Elias Alex Szmutko
September 22, 1936 – May 8, 2020
Elais (Elias) Szmutko Obituary
Elais Alex Szmutko was born September 22nd, 1936, in the Moose Mountain area of Saskatchewan, the sixth child of Nicholas and Julianna Szmutko. He was the second of his family to be born in Canada, as his family was recent immigrants from Hungary.
Farm and family chores played a consistent role in Elais’ early life. Not only did he have daily milking responsibilities, he and his brothers would need to transport the cream cans over a mile to meet the milk truck twice a week. At the time selling cream to the dairy was the family’s main source of income.
Elais’ early years were spent in Kennedy, Saskatchewan, as his family moved to a larger farm where he also attended school in Kennedy. Since Elais grew up in a Hungarian family in a Hungarian community, his first language was Hungarian, and the family continued to embrace their original country’s traditions. This was most evident at mealtime as his mother continued her background of cooking Hungarian meals for the family, recipes that Elais continued to make throughout his life. It wasn’t until he started school in Kennedy that he began to speak English.
Since Elais was raised on the farm, most of his activities reflected this upbringing, from hunting to playing hockey on the creeks and ponds as well as playing ball with his neighbours. Being part of a large family also provided many interesting and entertaining times as he would enjoy playing the occasional prank on his brothers.
In 1946, when Elais was 10 years old, his family purchased a corporate farm operation owned by Richardson Company from Winnipeg. There he and his family expanded their farm operation and were kept busy growing crops and raising dairy and beef cattle as well as hogs and chickens.
During that time, Elais would travel by horseback to Spring Creek School and attended there until he completed his Grade 9 education, the oldest level the school had to offer. With no further option Elais decided to complete his next levels of education by correspondence. He showed interest in furthering his education past the high school level but that changed the day his father had a significant fall from a barn loft from which he did not recover.
At the time he was one of two siblings on the farm, so Elais, at 21, with his younger brother Ed were compelled to take responsibility of the family farm. This began Elais’ lifelong career as a farmer. Farming for Elais at this time was focused on grain and beef cattle.
On August 10, 1963, Elais married Velma Elsie Hofmann and they began their life together on the farm. Children soon followed: Richard (1965), Rhonda (1968) and Denise (1969). With a growing family, Elais built the family home on the farm property and enjoyed working on his home, especially the yard.
Elais was very active among various communities. He was an active member of the Moosomin Baptist Church where he served as a Trustee and Deacon, including a number of years as the church’s Moderator. He also played an integral role in creating the Spring Creek Historical Society as the initial president of the association.
By the 1980s Elais took on the challenge of being a local politician, becoming a rural Municipal Counsellor for the Walpole municipality. He held that position for over 20 years as it completely suited his outgoing and friendly personality. Being responsible for the general upkeep of his rural neighbourhood, he would often drive the roads evaluating any needs, and if he ran into a neighbour willing to chat, all the better.
In April 2007, Elais retired after almost 50 years of farming in Moosomin. He and Elsie moved to Sardis, BC where they purchased a home that was close to all three of their children.
During his retirement years, Elais immensely enjoying being an active, present grandfather to his six grandchildren: Katia (1999), Luke (2001), Jordan (2001), Allie (2003), Jed (2006) and Tatum (2008).
Throughout his life Elais was able to draw people in, and that was consistent in Sardis where he quickly made many friends, including neighbours and members of his church. His days were full of coffee meetings and playing pool at the local clubhouse.
In November of 2016, Elsie, his wife of 53 years, passed away after a lengthy bout of cancer. Elais continued living at the home in Sardis. He loved living there and stayed there until his health forced him to move out in March 2020.
On May 8, 2020 Elais, surrounded by his faith and his family, passed away peacefully. He is survived by his younger brother Edward Szmutko. He is also survived by his children, Richard (Becky) Szmutko, Rhonda (Darren) Siemens and Denise (Shawn) Heppell. His also survived by his grandchildren, Luke, Allie, Jed and Tatum Szmutko and Katia and Jordan Heppell.
He was pre-deceased by his wife Elsie, his brothers Mike, Nick, John, and Frank, and his sister Margaret.
He was deeply loved and is missed by his family and many friends; we are thankful to God for blessing us with his love and his life.
No public services are scheduled at this time. Receive a notification when services are updated.
Elias Alex Szmutko
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May 12, 2020
To the family of Elias Szmutko -
I heard about this from my mom & dad (Len & Dorothy); please accept my condolences.
I've been away from Moosomin for so many years, but I did want you to know that I held your mom & dad in high regard. Your dad was so positive and encouraging. I can't even think of a situation where he didn't have a smile on his face. That's what I remember when I think of your dad.