrounding area on a day trip to a casino, when it crashed with a transport truck near the town of Carberry. As of Monday, nine others on the bus were still in hospital.

Here’s a list of those who died:

Louis Bretecher, 81 — A family statement says Bretecher was a beloved husband, father and “pepere,” or grandfather.

Margaret Furkalo, 82 — A statement says she will be forever in people’s hearts.

Vangie Gilchrist, 83 — Gilchrist’s first name was Evangeline, but she went by Vangie. Messages on her obituary page say she was an amazing woman and “true force,” a grandmother who bowled and volunteered for different causes.

Ann Hill, 81 — A statement from family says she was a mother, grandma, great-grandmother and sister. Messages on the funeral home’s website say she was proud of her family, would have pleasant chats with people while gardening and had a beautiful smile. Her obituary asks people to hug their loved ones, cherish them and “let them know how much they mean to you and how much you love them.”

Helen Kufley, 88 — A family statement says Kufley was a vibrant mom, baba and great-baba. She was a cornerstone of the family and will be missed terribly. An obituary says Kufley had an infectious smile and laugh, and her family would cherish that even more as time evolved. Kufley was immensely proud of her children, their accomplishments and adventures, but was equally passionate about her community. She loved to volunteer and was “always set to roll up her sleeves and pitch in.”

Arlene Lindquist, 68 — A statement says she was a loving mother, grandmother and friend.

Dianne Medwid, 70 — Medwid cared a lot about her family, says great-nephew Rodney Medwid. He says he connected with her over Facebook a few years ago so he could learn his family history. She provided him with photos and stories that he says he will forever cherish. Dianne Medwid, who was also a music lover, sent him a violin that he plans to learn to play. She was from Dauphin and worked at a local accounting firm.

“She just literally revitalized my last name for me and got me back to being proud to be a Medwid,” says Rodney Medwid, a musician.

“She was magical and I hold her dear to my heart.”

Nettie Nakonechny, 87 — A statement says she was a longtime resident of Dauphin, a former school teacher and baba to grandchildren and great-grandchildren. She was very proud of her Ukrainian culture and will be missed.

Shirley Novalkowski, 76 — A statement says she was a loving mother, grandmother and sister. A message on the funeral home’s website says Novalkowski was a true friend and core to the community. It says she played a role in getting a sculpture built in Dauphin to honour the contributions of Ukrainian women there.

Frank Perzylo, 82 — A message on an obituary page for Perzylo and his wife describes him as being very helpful, particularly when it came to farm work. He also liked to hunt.

Rose Perzylo, 80 — Messages on the same obituary page say the couple was friendly and neighbourly. A message says she volunteered at weekly bingo for 25 years.

Jean Rosenkranz, 82

Donna Showdra, 79 — Showdra was recovering from a separate accident months ago when she decided to go on her first small trip to the casino on June 15. “(Showdra) was determined and strong to overcome all of the challenges that came when healing from this accident,” her granddaughter, Cortney Prytula, said on June 26 during a private family service that was also livestreamed for the public. Showdra was hit by a truck while walking in Dauphin at the end of last summer. Weeks before her death, Showdra was “proudly” walking around a grocery store, said Prytula. Showdra was a compassionate but tough baba, or grandmother, to her nine grandchildren and many great-grandchildren. The 79-year-old loved to garden, cook and care for others. She also spent time travelling to Alaska, Niagara Falls and Alberta.

Lillian Stobbe, 73 — A statement says she was a loving mother, nana and friend. Her obituary asks people to make donations in her memory to the Parkland Humane Society, where she worked. Messages on the funeral home website describe her as compassionate, loving and caring.

Patsy Zamrykut, 88 — An obituary says Zamrykut lived in the Horyn district before residing in Dauphin. Messages posted on the funeral home’s website said she was a wise, kind and compassionate woman who spent time laughing with friends over coffee and playing cards.

Claudia Zurba, 87 — A statement says Zurba’s life was a blessing, she was loved beyond words and will be missed beyond measure. She was a mom, nana, great-nana and great-great nana. An obituary says Zurba was from the tiny community of Fork River, north of Dauphin, and people attending her funeral this week are asked to wear bright orange or coral in her honour.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published June 26, 2023. 

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