Brown Funeral Home & Cremation Centre

429 2Nd Street South, Kenora, ON


Mr. John Romanuk

February 3, 1959October 11, 2019

It is with the utmost sadness that we announce the passing of our beloved husband, son, father, papa, brother, uncle, cousin and friend.

John Romanuk passed away suddenly on Oct 11th at 12:17 pm surrounded by his family.

John was pre-deceased by his parents, Margaret Kirkness and Wasyly Romaniuk, his grandparents, Fred and Olive Kirkness, his brothers, Fred Kirkness and Sydney Kirkness, his sisters, Rose Kirkness and Wanda Grandbois, as well as his sister and brother in-law Louise and Don Fairfield, as well as his nieces, Shannon and MJ. He was also pre-deceased by his grandparents (in-law) Albert and Elsie Vanasse and Mike and Teenie Harasemchuk, father-in-law Albert (Babe) Vanasse and his brother in-law James (Bimbo) Vanasse. John was also pre-deceased by many other special aunts, uncles and others.

John leaves to mourn the sparkle of his eye and the love of his life of 44 years, Tina Marie, his daughter and son-in-law, Cory and Des Turcotte and his grandchildren Kenzie (Bear) and Ally (Oopie). He will also be greatly missed by his mother-in-law, Joyce (Roberta) Harasemchuk, his brother and sister-in-law, Clarence Kirkness (Nancy), sister-in-law, Sharon Kirkness, special brother-in-law and friend Gilbert Grandbois (Sheila), his brothers and sisters Toot & Gary Bowman, Mark Vanasse (Lori), Angie Plante (Wade), Don & Deb Vanasse, as well as his niece and nephews that he was happy to help raise, Elvis (Paulette), Danny, Donny and Shawna and their families.

John and Tina were foster parents for many years and their home was a safe haven to many, including their foster children, Jem, Gary and Shanna.

John also has many nieces and nephews who will cherish their memories with him always. He will be greatly missed by Tammy and DJ, Ryan and Cody, Tommy, Alexis and Jamie, Gilbert, Jeffrey and Ryan, Mindy and Brittany, Ashley and Megan, Joy, Billy, Ed and Tom, Jessie and Becky and all of their families.

John was born in Camp Robinson, Kenora District on February 3, 1959. He lived in the Kenora area most of his life. One of his first jobs was at the Salz Restaurant as a short order cook. Iris Kurtz, the manager, quickly took John under her wing. She recognized instantly what a special person he was and supported him to begin his journey to who he would become.

He grew into a hardworking man who held many jobs over the years. He took a job as a guide at Rowdy Lake Camps at the age of 12, where unbeknownst to him he was about to meet his future father-in-law, Babe. He quickly gravitated towards Babe and looked at him as a fatherly figure, as he had lost his own father at the age of 6. From here he went back to the Salz off and on and it was during this time he met the love of his life. Tina was out and about one night and stopped at the Salz to get a bite to eat. She spotted John and gushed to her friend Joanne, “I’m going to marry that man!”. Shortly after that, Tina’s brother Bimbo introduced them to each other at a party and he shared with Tina that she should get together with him as he thought he would be a good man for her, and the rest is history. Anyone who has been in John and Tina’s presence over the years, could see and feel the love they shared between them. They were a perfect match.

John held many jobs after that, including Bergman Builders, the Bus Depot, Greyhound, Sierra Construction and Lafarge, but he worked at Excel Coach Lines for the majority of his career (34 years). He, along with Stuey and Mikey, were the Charter guys. Everywhere we went, John knew someone from driving. He loved all the kids, coaches and teachers he met along the way. Whenever anyone mentioned John, we would always hear, “Oh yeah, he was my bus driver! I loved when he drove us! He’s such a great guy!”

John was always known for going the extra mile for everyone and putting everyone else’s needs before his own. He was everyone’s go-to. He always went out of his way to make each and every person he was with feel important, special, loved... Whenever someone was down and out, he could turn things around and make them see the bright side of things. He was so proud of his family and would defend them to the death.

No matter what was going on at the moment, John would drop what he was doing to help someone out. He was so genuine and always found time to be kind and gentle. Because he was so non-judgmental, everyone turned to him for advice and support, which he offered freely. All of us are going to miss his stories. He had a memory like an elephant.

John was also an amazing artist and was always creating masterpieces for us. He also loved nothing better than fishing and being the cook at all of our family fish frys. They were a big deal and everyone looked forward to them!

If John was not at work or helping someone out with something, he could often be found at the nearest rink. He was so happy when his granddaughters joined hockey and was so proud of all their accomplishments. So many conversations with John revolved around hockey and the Habs. He was a die-hard Habs fan. One of his favourite sayings was “Pay the Price!”.

The family would like to thank everyone for the wonderful care John received, including the paramedics, police officer who assisted John’s wife, and the medical team in Kenora. A special thanks to Dr. Sem, and also to Thunder Bay’s Dr. Haddad, and ICU nurses Heather and Brynn. We are so appreciative of everyone’s efforts.

No amount of time would ever be long enough with John….

A celebration of his life will be held Sunday, October 27th, 2019 from 12 to 3pm at the Super 8 Minis Hall Kenora, ON.

Honorary Pallbearers are Mark Vanasse, Toot Bowman, Angie Plante, Don Vanasse, and Clarence Kirkness.

In lieu of flowers, the family is requesting donations to the Rideout Community Club, where John and his wife have spent countless hours volunteering.


  • Mark Vanasse, Honorary Pallbearer
  • Toot Bowman, Honorary Pallbearer
  • Angie Plante, Honorary Pallbearer
  • Don Vanasse, Honorary Pallbearer
  • Clarence Kirkness, Honorary Pallbearer

  • Rideout Community Club, where John and his wife have spent countless hours volunteering.


  • Celebration of Life Sunday, October 27, 2019


Mr. John Romanuk

have a memory or condolence to add?

Cathy & Mike Sweeney

November 20, 2019

John and Tina were our neighbours for many years! John was always so happy, friendly and helpful. I would invite myself over when they were enjoying an evening sip! Always made me feel welcome and we’d chat! They had so many youngsters playing in their yard, some blood-related, others not, and the children always played in harmony!
Michael and I just learned of John’s sudden passing, the day before we drove South. Tina, I know a bright light has gone out, at your home, but let John shine back in your eyes. You had a treasure...May you reconnect at some time! Our sympathy to you and all your family!

Joan Scott

November 4, 2019

I just heard about John. So sorry for your loss. I remember him from the Salz and I know my mom did think highly of him. Take care.