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YURKOWSKI, Raymond Peter - April 8, 1930 - March 11, 2016 Ray Yurkowski, beloved husband of Marlene passed away at Weyburn's Tatagwa View care home Friday, March 11th at the age of 85. Born in Hafford SK, Ray’s family moved to a homestead south of Nipawin where he attended Sunnybook Country School at Codette, and eventually Nipawin Continuation and High Schools. He was active in the Agricultural Society, basketball, baseball, and track, where he competed at the provincial level. He was the first member of his family to attend University, graduating in 1954 from the University of Saskatchewan School of Pharmacy after interning at Davis-Glen Drugs in Nipawin. He was proud of his profession as it evolved from the “compounding chemist” where he hand-made ointments and capsules to a true diagnostic medical profession, but was proudest to have worked his way thru college, and fondly recalled surveying the first paved highways in the Melfort area, driving back roads to weekend dances, playing pickup baseball and hustling pool for spending money. After graduation, Ray married Marlene Weese of Nipawin, and started a family and his first job at Duncan’s Drugs in Prince Albert. His career took him to Starkey Drugs in Nipawin, the Co-op Pharmacy and Leonard Fysh Drugs in Moose Jaw, and finally the Weyburn Co-op and Union Hospital Pharmacies where he retired in 1994. He continued relief work at pharmacies and hospitals around the province until 1998. He will be remembered for his ability to remember faces and come out of the dispensary to chat with and assist patients long before it became common practice for pharmacists. His store managers marveled at his ability to get tremendous sale discounts on products such as toothpaste by buying impossible quantities and then reselling his surplus to stores around the province. Ray was a 40-year member of The Rotary Club, where he served terms as Weyburn President and was a driving force in establishing the Weyburn Care-A-Van program and a leading fund-raiser and organizer for Rotary programs and events including student exchanges, the Polka-fest and Carol Festival. His other community activities included mentoring the Junior Chamber of Commerce and canvassing for Salvation Army Red Shield appeals. Ray's passions included golf, fishing and the Saskatchewan Roughriders. His fond memories included playing fiddle at country dances with his brother Ernie, winning $10,000 in the lottery and touring Hong Kong, Singapore, and China with Marlene. Ray was predeceased by his wife of 58 years Marlene and his parents, Peter and Katherine Yurkowski of Nipawin. He is survived and will be greatly missed by his brother Ernest (Vi) of Lethbridge and sister Frances (Walter, d. 2010) of Saskatoon. Sons Alan (Melinda), Kevin, Brian (Karen), grandchildren Sherri (John), Robert (Rebecca), Krista, Erin, James and 4 great-grandchildren will treasure memories of "Fred." Ray donated his body to the Anatomy Department at the U of S School of Medicine as he believed that the training of medical professionals was a difficult task made harder by the scant donations of remains. Organ and body donation are simple and for the better good, and the ultimate last act of charity. He has requested his ashes be eventually interred in a private family graveside service in Nipawin's Woodlawn Cemetery. Donations to his memory can be made to the Weyburn and District Hospital Foundation.
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