Obituary of MURRAY BALAGUS
Murray Balagus (AKA: Mur, Grampa Murray, G-Man, “Goosey”): October 15, 1929 – January 21, 2021. At the grand old age of 91 years Murray peacefully passed at the Grace Hospital in Winnipeg with family at his side. He was pre-deceased 10 years ago by his loving wife Liz, and leaves to celebrate his legacy and life are 4 children: Deric (Anni), Peter (Colleen), Lisa and Tom; 9 grandchildren: Brad (Leanne), Tim, Brendan, Jacqueline, Matthew, Karson, Sarah, Ryan and Jennifer; and 4 great grand children: Stella, Audrey, Owen, and Rocky; sister-in-law Iona Balagus and extended family and friends.
Murray was born in Winnipeg to Michael and Helen Balagus, was pre-deceased by one brother Walter in 2011. Murray completed his High School years at Isaac Newton. Since childhood, Murray had a passion for Hockey and in 1951 his dream to play in the NHL came true with an invitation to try-out for the Detroit Red Wings and then the Toronto Maple Leafs. Having to settle in the semi-pro ranks, Murray played for several teams including the Winnipeg Maroons where he enjoyed the opportunity to play overseas representing Canada in an International Hockey Tournament. Murray completed his hockey career in 1968 following a 13 year tenure playing for the Warroad Lakers of Minnesota, and on September 20, 1997 Murray was inducted into the Manitoba Hockey Hall of Fame.
Murray and Liz were active members of The Blessed Virgin Mary Parish. Through the St. Nicholas Parish however, Murray became an active member of the Knights of Columbus (K of C) where he earned Grand Knight status with St. Josephat’s Council #4138. Some of his accomplishments included Faithful Navigator for the 4th Degree, District Deputy, State Warden, President of the Board of Directors of the Sello Villa Apartments, and President of the Canon Luhovy Assembly Education Foundation. On May 8, 1988 Murray was declared the Ukrainian Sportsman of the Year by the St. Nicholas Men’s Club. Murray was also awarded Man of the Year on May 17, 1998 by the K of C.
While playing hockey, Murray established himself in the business world starting with insurance (Sovereign Life Insurance). His entrepreneurial nature led him to become co-owner of MGM Sporting Goods Ltd. Murray retired from the sporting goods retail business with 4 prosperous store locations, and ended his working career as a flooring product consultant with W.G. McMahon Flooring, Peerless Carpeting and Bill Knight Flooring.
At every opportunity, Murray shared Liz’s favorite pastime of traveling. He enjoyed the planning with long time friends Bill and Sylvia Prokopanko on their travels to Hawaii, Florida, and Puerta Vallarta, Mexico.
All of Murray’s children and grandchildren are active in a variety of sports. He was a proud fan and supporter attending as many games and events as possible.
One of Murray’s favorite pastimes was fishing. He shared his passion with family and friends to include organizing fishing trips through the Knights of Columbus by train to Shoal Lake, and by bus to Warroad.
In 1971 Murray and Liz’s dream of owning a cottage was fulfilled when they bought a cottage at Falcon Lake. Murray could not wait to get to the Lake where he always seemed to be working but loving it.
Thank you to our God and Saviour for watching over Dad through his golden years until his eternal ‘calling’.
In lieu of flowers, please make a donation to the Alzheimer’s Society or the Cancer Society.
VICHNAYA PAMYAT, Rest in Peace.
A private family funeral service was held on Monday, January 25, 2021 at the Blessed Virgin Mary Church with interment at the Holy Family Cemetery.
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