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July 23, 1965 – March 18, 2017

Darren Sawchuk passed away peacefully, surrounded by his family, on March 18, 2017 after a courageous struggle with cancer.

Left to remember Darren are his children, Jennifer (Devin) and Jordan (Shae); his partner Loralie, and her children Chenoa, Seamus, Dalton, Maya, and McCormick; his parents Shirley and Todd; his siblings, Kim (Robert), Corey (Krista), and Dale (Tani); his nieces and nephews, Alyssa (Daniel), Conlin, Nicholas, Danton, Foster, Kiah, Griffin, Joël and Yves; and numerous aunts and uncles, cousins, friends, colleagues, teammates, and clients. Darren meant so much to so many people. Darren was predeceased by his grandparents William and Pauline Sawchuk and Nicholas and Anne Kawka.

In true Ukrainian fashion, Darren loved spending time with his large family and circle of friends. Darren had a deep connection to Neepawa and the family farm in Big Valley. Darren was happiest at the family cottage at Hillside Beach: helping his Dad and brothers build the cottage, sharing summer days with his family, giving extreme tube rides on the lake, and sitting by the fire with a guitar in hand. Darren’s sense of humour and love for his family was shared at many Christmas dinners, ski trips, and “Sawchuk parties”.

Darren raised his two children Jennifer and Jordan, with Christine Sawchuk, at their home in St. Andrews with love and care. His passion for hockey led to him coaching his children and many hockey teams over his life. Darren believed in helping others and making a difference in the lives of everyone he met. Years of involvement in the St. Andrews community through hockey, softball, and the community club fostered endless meaningful friendships.

Darren was an accomplished and proud criminal defence lawyer and advocate for over 25 years, working with the firm of Phillips Aiello and appearing before the Supreme Court of Canada. His enduring faith in the good in each of his clients and his belief that everyone deserves a second chance drove him in his work. Darren also mentored many young lawyers. His impact on our legal community was felt far and wide as he advocated for reforms to create a fairer justice system for all.

Darren had many passions in his life, of which music was the greatest. After teaching himself how to play guitar during law school, Darren discovered the power of music: his guitar was always close at hand. With his band 59 Divide, Darren shared his gift with his friends and audiences. Later in his life, this devotion to music led him to open Vinyl Revival with his loving partner Loralie. Vinyl Revival was the culmination of Darren’s devotion to music. Under Darren’s guidance and vision, VR became a place to mentor aspiring musicians, share stories and play songs with new and old friends.

A public funeral will be held on Thursday, March 23, 1:00 PM at Immanuel Pentecostal Church, 955 Wilkes Ave., followed by a reception. Donations in Darren’s memory can be made to the Sarcoma Cancer Foundation of Canada, at sarcomacancer.ca. Funds raised for Darren’s treatment through his GoFundMe page will be donated in his honour to this foundation, to help current and future sarcoma patients with their treatment.

The family would like to thank Darren’s treatment team at Health Sciences and St. Boniface Hospital. The special attention to Darren’s care needs by Drs. Greg Eschun and Ralph Wong was exceptional and enabled Darren a dignified life to the end.

“Somewhere over the rainbow we will meet again,

I will wait patiently for you, my dear friend.”

-Darren Sawchuk, “Graceful Love”