Richard Louis Osika was born on April 4, 1934 on the homestead farm in Theodore, Saskatchewan. Richard was the oldest child of Polish parents Peter Osika and Rosie Roebuck, also born in Theodore. Richard was followed by brother Martin and sisters Francis and Susie. Richard grew up in the Theodore area helping tend the family farm and working other farms including breaking new land to threshing at harvest time.
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In 1953 with little prospect in farming, he headed off by train to Winnipeg, Mb. to attend Teachers College at University of Manitoba. In 1955 he attained his goal receiving his education diploma. From there he ventured to Lenswood, Mb. for his first teaching job in a one room schoolhouse. His room and board in the schoolhouse was a trade off for keeping the coal furnace stoked and building warm. Richard taught in Lenswood for 1 year before heading to Gilbert Plains, and to Fishing River, and onto Inglis schools.
During his time in central manitoba, he prospered making many friends, attending social events and gaining his Ukrainain heritage. In 1961 during his time at Fishing River during a field’s day, he met the love of his life Sylvia Petrash from Sifton MB. In 1963 they wed and ventured to the flourishing northern MB mining town of Flin Flon to set up home and start his career with the Flin Flon School Division teaching at Hudson school.
Richard and Sally’s first son Robert was born in 1964, followed by daughter Karen in 1965, son Brent in 1970, and son David in 1974. Richard with his strong family & community values, and catholic faith settled into the Flin Flon community easily making many friends and becoming a member of St Anns Roman Catholic Parish, and an honored member of the Knights of Columbus.
Richard prospered in Flin Flon teaching mathematics, social studies, and even some French (which must have been a challenge for a polish speaking farm boy). He continued his education during summer breaks travelling back to the family farms with family and attending summer schools. He thrived in the Flin Flon School Division teaching at many different schools including Channing, Mcissac and Terrace schools. The continued education helped him rise professionally to the position of Principal of Ruth Betts School, which he held for many years. Richard was active in the popular Camp Whitney school trips always helping transport students & gear and helping with summer maintenance. His final teaching years were grade 6 at Parkdale school which he enjoyed mentoring the younger generation and chaperoning many school train trips to Churchill MB. Richard retired from teaching in 1989.
Ever since arriving in the North, Richard took to nature and the outdoors. He enjoyed life in the North taking every advantage to fish and harvest the wild produce of the north including berries, mushrooms, fish, and firewood. He fished many a small lakes in the area with his friends and family and became quite intimate with the area, always knowing where to find that one berry patch or fishing hole. Richard thoroughly enjoyed and cherished his outdoor time, an activity he carried on into his final years with his forever ready and willing partner Sally.
Richard enjoyed retirement years serving his family and parish, always ready to help a lending hand with home renovations. His carpentry and handyman skills learned from his father always proved helpful. With his family at his side he constructed a family cottage at Twin Lakes, and enjoyed many an hour relaxing and fishing there. Richard spent many of his summer months at his son's remote fly in fishing lodge in the far north of Saskatchewan. There he enjoyed being a dock-hand and handyman. He made many new friends from far and wide in Canada and the USA while enjoying the pristine nature and fishing.
Between travel to family and farms in Dauphin MB and Theodore SK, fishing and harvesting the local area of Flin Flon, and travel to the far reaches of Northern Saskatchewan, Richard was always with family and passed on his strong values, principals and knowledge to everyone.
Richards spiritual faith and conviction was strong and he stayed active in the parish and Knights of Columbus rising to 4th degree Knight. He kept strong integrity and rarely missed service to the parish and community attending mass regularly and volunteering countless hours. With social restrictions as of late, he maintained his faithful dedication and took in mass services virtually.
Richard, with his sweet tooth was always described as a kind gentle man, one who kept his integrity and faith at highest standards. He never had a bad thing to say and always enjoyed sharing stories of his life adventures from early childhood farm days, to teachers college and career, to family adventures abound. Richard Louis Osika was taken suddenly from us on December 25, 2020. He now, no doubt sits among Our Father and Angels above in heaven awaiting our arrival.
Richard is predeceased by his father Peter and mother Rosie (Roebuck). He is survived by his wife Sally (Petrash), son Robert, daughter Karen (Glenn), son Brent (Larace), son David (Lisa); grandsons Joshua (Cassandra), Jonah, Jarek, Landon; brother Martin (Evelyn), sister Francis Drobot (Bill), sister Susie Seminiuk (Dallas); step grand-children & step great-grand-children, numerous nephews and nieces, brother and sister inlaws and families; and Knights of Columbus brotherhood.