Obituary of Mark NOWAKOWSKI
Mark Nowakowski January 22, 1951 – January 13, 2022 After a lengthy battle with lung cancer, Mark passed away on January 13, 2022, in Inglewood, Ontario. Mark now joins his beloved parents, Roman and Zofia (née Anszperger), and other family and dear friends who have passed before him. Mark is survived by his wife and love of his life, Barbara (née Stutz), children André (Katherine Gurney), Danielle (Alec Crawford), and Alex (Laura Brailsford), amazing grandchildren Scarlett, Coulter, Katarina, Olivia, Bennett, and Finlay. He is also survived by his older sister Irena (Richard Boughner) and twin sister Wanda (Chris Adamson), along with his nieces Julia (Nick and son Gabriel) and Madeleine (Andy). Born in England where his Polish parents were placed after WWII, Mark and his family moved to Toronto in the early 1950s. He was proud of his Polish roots and the New Toronto community in which he grew up, and he was also a very proud Canadian, cheering the loudest whenever Team Canada competed on the international stage. Mark relished his time as a child at summer camp in Barry’s Bay, Ontario and then reconnecting later in life with the Polish boys for annual trips back to Barry’s Bay to prove that they never lost their youthful spirit and were always ready for fun. A rebellious (and rock’n’roll-loving) youth, Mark left home at age 16 to make his way in the world. He learned many lessons along the way, including while hitchhiking across Canada and the many indelible memories from that time. Life changed unexpectedly and for the better in 1970 when he had a chance meeting in Toronto with his future wife Barbara who was from Switzerland. In the mid-70s, Mark went back to school and found his calling, becoming a travel agent and later manager of a travel agency. He thoroughly enjoyed his work in the travel industry, helping a wide spectrum of clients over many decades get to where they needed or wanted to be and appreciating the good times and many friends and colleagues he met along the way. Mark loved being a father (including watching for any and all signs of inherited waywardness), imparting valuable life lessons and sharing life’s pleasures: love of music; discipline, respect, integrity; a sly sense of humour (nyuk nyuk nyuk!); Stones over the Beatles; action movies; concerts; any movie with Motown music, including Dirty Dancing; classic movies like Cool Hand Luke; the importance of comedy; how to do one toast too many; hockey as religion; coaching his kids; writing letters to the editor; the art of the barbecue and hosting; family first; always be prepared (you never know when a snowstorm might hit!); and always striving to be better. Known as Grandfather (because he loved how toddlers pronounced it), he loved and adored his grandchildren, watching them run around inside and outside in all seasons, watching and supporting them in their various activities and games, and imparting wisdom to them. For those of you who knew Mark well (or even just in passing), you know he was not one to shy away from a good debate. Mark swung on the political pendulum over his lifetime, but there was always one constant theme – challenging authority and prevailing “wisdom”! Outliving his prognosis allowed Mark to be around for many milestones that seemed unlikely at the time of diagnosis. The most important of these was celebrating his 50th wedding anniversary with Barbara in the fall of 2021, which made him immensely happy. He could not have asked for a better partner, both in health and sickness. Mom, thank you for your patience, love, and support. Our family thanks Dr. Gagnon and all the staff and volunteers at the Bethell Hospice in Inglewood, Ontario. They did a wonderful job supporting Mark in the last two months of life, treating him with dignity, respect, and compassion (and engaging with his sly wit that he kept to the end). Thanks also to Drs. Rana, Bouttell, Allibhai, and Lebner and all the staff at the Southlake/Stronach Regional Cancer Centre for their great care and support from diagnosis to the end of treatment. Finally, thanks to in memoriam funeral services inc. for their assistance. A private celebration of Mark’s life will be held for friends and family at a later date. Please raise a glass to toast Mark and celebrate his life, Sto Lat! In lieu of flowers, please consider donating to the Bethell Hospice or to the Southlake/Stronach Regional Cancer Centre. Mark/Marek/Dad/Grandfather/Wujek Marek – Rest in Peace. We will miss you. Online condolences may be made at www.imfunerals.com In Memoriam Funeral Services Inc. has been given the honour to serve the Nowakowski Family.