Joseph Kowalchuk

Obituary of Joseph David Kowalchuk


Kowalchuk, Joseph David—Following a battle with cancer which intensified over the past several weeks, Joseph was called from this life on Saturday, October 7, 2023, on the Feast of Our Lady of the Holy Rosary.    He was surrounded by family, the thing that mattered most in his life.

     Joseph was born on March 17th, 1941, in Wakaw, Saskatchewan, where his family first lived after his parents, Peter and Irene, emigrated from the Ukraine a decade earlier.     Living and working on the family farm until the age of 15, Joseph, with a young man’s adventuresome spirit, signed on as deckhand on freight ships traversing the Great Lakes.   

     In 1964, at the age of 23, Joseph accepted employment as a diver in the mechanical maintenance department with the St. Lawrence Seaway.   Encountering situations which required courage, practicality, creativity and sound judgment, Joseph was right in his element.  Joseph finished out the last part of his career as a diver foreman maintenance supervisor, which afforded him more time for coffee breaks which made him happy.  After 33 years of service on the Seaway, Joseph retired and enjoyed many years of good health, laughter and silliness with his loving wife Judy and his family.   

     In 2018, Joseph asked for Baptism and was brought into the Catholic Church at the hands of his son, Fr. Richard.    Over the next years, Joseph would faithfully attend Mass at Star of the Sea Parish, where his son has been serving as Pastor since 2015.

     Of the things in life which pleased him most, his family were at the top of the list.  He will be sadly missed by Judy and her two children, Wade (Chas), Marnie (Rob), and his own children from his previous marriage to Dianne:   Tracey (Don), Fr. Richard, Brandy (Mark), and Michael (Angelica).   He was also the proud grandfather of Karlie, Angelina, Jada, Carter, Aidan, Owen, Campbell, Aaron, Lucas, Brock, Nathan, Asher, Greyson and River.  He became a great-grandfather to Naya in 2021.

    Joseph lived a simple, gentle, quiet life, enjoying the little things such as kindness, Rickard’s Red beer, puttering around his garage, exercising, riding his motorcycle, being in nature, and taking walks with his beloved dog, Diva.  Although he gave up his pilot’s license years ago, his heart still had wings.

    The family would like to extend a warm thank you to the caring hospital staff at both Niagara Health and Hotel Dieu Shaver Hospital.


      Visitation for Joseph will be held at George Darte Funeral Home, 585 Carlton Street, on Tuesday, October 10 from 6-8 p.m.  The funeral Mass will take place at Star of the Sea Roman Catholic Church on Wednesday, October 11 at 11:00 a.m.    Donations in Joseph’s honour may be made to Star of the Sea Parish or March of Dimes.  




6:00 pm - 8:00 pm
Tuesday, October 10, 2023
George Darte Funeral Home
585 Carlton Street
St. Catharines, Ontario, Canada

Funeral Mass

11:00 am - 12:00 pm
Wednesday, October 11, 2023
Star of the Sea Roman Catholic Church
34 Elgin St.
St. Catharines, Ontario, Canada
905 934 1170
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