It is with great sadness the family of Albert John Minish announce his passing on February 28, 2023 at Rose Villa at the age of 98 years.
Albert John Minish was born July 4, 1924. He always joked, “they really celebrate my birthday in the United States”. John was the fourth oldest born to Orville Lancelot Minish (1883-1954) and Ethel Barbara Hare (1892-1936). John shared one day that he was born in the Diplomat on his way to the hospital, however, we weren’t able to confirm this account. In 1936, John’s mother Ethel passed away leaving Orville to raise his young family on his own. The nine children were between four and 18 years of age. Hired help, Mrs. Cook, her daughters and Annabel helped look after the family. The oldest siblings also helped a great deal which allowed the family to remain together and grow up in the house on the hill. John and his siblings all attended Camberley school and some went on to the Rosetown High School. In his youth, John travelled east to work at grain terminals at Thunder Bay, riveting planes, lumbering and working in a slaughterhouse, probably in Winnipeg. John, Bob and Fred grain farmed and raised cattle together in the Camberley Cleland district until Fred moved to Lashburn in 1960 and Bob to the Lloydminster area in 1976.
John and his cousin George Hare married sisters Viola and Lena Potratz in October 1950. John and Viola made their home two miles south of the Minish home. There they raised their family - Ken, Fred, Diane, Orville and Doug. John loved socializing with neighbors and family over endless games of crib. He and Vi enjoyed years of watching hockey as the boys grew up. They didn’t always attend out of town games but John was sure to make their car available for others to drive. He was part of the Rosetown Elks and enjoyed the work of this community group. He and Vi built a new home and moved into Rosetown in 1985. This home was often bustling with Vi busy at her sewing and John tinkering in his basement workshop making marble and horse race games, shelves and other stuff. The kids and grand kids always knew there were endless boxes of Dairy Queen dilly bars at Grandpa’s. Cleverly, John would micro size goodies and soon the untouched plate was empty. In his retirement years John could be found watching any of the school sports, hockey and ball games, touring the countryside with a friend, scouting the mall for treasures, visiting friends at the Centennial Lodge, attending A&W coffee row or playing crib at the Legion and Senior Citizens Centre. He and his siblings began a yearly extended family ski trip to mountain retreats. Those not skiing watched countless hours of Briar playoffs and played games of crib. In town, he continued his passion for gardening, he was often sitting on a chair on his driveway peeling a tender kohlrabi. John loved eating fish and often would have friends take him fishing or simply drop a couple off which they knew would be eaten. In 2015, John moved out of the home he built into Rose Villa where he lived comfortably until last week. He enjoyed the activities and outings and staff at Rose Villa. A few years ago, a worker said “John…John, your fly is down” to which he responded, “it pays to advertise”. Last fall, Orville asked, “John, what’s new?”, quickly John replied “Your here to see me”. We’re certain his sense of humor brought a smile to a few faces and maybe even a frown. Sometimes he was testing, we were never too certain. It was probably Grant Cole and Stan Kerr remembering John pulling into their yards after searching the Minish yards, “don’t my boys work anymore?”
Orville remembers, “What’s that sign say?” once or twice driving to Big White, Silver Star or Kimberley.
Ron Minish remembers “You can’t live on love”. When the kids would get rowdy, Harold Minish remembers Uncle John’s saying “I’ll trade you off on a yellow dog and shoot the dog” and “It takes 47 inklings to make a clue and you don’t have an inkling”. Remember, John’s CB handle was Bunker. This was a time before political correctness.
John’s more recent sayings were, “which way’s up?” and “what’s your name?” Doug remembers, “watch for nails”, “a little hard work never hurt me”, “If you should be scared of anything, it should be beds. People die in beds”.
“How are you, John?”, “OLD” he’d say.
“Is there anything you need, John?” “Money” he’d answer, even after his stroke on February 8th.
John will be remembered for his quick wit and great smile. We will miss him.
John is survived by three siblings Shirley Shappert, Fred (Theresa) Minish, Orla (Dave) Lockerbie; three sons and daughters-in-law Ken (Karen), Orville (Michele) and Doug (Robin); daughter-in-law Wendy; son-in-law Rey Grenier; grandchildren and great-grandchildren Aaron (Shann) and children Brendan and Brielle, Krista (Scott), Sheldon (Pam) and children Emma, Sarah and Chloe, Deanne (Lee) and children Imogin and Brendan, Mandy (Steven) and son Merek, Bradley (Briane) and children Drew and Ashton, Trevor (Sara) and children Abby and Anson, Steven (Ashley) and children Eli, Aiden and Parker, Jaclyn (A-Jay) and children Brooklyn, Lincoln and Miller, Adele (Craig), Mark (Jordyn), Terri-Lynn and daughter Aria, Collette (Brandon) and children Adam, Anna and Jack, Hollee (Brett) and Jennelle.
He was predeceased by his mother Ethel (1936), father Orville (1963), daughter Diane (1998), wife Viola (2006), son Fred (2007), brothers William (2020), Robert (2021), sisters Marion Smith (1983), Vera Stevens (2000), Keitha Allen (2005) and brothers-in-law Bill Smith (1973), Willis Stevens (2015), Sydney Allen (2009) and Carl Shappert (2008).
A Celebration of Life will be held on Monday, March 6, 2023 at 11:00 a.m. at the Rosetown United Church. A livestream of the service will be available to watch here. For those unable to watch the livestream, a video of the service will be uploaded to this page in the days following. Donations in memory of John may be made to the Rosetown Legion, P.O. Box 1083 - Rosetown, SK - S0L 2V0, the Rosetown & District Health Foundation Inc. (Rose Villa Activity Fund), P.O. Box 653 - Rosetown, SK - S0L 2V0 or the Rosetown Senior Citizens Activity Centre, P.O. Box 67 - Rosetown, SK - S0L 2V0.