Obituary – Steve Kushneryk

Steve Kushneryk
Nov. 4, 1936 – Feb. 27, 2024

It is with heavy hearts that the family of Steve “Scoop” Kushneryk of St. Albert, formerly of Valleyview, announce his peaceful passing at the age of 87 years on Feb. 27, 2024.

He was born to Tom and Nettie on the family farm near Rycroft on Nov. 4, 1936, the youngest of eight children. After losing his dear mother at the tender age of four, Steve’s sisters cared for him until he left the farm to begin school. He lived with the Sandul and Harbaruk families and John Fedorchuk before moving into St. Michael’s Dormitory (operated by the Sisters of Service of Canada) in junior high. The Sisters and Father Paquin had a profound impact upon Steve’s life.

After graduating from Rycroft High School in 1955, Steve worked for Northern Alberta Railways, then Central Peace Dairies. He began his 30-year career with Alberta Transportation in 1960.

Sports were always a huge part of Steve’s life. He bowled, curled and played basketball, hockey and baseball throughout his school years. Twenty years of senior baseball and 16 years of senior hockey resulted in multiple championships in the Peace Country. Steve tried out with the Edmonton Oil Kings at 17 and became property of the Detroit Red Wings. He was invited to join the juvenile team, but he could not afford to move to the city.

Steve was inducted into the Spirit River Rangers’ Wall of Fame in 2001.

Steve married the love of his life, Kathleen (Casey) Burrell, in 1969, and together they raised two daughters, Carrie and Melanie.

The family moved to Valleyview in 1976 where Steve instructed minor hockey goalies and coached the Valleyview Jets, being voted NPHL Coach-of-the-Year in 1976-77. He was part of the Jets’ executive for many years and served on the Town of Valleyview Development Appeal Board. Steve was a proud member of the Knights of Columbus Council #8427 and served on St. Rita’s Parish Pastoral Council. In addition, he was a School Board Trustee for the Valleyview RCSSD #84.

Steve finally pursued his dream job as a sports reporter after retiring from the civil service in 1991. He dedicated 19 years to covering sporting events for the Valleyview Valley Views, celebrating the achievements of athletes both young and old. In 1999, Steve was awarded Best Sports Page by the Alberta Weekly Newspapers Association. He received the David Wafler Memorial Citizen-of-the-Year Award in 2000.

“Mr. Sports” was recognized by the Alberta Sports Hall of Fame with the Alberta Centennial Salute for Sports and Recreation Award in 2005.

Steve’s role as a family man was one that he treasured above all others. He was a devoted husband to Casey and together they enjoyed camping, fishing, golfing, skiing and travelling. Highlights included visiting the Vatican, the National Baseball Hall of Fame and the home of Steve’s beloved St. Louis Cardinals, Busch Stadium. Steve and Casey spent several winters in Mexico where they formed many lifelong friendships. They moved to St. Albert in 2018.

Steve was an incredible Dad who would do anything for his girls. He spent countless hours building snow tunnels and teaching them to kick field goals, catch fish, swing a club and drive a car.

Steve’s grandchildren were his absolute pride and joy. Grandpa Steve rarely missed a game, performance, competition or recital. He collected photos and newspaper articles for each of their scrapbooks – a true labour of love.

Left to cherish Steve’s memory are his loving wife of 55 years, Casey; daughters Carrie (John) and Melanie (Chad); grandchildren Corben, Hayden, Torey, Kiersten, Tiana, and Kelan; brother George; many relatives and a multitude of friends.

Steve is predeceased by parents Tom and Nettie; brothers Harry and Mike; sisters Mary, Kathleen, Ann and Elsie; parents-in-law Ben and Pauline Burrell; son-in-law Terry Carpenter and Carl Fjeld.

The family extends heartfelt gratitude for the outpouring of condolences received during this difficult time. Sincere appreciation to Dr. Hamza Alqaser for his exceptional care and compassion, Sturgeon Medical Clinic, EMS, Dr. Ingrid deKock, St. Albert Home Care, Edmonton General Hospice Care and Steve’s former physician, Dr. Lucas Verburg.

Funeral Mass will be celebrated at St. Rita’s Catholic Church in Valleyview, Alberta on Tuesday, April 23, 2024 at 1:00 p.m. Luncheon to follow.

In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to the Canadian Cancer Society or the charity of one’s choice, if so desire.

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