A Tribute
LOOKING BACK AT THE SPACKS
A Family History
by
Mike Spack
www.hillmanweb.com/mikespack
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Michael (Mike) Spack

1922 - 2011
Passed away on December 16, 2011 at the St. Boniface General Hospital with family and his feline companion Luigi at his side. He has completed his life journey of outstanding sports achievement, a fulfilling career in the education field, and a commitment to family through a loving marriage of sixty-one wonderful years to Kathleen (Saint).

Mike was the eldest son of five children born on March 5, 1922, in Winnipeg, Manitoba to parents Nettie (Sochasky) and William Spak. Growing up in the Disraeli district, he was guided into a lifelong love of sports by Dr. Jim Shaver at the Sutherland Mission. After graduating from St. Johns Technical High School he enlisted in the RCAF in August 1941 as Michael Spack.

Mike was a Pilot Officer in the RCAF in WWII, reporting for overseas duty on Christmas Day 1942 piloting the famed Mosquito Bomber till June 1945 with the 163 Squadron, RAF Station Wyton. He was discharged on October 2, 1945.

He met his bride to be on January 1, 1943, after being posted to RAF Station Calveley located about 2 miles from her home in the lovely town of Nantwich, Cheshire, England. They were married on April 10, 1945. Kathy immigrated to Winnipeg to join Mike in 1946 followed by her parents shortly thereafter. 

After returning to Canada, Mike attended United College and University of Manitoba obtaining a teaching degree. His career in education spanned four decades culminating as an associate professor at Brandon University. Kath and Mike lived for forty years in Brandon, Manitoba until his return to Winnipeg in 2006 following Kath’s passing. 

Mike devoted over 65 years to the game of basketball as a player, administrator, coach, and referee. He played competitive basketball from 1932 in the Sunday School League until he hung up his sneakers in 1979. Between 1945 and 1954, he was with the University of Manitoba Bisons, the Varsity Grads and the Winnipeg Paulins who won the Canadian Senior Men's Championship and placed 4th in the World Cup Games in Rio de Janeiro in 1954. He is the only inductee of the Manitoba Basketball Hall of Fame in all three categories: Team Member of Winnipeg Paulins in 1983, Athlete in 1985 and a Builder in 2009.

He is survived by his three children, Sue (Doug) Scott of Regina, Cathy of Winnipeg and James (Mary) of West Vancouver and five grandchildren, Kelly, Ainsley, Chelsea, Kristen, Sydney and great grandson Zachary Ross (Ainsley). He is also survived by sisters, Nellie Balayewich of Vancouver and Margaret Eagle of Edmonton as well as many nieces and nephews.

A "Celebration of Life" Service will be held at Thomson "In the Park", 1291 McGillivray Blvd, Winnipeg, Manitoba on Saturday, January 21, 2012 at 11:00 AM followed by a reception.

Donations in lieu of flowers can be made to the Manitoba Basketball Hall of Fame, Basketball Manitoba  Inc. 145 Pacific Avenue, Winnipeg , Manitoba  R3B 2Z6  Phone: 204.925.5775 or online at www.mbhof.com
 

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Mike Spack 1941
March 5. 1922 - December 16, 2011

CONTENTS

SECTION I: SPACK FAMILY HISTORY
SECTION 2: RCAF MEMOIRS
SECTION 3: KATH'S STORY ~ LONG AGO AND FAR AWAY


This history is a personal rearview look at the Spack family and is meant to be an "ethical will" for sisters, children, and grandchildren. Perhaps it may become a basis, a foundation, upon which to build. Indeed it is hoped that more stories may be written by members of the family and that these may be passed from one generation to the next.  Copies will be sent to our children although the more complete albums (more photographs, documents, etc.), are with this writer and my sisters who will no doubt add or replace photographs or copy.

Though not unusual, memories have been relied upon for the most part so one may consider these pages as a collection of stories, for in looking back, one seems to have lived in many different worlds. A fascinating result for me in writing, finding pictures, and other tasks was that I now can almost see family members by just recalling someone. Hopefully this is not lost for I feel a sense of closeness not experienced so vividly previously. Who knows? One or more readers may catch this imagery just in reading these stories and especially by adding to them.

It is with love I close to all family members with special thanks to wife Liz, to my wonderful collaborators Nellie and Margaret, and the rest of our families.

Dad, brother, uncle, grandfather
Mike Spack

SECTION I: SPACK FAMILY HISTORY

Kathy and Mike Spack
CONTENTS
Introduction
History 1
History 2
History 3
History 4
History 5
History 6
History 7
   
 
 
Photo Album 1
Photo Album 2
Photo Album 3
Photo Album 4
Photo Album 5
Photo Album 6
RCAF
Family Tree

 
SECTION 2: 
Royal Canadian Air Force Memoirs

Mike Spack
THE STORY
100 pages of text
THE PICTURES
150 photographs
INTRODUCTION
 Intro Gallery
PART I
Recruitment and Training in Canada
Gallery 1
PART II
Overseas Parts 1-3
Gallery 2
PART III
Overseas Parts 4-5
Gallery 3
PART IV
Overseas Parts 6-7
Gallery 4
PART V
Overseas 8 and Post War
Gallery 5
My Friend Bill
Gallery 6
 
Gallery 7

 
SECTION 3: KATH'S STORY
LONG AGO AND FAR AWAY
Kath and Mike's Overseas Story
Long Ago and Far Away
Appendices
Wedding Photo Album
Kath's Family Photo Album
Contact Daughter Cathy at:
cspack@mymts.net
 
 
 
 

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Bill and Sue-On Hillman Eclectic Studio