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HOLOWISKY – Joseph Neil

March 29, 1942 – February 20, 2010

It is with heavy hearts the family announces the passing of Joseph Holowisky of Calgary on February 20, 2010. Joe always believed that there was one more miracle out there that he could claim and we marvelled at how he fought his heart disease with determination. After a twenty-two year battle with heart disease, he courageously passed away suddenly with all the dignity he was known for. He is survived by his best friend and the love of his life of forty-one years, Dianne; and his children, son Todd and daughter Gillian, whom he cherished more than his own life.

Joe was born in Richmond, Alberta and graduated from Westlock High School. He coached and played hockey and semi-pro baseball, spent five years as an accountant with Peat, Marwick, Mitchell in Penticton, B.C. and moved to Calgary in 1971 to join Hudson Bay Oil and Gas Company. In 1982, Joe became the first employee of Canpar Holdings, Ltd. as audit manager. In 1985, he was appointed Manager, Accounting and Audit, for both Canpar and Rife Resources. In 1991, he was promoted to Vice President of Finance and Administration for both companies. Joe was instrumental in establishing Freehold Royalty Trust, a publicly traded oil and gas trust, and in 1996 he became Vice President, Finance and Administration, and Corporate Secretary of Freehold. He retired in 2009 as Chief Financial Officer, leaving a job and staff he loved.

His greatest joys in life were watching Todd play hockey and baseball and Gillian dance. He never missed a game, show or any other event in his children’s lives. He couldn’t believe his good fortune when both his children graduated from Oklahoma City University, with High Honours, the same day.

An avid sports fan, Joe was especially fond of the Calgary Flames, New York Yankees and Houston Texans. It had become a yearly tradition to visit Yankee Stadium and Reliant Stadium. He also took great pleasure playing golf, talking politics and trading stocks. He loved to travel the world with his wife and started the countdown for his annual trip to Maui the minute he arrived back in Calgary.

It is difficult to summarize a great man’s life in a few sentences. Joe was an exceptional man that defied the odds in all aspects of his life. He knew what it meant to be a real partner: supportive, encouraging, dependable, forthright, loyal, compassionate and always did his best to help those around him succeed and feel loved. Joe will be deeply missed by his family, friends and colleagues. We love you Joe, always and forever.

The family would like to thank all the staff at the Foothill Hospital for their tireless work and efforts to make Joe as comfortable as possible. We are forever grateful to Drs. Anderson, McMeekan, Zielke, Charbonneau, Isaac and Kavanagh and the nurses and additional staff including Kirk, Estelle, Rachelle, Trish, Allison, Pam, Janelle and Duane. Further thanks to everyone at the cardiac function, especially Tracy French.

Funeral Services will be held at First Alliance Church (12345 – 40th Street S.E.) on Thursday, Febuary 25, 2010 at 2:00p.m. Forward condolences through www.mcinnisandholloway.com. If friends so desire, memorial tributes may be made in Joe’s name directly to the research of Dr. Todd Anderson at the Libin Cardiovascular Institute of Alberta. Donations to be made out to “Univerity of Calgary” with “Todd Anderson – LCIA” in the memo and mailed to G247 HSC, 3330 Hospital Drive NW, Calgary, AB T2N 4N1.

In living memory of Joe Holowisky, a tree will be planted at Fish Creek Provincial Park by McINNIS & HOLLOWAY FUNERAL HOMES, Fish Creek Chapel, 14441 BANNISTER ROAD S.E. Telephone: (403) 256-9575.

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Condolence Messages

  1. Dear Dianne, Gillian and Todd:

    I am so deeply sorry to hear of Joe’s passing – may you all find peace and strength with warm memories and may God embrace you all during this very difficult time.
    Peace,
    Judie Jacobs

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  2. He was a friend and a strong supporter to so many of us. I consider myself to be one that has benefitted from his friendship. I will, like so many, truly miss him.

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  3. Joan & Bryan Walton :

    Dianne, Gillian and Todd:

    Our thoughts and prayers are with you all. Joe will be missed but he will always be watching over you.

    Love Bryan and Joan

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  4. Joan & Bryan Walton :

    Dianne, Gillian and Todd

    Our thoughts and prayers are with you.

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  5. Beate Hamilton :

    I’m so sorry Diane, Todd, Gillian.
    Joe’s retirement was much too short.
    He didn’t get the chance to become a grandpa, nor walk Gillian down the aisle.

    I worked for Joe from 1991 to 1998.
    He was a good man. He will be missed by many.

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  6. Dale Richardson :

    I spent 30 years working with Joe. He had high expectations which led me to be the auditor and manager that I am today. I miss working with him and will miss seeing him again. We both held a faith in God which established a bond and trust in each other. I hope to see Joe again in eternity where there is peace and comfort for the soul. I thank Joe for the opportunity that he gave to me and to my son Ian. Ian has been very successful and is now a supervisor in accounting at Devon Canada. My prayers are with you and have been with you as God has reminded to pray for you several times a week. God Bless you at this difficult time.

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  7. Dear Dianne, Gillian and Todd,
    My thoughts and prayers are with you all. May the love of friends and family carry you through your grief. Joe was a wonderful man.
    -Alison H.

