Alexander "Alex" Szczebonski
Alex passed peacefully at Timmins District Hospital surrounded by his wife Louise and daughters Kylie and Deborah on April 15th 2021. Alex is survived by his loving wife of 51 years Louise, his daughters Kylie (Craig Morton), Deborah (Dan Chenier), and Stephanie (Paul Bertrand), his grandchildren Connor and Caileigh Chenier, and Elizabeth and Reid Bertrand. Alex is also survived by his brother Ted (Jozepha), sister-in-law Linda Pawson, and brother-in-law Edward (Monique) Pawson and many nieces and nephews. Alex is predeceased by his mother Maria Szczebonski (2018), his father-in-law Roy Pawson (2004), and his mother-in-law Lucienne Pawson (2001). The family wishes to thank Amanda and Audrey from the Medical Floor of TDH, for their care and compassion as well as Dr. Woods and Dr. Boulay. Alex expressed gratitude for the high quality of care he received from the Oncology nurses at TDH. Alex will be cremated after a private family ceremony due to COVID restrictions. A gathering to share memories and stories about Alex and his remarkable life will be held when it is safe to do so. In lieu of flowers, donations to the Timmins and District Hospital Foundation in Alex’s memory would be greatly appreciated.
Alex’s remarkable story began in a resettlement camp in war-torn Germany on February 20th 1946. His mother Maria had fled her native Poland during the Nazi occupation. He immigrated to Canada at 5 years old, and had vivid memories of first encountering the harsh winter conditions of Northern Ontario when his train arrived in Timmins. The family worked hard to make ends meet in their new home, and Alex helped any way he could. Starting at age 14 he left home to work on a tobacco farm in Southwestern Ontario during the summers. He had fond memories of his time in cadets, which ended on a Montreal trip where him and some comrades took a bit too much of a liking to the smoked meat sandwiches and the “biere froide”. Military life gave way to some tough construction work on northern highways. Alex married Louise in 1969 and began his career in Civil Engineering and Project Management shortly after.
Alex was a proud “girl dad”, raising his daughters to be strong, independent, and self-sufficient. He encouraged his daughters to pursue sports and when Kylie was a star player for the Timmins High School girls basketball team, Alex was the only Dad on the Lady Blues Auxiliary, and helped coordinate fundraising for their many road trips.
In 2004, Alex became a grandparent. A role he loved and took on with joy. He developed a special bond with Connor and became his mentor, sharing many of his construction tips, history lessons and investment knowledge and more life lessons that will serve Connor well. Alex was blessed with three more grandchildren however time and circumstances didn’t allow him to develop the same bonds, yet he loved the time he spent with Caileigh, his “sweetie.” He loved watching Connor play all his sports and would be the first to boast about his accomplishments. In more recent years he enjoyed watching both his grandsons play hockey.
Alex retired from Timmins Housing Authority as Manager of Operations after 30 years and enjoyed giving back to the community through his many volunteer positions such as the Polish White Eagle Society, Spruce Hill Lodge, Northern College Engineering Advisory Committee, OACETT, Timmins and District Hospital Board of Directors, and the Timmins and District Hospital Foundation.
He will especially be missed by his great lifelong friend Jack Slattery (Judy). They were like brothers, and recently began calling themselves “volunteer city inspectors”, since COVID restrictions meant they couldn’t hang out at their favourite coffee shop, so they would drive around town checking out the latest construction projects.
He truly loved and enjoyed his family and friends, and in his words “I have lived a full life”.