With heavy hearts and great sadness, we announce the sudden passing of Robert (Bert) Hanzuk on May 24, 2023, at Thunder Bay Health Sciences Centre at the age of 65.

Bert was born on June 19, 1957, to Peter and Monica Hanzuk in Fort Frances, Ontario.

From a very young age Bert played hockey at the Westend rink or the icy roads in front of his childhood home. His first hockey team was the KC’s, and he would later play with the Midnight Tokers well into his fifties. If he wasn’t playing hockey he was watching it. We all knew how the game was going based on the lazy boy referee commentary coming from the living room.

In his early 20’s Bert bought his first Harley, a Sportster, and was hooked. He would go on to own a Low-Rider, and his last would be a Fat-Boy that he road up until a year before he passed. He enjoyed traveling and over the next 40 years would go on many trips with family and friends to Sturgis and Milwaukee. He was honoured to participated in district bike rallies like Toys for Tots, Alzheimer’s, and runs for fallen friends. And of course, just taking a ride to the Bears Pass lookout to feel the wind in his hair.

As a young teenager Bert travelled with his family to England to meet and spend time with aunts, uncles and cousins. Later he would make many trips to B.C., with his wife and children to visit with his extended family. One special trip that stands out was when Bert treated his wife to her bucket list trip to Graceland, Memphis, to see the ancestral home of her favourite artist Elvis Presley.

Life at home was filled love, laughter, many rescued animals, and the occasional friend who needed a couch to crash. Bert was quick to smile but was definitely the worrier of the family. Always making sure the rest of us checked in no matter how far we travelled. His heart was happiest at home surrounded by his family, watching hockey and football, listening to how our days had unfolded. He was so very proud of us all but he was the role model with his integrity, loyalty and hardworking attitude.

Although home was relaxed and fun, work was all business. Bert believed no matter the job you showed up and you did it right. Bert began his work life at Kaiser Coal in British Columbia, various constructions companies in the Rainy River District, with projects including the Barwick mill, until he landed a full-time position with CN rail for 15 years. His final job was as a custodian with the Rainy River District School Board where he had hoped to retire.

Left to cherish his memory is wife and soulmate of 51 years Gabriela Hanzuk; his two children Bridget Hanzuk and Dwayne Hanzuk; and grandson Joshua McGinnis. He also leaves behind brothers Kevin Hanzuk and Michael Hanzuk; and sister Diane Cavaghan; brothers-in-law Cameron Martin (Teresa), Frank Martin (Mickey); and sister in-law Chris Martin; as well as many nieces, nephews, cousins and family in England.

He was predeceased by his father Peter Hanzuk; his father-in-law Werner Martin and mother in-law Ingrid Gushulak; mother Monica Hanzuk; and mother-in-law Anne Martin.

As per Bert’s wishes, there will be a small family celebration later in June.

In lieu of flowers donations can be made to the Canadian Cancer Society Daffodil, Best for Kitty or RuffCue.