Obituary of Lawrence Kalmakoff (1946-2023)

It is with heavy hearts that we announce the passing of our beloved husband, father, grandfather, and friend, Lawrence “Kal” Kalmakoff, on August 29th, 2023, at the age of 77. Our “Deda” leaves behind a legacy of love, family, and cherished memories that will remain etched in our hearts forever.

Lawrence was born on February 5th, 1946, in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan to proud parents Fred and Anne Kalmakoff. He spent the first twelve years of his life on the family farm near Blaine Lake, Saskatchewan with his sisters Olive and Ella. After moving to Saskatoon with his family, Lawrence attended Churchill School and Aden Bowman Collegiate where he excelled in football and track and field. Lawrence worked as a land surveyor before entering the College of Education at the University of Saskatchewan. While attending university, he was introduced to his favorite hobby, bridge, and also to the love of his life, Joan. Lawrence continued working on the family farm until he and Joan moved to Swift Current for a teaching position in 1970.

A dedicated teacher and coach, Lawrence taught physical education, math, science, and industrial arts at both Beattie Junior High School and Swift Current Comprehensive High School. His competitive drive and strong spirit led many volleyball, basketball, and track teams to victory. He enjoyed many friendships through the years with fellow teachers, some of whom, also became bridge partners. He honed his bridge skills and attained his Life Master designation. His passion for education continued well beyond retirement with many hours of substitute teaching, providing bridge lessons, and sharing his love of cards and games with his family and friends. Through the years he and Joan took many memorable trips through Europe, the U. S., and Canada, but kept returning to their favorite place, Hawaii.

Joan and Lawrence were married on July 29, 1967. They had three children: Dana, Renee, and Chad. He spent countless hours supporting their activities whether it was dancing, school sports, or managing Chad’s various hockey teams. Later in life he loved watching his grandkids many activities as well. He was a skilled carpenter. He loved helping the kids build decks, sheds or helping with household renovations but his most accomplished build was the family cabin at Emma Lake. The cabin has been a cherished place for Lawrence, where family and friends come together in the summers for big breakfasts, delicious dinners, boat trips, tubing adventures, and precious time spent together.

Lawrence is survived by his wife Joan, his children Dana (Donnie) McLeod, Renee (Johnny) Poloprutsky, and Chad (Allison) Kalmakoff, his grandchildren Jillian (Rhett), Fraser (Alora), Kiera, Kale, Liliana, and Maya, sister Olive Epp, sister-in-law Susan (Dick) Driedger, and brothers-in-law Wally (Joan) Thiessen and Art Thiessen. He is predeceased by his parents, his sister Ella Kalmakoff, sister-in-law Louise Thiessen, brother-in-law John Epp, and infant son Trevor.

A small, private memorial will take place to remember Lawrence. The family requests that in lieu of flowers, donations be made to the Heart and Stroke Foundation.