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  8. Susan Power (previously Whiteley) :

    Dear Gillian, Dianne, and Todd,

    Thinking of you all during this difficult time. My favorite memory of Joe was seeing his reaction watching Gillian dance with the Young Canadians. He looked like he was busting with pride; and he was able to point out to me when and where Gillian was on the stage at all times and what entrance she would come in from and exit from. There is no doubt he was a VERY proud Dad!

    Susan

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  9. Brent & Stacey Sandmeyer :

    Dear Dianne, Todd, and Gillian
    Joe was a wonderful man who touched my life in so many ways. He was a mentor and a true friend. The three of you know what a great person he was, and I hope it comforts you to know that the others he touched know it too. Our thoughts are with you at this difficult time.

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  10. Louis-Philippe Constantin :

    Dear Dianne, Todd and Gillian

    I was very sorry to hear about Joe’s death.

    I have been fortunate to be associated with Joe over the last 20 years and I will always remenber of him as a MAN of integrity, with strong work ethics and more specifically his full dedication
    to his family (a common value that we shared).
    It is very sad that he could not enjoy
    a well deserved retirement with his loved ones for a longer period of time.

    I will not be able to attend the funeral, but my most sincere thoughts
    and prayers will be with you and all members of your family.

    I will always keep him in my memories.

    My wife Micheline joins me in offering you our most sincere condolences.

    Louis-Philippe Constantin

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  11. Reg and Lil Hadley :

    Our sincere condolences to you Diane, and your family. Joe will be missed. He was a very special person and one of a kind. Our thoughts and prayers go to you and your family.

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  12. Peter & Eileen Woytowich :

    Dear Dianne,

    It is with great sadness that we heard of Joe’s passing from a mutual friend. We wish to express our sympathy and condolence to you, Todd & Gillain at this very difficult time.

    I always had the greatest respect and admiration for Joe and his abilities and perseverance as a co-worker and as a true friend.

    My visit with Joe last fall at the HBOG reunion was a hi-lite of the event and we talked about possibly getting together in Victoria or Arizona. Although that was not to be, you are always welcome should you be out our way.

    With our deepest sympathy to you and your family.

    Sincerely,
    Peter & Eileen Woytowich

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  13. Dave & Donna ( Arizona ) :

    Dear Dianne, Todd and Gillian

    It is with great sadness that we heard of Joe’s passing.

    Although I was never an employee at Rife I worked with Joe as a consultant for many years. I had the upmost respect for Joe, first as a person and second as a professional. Family meant everything to Joe and may each of you take comfort in that.

    Our thoughts and prayers are with you all.

    Our Love Dave & Donna Magus

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  14. Doreen and Duane Williams :

    Dianne and family:

    Both my husband and I worked with Joe at Hudson’s Bay Oil and Gas. I was Ray Travers secretary and Duane was an Accountant, so interaction with Joe was on a daily basis.

    He was a great guy, very respected and respectful.

    I had forward the obituary on to Peter Woytowich, who is in Arizona and below is what he wrote back, which I felt should be forwarded to you.

    With our sincerest sympathy.

    Doreen and Duane Williams

    From Peter Woytowich:
    “Thanks for the email. We are sure sorry to hear about Joe. Joe was the best employee that ever worked for me at HBOG. He was trustworthy, reliable, conscientious, extremely dedicated and hard working. He was also a good friend. All I can say is that I am happy that I was able to spend a little time talking with Joe at the HBOG reunion last fall. At that meeting I got the impression that Joe was not in good shape, although he put on a good face. This was Joe.

    His obit is very well done and does him proud.

    Thanks for sending it to us.”

    Peter and Eileen Woytowich

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  15. Peter Harrison :

    I was truly sorry to hear of Joe’s passing and also sorry I will be unable to attend his funeral. I have known and worked with Joe for near 20 years, and have thoroughly enjoyed our relationship. Joe was a great guy and much respected. Like so many others, my thoughts and prayers are with you.

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  16. My condolences to the Holowisky family. I have had many dealings with Joe over the years and always enjoyed working with him. He was professional in his approach to work and was every bit a gentlemen in his dealings with others. Joe will be missed by the business community.

    Jerry Harvey
    Canadian Natural Resources

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  17. DEANNA PIOTROWSKI :

    DIANNE:MAY THESE WORDS EXPRESS SINCERE SYMPATHY TO YOU AND YOUR FAMILY. “DEATH IS NOT EXTINGUISHING THE LIGHT…IT IS TURNING DOWN THE LAMP BECAUSE THE DAWN HAS COME” TAGORE I HOPE YOUR MEMORIES WARM YOUR HEART AND HELP YOU THROUGH. DEANNA PIOTROWSKI

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  18. Robert Sexty :

    I was so looking forward to visiting with Joe (and you) at the reunion in June. I am very saddened by Joe’s passing. My prayers and thoughts are with you Diane, and your family, especially given that we have known each other all our lives.
    Sincerely, Robert Sexty

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  19. Denise and Len Haydamack :

    Dear Dianne and Family – We were very sorry to hear about Joe. We have been away in California and just heard from Westlock of Joe’s passing. Our heart goes out to you Dianne – will contact you soon. Len and Denise

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  20. Gary and Carol Bacon :

    Dianne:

    We were so very saddened to hear about Joe’s passing. Both of us were looking forward to seeing you at Joe’s 50th high school reunion in Westlock. Our thoughts are with you and your family. Sincere condolences, Gary and Carol

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