May 11, 1943 – September 14, 2023
In loving memory ~
With broken hearts, we announce the passing of Gerald Stanley Sobie on September 14, 2023, at age 80.
He was born May 11, 1943, in Winnipeg, MB, to Joe and Jean Sobie and was a younger brother to Martin. After graduating from high school he surprised his family by deciding to enter the seminary, but after being there for several months he came to realize that marriage and a family was his calling.
He returned home and began working on his Bachelor of Education from the University of Manitoba. During that period Gerry met the love of his life, Chris (nee Malkiewicz) and they married on July 4, 1969, celebrating 53 happy years of marriage in July 2022.
Shortly after marriage, they relocated to Wisconsin for Gerry to pursue his Masters of Education, and upon completion, they moved to Souris, MB, where they started their family. Gerry is survived by his children, Tim Sobie (grandchildren: Sananda, Sequoia, Sitarah, and Emerald), Jana Sobie, Paula Sobie and husband Jerry Grant, and Laura Parr (nee Sobie) and husband Simon (grandchildren: Jude and Nova).
Gerry’s career remained in education and counselling, with notable roles as the principal of Marymound (1980-1983) and St. Boniface Diocesan High School (1983-1990). After a family move to Cranbrook, B.C., in order to take a new job and fulfil Gerry and Chris’ dream of living in the mountains, he completed his career as a school counsellor for School District 2.
Gerry believed in the power of communication and ‘talking about it’ was usually the first piece of advice he offered when things weren’t working out. As a father, Gerry modelled facilitating family meetings so we learned about negotiating and compromise with one another and we prioritized each other’s dreams and ideas. He also believed that everyone had a story, and he was an expert listener who drew people to him with his open and gentle approach.
For Gerry, retirement was an opportunity to take on other work and activities he hadn’t had time for earlier. The most satisfying of these was his interest in restorative justice which ultimately led him to create the Cranbrook and District Restorative Justice Society as well as the Nelson Police Department Restorative Justice Program. When his family moved from the prairies to the Kootenays – just before Gerry turned 50 – he took up downhill skiing and swishing down the slopes in Kimberly remained a favourite thrill each winter. When the weather warmed Gerry jumped on his beloved e-bike and impressed the rest of us with the hundreds of kilometres he pedalled each season. He also took up stained glass and nurtured his creativity by making a ‘family calendar’ each year so we remained connected over time and distance.
Frequently through their faith – especially with the congregations of St. Thomas More (Winnipeg, MB) and Christ the Servant (Cranbrook, B.C.), though not exclusively – Gerry and Chris established and nurtured many cherished and lasting friendships across the country. Gerry was a man of faith, and those who knew him realized his relationship with God was very important to him. However, he wasn’t a blind follower and over time his Christian beliefs rather than religious doctrine provided the direction and comfort he found in his faith.
Our family was his biggest priority and he was our North Star and our memory-maker. We all came to expect his ‘homework’ before a birthday or special occasion so we could share our reflections to mark the occasion. He would make all the time in the world for us when we needed it and we knew he always had our backs. Gerry had an enormous sweet tooth and being told to eat all the goodies he wanted was one perk to the illness he courageously faced at the end of his life. His belief that he will be reunited with his beloved wife, Chris, and that if he was really fortunate there would be sudoku in heaven, brings a smile to the family that he is leaving behind.
Our family would like to express our gratitude for the incredible team of medical professionals who provided Gerry with outstanding care.
If you so wish, a charitable donation in Gerry’s memory can be made to the Castlegar Public Library (https://castlegar.bc.libraries.coop/about-us/donations).
A funeral mass will be celebrated at St. Rita’s (Castlegar, B.C.) on Wednesday, September 27 at 11 a.m. Contact email@example.com to receive a recording of the funeral after the service.Obituary
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