Obituary of Nicholas James Kobak
Nick “Mykola” Kobak was born in Braunschweig, Germany on April 3, 1944. His parents were Anna and Stefan Kobak of Ukraine. His father left the Displaced Persons’ camp and journeyed to Canada, finding work on a produce farm to make enough money to bring his wife, Nick and his brother Paul to Canada. Anna, Nick and Paul sailed to Halifax and then went by train to Winnipeg to join Stefan. On the boat, Anna made sure the boys were never at risk of developing scurvy because she had bags of lemons for the boys to eat. Even as an adult, Nick loved to eat whole lemons.
In 1955, Nick’s brother Stephen was born, making the family complete. Nick and Paul were not only brothers but best friends. Growing up, they were never afraid of a good rumble with the neighbourhood kids. Nick played football in high school and moved on to play junior football for the Winnipeg Hawkeyes, where he lost his front teeth. After Northern Electric transferred Nick to Regina, he started playing for the Regina Rams.
Nick met his wife Dorothy, the love of his life, on a blind date. While they were dating, Nick became an electrical apprentice. Nick and Dorothy married on January 27, 1967. Their daughter Teresa was born later that year. Nick never had much to do with babies before Teresa but he loved her with all his heart. Tanya was born in 1971 and Tricia was born in 1973. Stephen was the last to join the family in 1975. As if the house wasn’t full enough, Robert “Robbie” Mattison came to live with the family for three years so he could attend a school for the deaf.
Nick loved to travel. When the family was young, he bought a motorhome to take the family, including the family dog Mickey, on trips. The family was “glamping” before “glamping” was a thing! He loved to go to the dump at Madge Lake at dusk to watch the bears foraging around.
Nick opened his own company K-West Electric after completing his journeyperson certification. After Nick sold K-West Electric, he started KKA Consulting. KKA Consulting took Nick all over North America. He would find the most wonderful out-of-the way places in any city, town, or village. He loved to meet local people and was an avid collector of regional art and artifacts. Nick’s favourite thing to collect was rocks. It was not unusual for him to stow them in his suitcase to fly them home. You can find specimens he collected from coast to coast in his yard.
Teresa married Brent Forbister in 1989; Tricia married Jai van Hardeveld in 1994; and Tanya married Mike Reidy in 1998. He loved his sons-in-law very much.
Nick’s first grandchild, Tamara, was born to Teresa and Brent in 1991. He had a wonderful touch to calm a crying baby. Teresa and Brent’s sons, Brandon and Nicholas, were born in 1993 and 1997. Tanya and her husband Mike added their boys Mitchell and Matthew to the family in 2000 and 2002. Nick loved nothing more than having the family together. His water fights and wiener roasts were legendary. Nick kept in close contact with his niece, Palena, as she moved from Winnipeg to British Columbia to Paris, France.
Nick also kept in touch with his childhood friend, Tania, who moved from the same Displaced Persons’ camp in Germany to Australia. She travelled to Canada a couple of times so they could reconnect in person.
Nick lost his father, Stefan, in 2002 and his mother, Anna, in 2017.
Nick also became a great-grandfather in 2017 when his granddaughter Tamara and her husband Branden Gotobed welcomed their daughter, Harper. He absolutely loved to say her name. Harper’s sister, Avery, was born in 2020.
Nick and Dorothy lost their daughter, Teresa, in February 2023 after she fought a courageous two-year battle with cancer. Nick and Dorothy’s hearts were broken because their own health challenges prevented them from travelling to Edmonton to say goodbye or to attend her funeral.
At the end of his life, Nick was surrounded by his family. The wonderful staff in Unit 6A at Regina General Hospital arranged it so that Dorothy, who was also admitted, could share a room with Nick. Their beds were placed side-by-side so they could hold hands. He could easily find her next to him when he looked around for her. He held on so his brothers could make their way from Winnipeg and Florida to see him. He was thrilled that his children, sons-in-law, and grandchildren were with him. He was so very happy to have so much love in the room. There was always someone there to hold his hands.
Nick died peacefully in his sleep next to Dorothy.
In Nick’s honour we say Vichnaya Pamyat - Eternal Memory.