Family and friends sadly announce the passing of Matthew (Mat) Benyk at the Stanton Regional Hospital in Yellowknife, NWT, on March 17, 2011.
Matt is survived by his children and children-in-law Pearl, Nick (Florence Nice), Wendy (Ray Maher), Ruth (Hugh Paterson) and Wayne and grandchildren Nicholas and Zoe Paterson, Nikki and Brooklyn Maher, Lindsey Benyk and Rebecca Benyk. He is also survived by his siblings and their spouses Margaret, Ann, John, Peter and Pearl (Mel Hansen) and several nieces andnephews. He was predeceased by his paretns Nick and Mary Benyk Mazuryk, his step-father Mike Mazuryk; his siblings Bill and Lena and Mike and his nephews Michael, Billy and Herb Benyk and Peter Ploschak.
Matt was the eldest of his parents’ nine children and was born ear Rorketon, Manitoba, on their farm. His father got cancer when Matt was 14 and died shortly after that, so Matt has to quit school early to help his mother run the farm and raise his younger siblings. Soon after that he started doing any work he could find off the farm to make extra money to pay the farm’s taxes and other expenses. In 1944 he started winter commercial fishing on Lake Winnipegosis and continued to work on the family farm in the summers. In 1947 he moved to Flin Flon to work at Central Meat and Groceries. Later that year he met his future wife Mary Humberstone and they were marred the next year. Their first daughter Pearl was born in Flin Flon and shortly after that they moved to a fish camp on South Indian Lake where Matt was commercial fishing.
After Nick was born in 1953 the family moved to Cold Lake/Sherridon. There, Matt fished for a mink rancher and the next year he and Mary opened Bayview General Store, which Nick still operates. His children Wendy, Ruth and Wayne were born in these early years. In the early 160’s Matt began mink ranching and commercial fishing, producing fish for sale and for mink feed while Mary ran the store. He did this until the early 1970’s when the market for mink failed, at which point he went back to storekeeping. He did this until 2001, when Mary’s health required that they move to Flin Flon. Mary died in Flin Flon in late 2005 and Matt continued to live there until 2007 when he moved to B.C. to live with his daughter Wendy. He later moved to Yellowknife to live with his daughter Pearl and died there on March 17 from pneumonia following an operation for a broken hip in mid January. Throughout his long life, Matt worked long and hard and as a result was physically healthy and strong until much past the age when others are not. Matt’s funeral was held at Dadson Funeral Home on Saturday, April 16, 2011 following Matt was buried in the East Hillside Cemetery beside his wife Mary. Following the graveside service a luncheon was held at the Prospector Inn banquet room in Creighton. Donations in Matt’s memory may be made to the Flin Flon Seniors Manor or to the Flin Flon Lions Club which operates the Handi-Van that Matt and Mary appreciated or the Canadian Cancer Society.