Joseph Ivan Rukavina

04/10/1929 - 19/07/2021

Obituary For Joseph Ivan Rukavina

It is with very heavy hearts we announce the passing of our father, grandfather, great grandfather, and the patriarch of our whole family. Joseph Ivan Rukavina died on Monday, July 19 at the age of 91 years at the Central Peace Hospital in Spirit River.

Joe was born October 4, 1929, on the family farm four miles south of Rycroft, the second oldest son of Dujo and Milka Rukavina. Dad married Eleanor Fontaine on March 2, 1957, in Rycroft where they farmed and raised their six children. Dad for the most part was a farmer- plain and simple. He loved his cows and was an avid grain farmer. His younger years were spent on seismic running a CAT. Those were his glory days, and he had many a story to share with everyone. Dad had lots of stories and they will be our forever memories.

Dad was tough but fair. He looked forward to visits from everyone and loved family get-togethers, especially if there was turkey involved. He had stories and jokes and an infectious laugh.

Dad and mom were together for over 60 years. Besides their 6 children, they have 12 grandchildren and many great grandchildren. “The farm” was home to all the family. Dad had a big smile for anyone that walked through the door and made you feel welcome.

Dad could always be found out in the garage fixing some machine; taking his quad to check on the cows; or just sitting in his chair watching his favourite show `Three`s Company`.

Joe was pre-deceased by his wife Eleanor; mother and father; brothers Carl, Martin, and Rudy; and his grandson Conan Cooper.

Dad will be forever missed by his six children Gail, Laura, Jerry and Kelly, Joanne, Donna, Lenny and Barb; his grandchildren: Selena and Bailey; Jason, Darren and Kyle; Arisa, Jeff and Jolea; Eden and Carli; Lacey and Quentin; great grandchildren; and his sister Violet.

Funeral services will be held at St. Peter and Paul’s Roman Catholic Church in Rycroft on Friday, July 23 at 1 pm with Father Arockiam Savarimuthu officiating. Interment will be at the Mission Cemetery. A prayer service will be held Thursday evening at 6 pm at the Church.

In memory of Joseph, donations can be made to the family to go towards the Mazankowski Heart Institute.

Care entrusted to Bear Creek Funeral Home and Cremation Sanctuary 780-830-7742

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My condolences on the loss of the patriarch of your family. I really liked Uncle Joe. I'm sorry I couldn't make it to his funeral to pay my respects and give all my cousins a hug. My heart goes out to you all, Georgia (Dika) Smallwood
- Georgia Smallwood
Our sympathy to all the Rukavina family! Kind gentle man who has left a great legacy! Take care Greg and Diane Dika
- Diane Dika
Kids: So sorry to hear of your Dad's passing. What a great man he was. Joe and my Dad always had a wonderful rapport. I recall many of their roadside conversations when I was a kid sitting in the truck with dad. Our two families had a special connection. I had many wonderful years and good times hanging out with Jerry, Joanne & Donna. I would love to come up for the funeral and show my respect for Joe; but with other commitments (work), I will not be able to attend. Praying for you all and wishing you the best. Your neighbor & friend Bart Knezevich
- Bart Knezevich

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Frequently Asked Questions

What is a funeral?

A funeral is a ceremony for a deceased person prior to burial or cremation. A funeral gives the opportunity for family and friends of the deceased to gather and mourn the passing of their loved one, to share cherished memories and celebrate their life. A funeral is a vital first step to help the bereaved heal after the loss of someone special.

What type of service should I have?

If no pre-arrangements have been made, the type of service is entirely up to you.  Services are usually held at a funeral home, community hall, or a place of worship. There is a wealth of different services, ranging from a traditional religious or military service to something a little more non-traditional. Our funeral directors are more than happy to work with you to figure out what would be the most appropriate.

Who are Funeral Directors and what do they do?

Funeral directors are in charge of all the logistics following a death. They complete all the necessary paperwork, make arrangements for the transportation of the body, and put into action the choices made by the family in regards to the funeral service and the final resting place of the body. Beyond the logistics, funeral directors are there to provide moral support and guidance for someone coping with death.

What if a death occurs away from my home town?

We are here to help, we can arrange to have your loved one transported home from anywhere in the world. We will assume responsibility and make the proper arrangements to have them returned to the community. We use the same organization that brings our military home when needed.

What is embalming and what purpose does it serve?

Embalming sanitizes and preserves the body; it also slows down the decomposition process and enhances the appearance of the body damaged by traumatic death or illness. Embalming gives time to the family of the deceased to arrange a service, and allows the family the option of having an open-casket viewing.

What do I do if I am not satisfied with the way a funeral was handled?

Funeral homes and funeral professionals in Alberta are licensed by the Alberta Funeral Services Regulatory Board. If you are unhappy with the way a funeral was handled or the actions of a funeral home in Alberta, you may speak with or proceed with a complaint process to seek resolution of the matter. More information is found at  or by phone at (780) 452-6130 

How much does a funeral cost?

The cost of the funeral varies depending on the wishes you have. The average cost of a funeral is between $5,000-$7,000, however, it varies greatly depending on the kind of service you desire. In general, cremation tends to cost less than burial. The costs include professional services including transportation, embalming and other preparations, the use of a facility for the ceremony, and the purchase of a casket or urn.

Can I personalize a funeral?

Of course you can, in fact, more and more people are opting for a more non-traditional personalized service. There is no right or wrong way to celebrate somebody’s life. There are many unique ways to celebrate life, let the funeral director know exactly what your desires are and they will honour your wishes.

Do we need to have an obituary notice and what is included in one?

It is highly recommended to have an obituary notice that’s either placed in a local newspaper or placed online. An obituary lets the public know that a death has occurred, and gives them information about the service. Obituaries generally include the deceased’s full name, age, city, and date of birth and the city they were living in when they died. It also includes the name of the deceased’s spouse, along with the names of anyone else significant in their lives, such as parents, children or grandchildren. Space may be limited in a newspaper obituary, but you may include a little blurb on the life and legacy of the deceased. An online obituary or memorial website offers you the chance to add a lot more about the deceased.

What happens if the death occurs in the middle of the night or on the weekend?

We are here to help, funeral directors are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and 365 days a year.

Do I need to have an embalming

No, embalming is often an unnecessary expense, even if a viewing is desired. There are times when we would recommend embalming, especially if there is an extended gap between death and burial or cremation.

Why are funerals so expensive?

Funerals are labor intensive and require a lot of work from a lot of people. The cost of a funeral goes beyond merchandise such as caskets, it includes the services of a funeral director in making the necessary arrangements, filling out forms, and dealing with all the other people involved in the death (doctors, lawyers, insurance companies). Funeral directors work an average of 40 hours per funeral. The cost of operating a funeral home is factored into the cost as well. Funeral homes are a 24 hour operation, with extensive facilities that need to be maintained and secured.

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