Joseph "Joe" Kozokowsky

October 7, 1936 ~ March 19, 2022 (age 85)


It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of our dear father Joseph Kozokowsky on Saturday March 19, 2022.

Joe passed at home in his beloved valley surrounded by family after his third valiant battle with cancer.

Dad will be lovingly remembered by his last surviving sibling, Anne Potolicki (Wally) of Bobcaygeon, Ontario. By his children: Daughter Linda Vant of Springwater, Ontario; son Michael (Karen) Kozokowsky of Winnipeg; son Timothy (Cheri) Kozokowsky of Stonewall; daughter Angela (Rob) Cheadle of Stonewall; Lara Jo (Scott) Thomson of Winnipeg Beach. Dad’s ten grandchildren will miss his wise counsel and hockey rants – he will miss them too: Carla, Adam, Nicole, Matthew, Ryan, Erica, Sabrina, Paige, Courtney and Liam.

Our newest generation will be comforted with our stories about the “Legend”. Eight great grandchildren: Finn, Michael, Joseph, Grady, Heath, Logan, Dela and Benjamin.

Special note companion Eileen Heap of Russell will greatly miss Joe’s friendship and loving commitment to fun in the “senior years”.  He was a boy at heart.

Dad’s extensive collection of friends and hopeless souls will miss his wise counsel, political rants, good humour, endless energy, and formidable friendship. Once you were Dad’s friend, you became family. Your tears will mingle with ours.

Dad was predeceased by his loving, devoted wife of 54 years Geraldine “Gerry” in 2013. Mom was the cornerstone Dad built his life upon – he will find her again with beloved “Bumper” and “Pookie”. Brother Filip (Eunice) of Calgary and sister Rose (Walter) of Winnipeg have also passed.

Born in Lakedale, MB to Ukrainian parents, Michael Kozakoski and Nettie Hnatkoski, as Dad would tell us he grew up “kissed by the sun in summer to freezing his Easter Eggs in the winter”. Couple this with the embracing love of community a fine young man emerged from the valley.

Our father was always a dreamer and his sights early on were set on seeing what was beyond his beloved valley. A lucky break in 1957 saw Dad get into early “Radio” in Portage La Prairie. Together with his new bride Gerry (nee Williams of Stonewall), Mom and Dad started a family while dad was learning his craft. Daughter Linda arrived in 1958. With his quick wit, easy manner, and youthful good looks it wasn’t long before radio gave way to television.  By 1960 “Joe Cooke” TV personality was launched. Pursuing more interesting television work, travels took Mom and Dad to Thunder Bay where two brothers were added, Michael and Tim. A stint in the US included Terre Haute, Indiana and Pembina, North Dakota where 2 sisters joined the family, Angela and Lara Jo.

By 1970, with a complete baseball team, dad moved the troupe to Sudbury, Ontario. Continuing a busy TV career, which included a popular TV program for children called “Cooke’s Clubhouse”, Dad entertained and hosted the Ontario northland. An amusing family story recounts Mom handling Dad’s fan mail from his many “kid” fans and burning the lusty fan mail from his “not so kid fans”. Dad took it in stride. Mom was a saint!  Not content with just television work during the 70’s Dad branched into several small businesses on the side, and even ran for the local mayor’s job.  Alas, spread too thin and with a change in fortunes, Dad and Mom headed westbound in ‘78 to return to Manitoba. Once home, Dad capped 23 years in television in Winnipeg and started to dream again. Taking a quick “grub stake” job in Watson Lake, NWT to set the family up for Joe & Co Part II, a new adventure began.

After 4 years communing with nature under the northern lights, Dad rolled his rig into a tailings pond and narrowly escaped an early demise. Our besieged mother called a halt to “Polaris Joe’s” great adventure and ordered him home. Way to go, Mom! Back with his cornerstone and number one fan Dad drifted back towards his valley where soon construction on their retirement home commenced. The years passed with many summers of crooked nails and winters dancing in the Okanagan with fellow “Prairie Chickens”.

Family surrounded them continuously, with grandchildren and great grandchildren providing the entertainment. Dad and Mom capped off Act III.

Now the curtain has fallen, and the show has come to a close as Dad would say. As we say goodbye, we will remember Dad’s wise advice and take his generous gifts:  Dream always, just do it, don’t whine, love with all your heart, be a friend worth keeping and above all laugh particularly at the absurd.

Dad, we will miss you greatly – love you enough to fill your valley.

We wish to thank the Russell Palliative family. Your care and warmth were very appreciated. In lieu of flowers, dad would have encouraged all to donate time or funds to the Russell Leisure Centre and/or the new Cancer Care expansion in Russell.

As Dad would say, “Just Do It”.

To send flowers to Joseph's family, please visit our floral store.


Celebration of Life
March 24, 2022

1:00 PM to 3:00 PM
Russell Leisure Centre
Main Street
Russell, MB R0J 1W0


Expanding Community Cancer Care
Russell Heath Centre, Bag Service 2, Russell MB R0J 1W0

Please make cheques payable to "Expanding Community Cancer Care"

Russell Leisure Centre
529 Main Street North, Russell MB R0J 1W0
Tel: 1-204-773-3429

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