Percy William Pielak (“Sonny”) was born on Sunday, June 11, 1933 at The Pas, Manitoba to Stanley and Clara (nee Sayese). Percy attended Sacred Heart School and later the Red Brick School. After leaving school, he worked various odd jobs until he was hired at the CNR roundhouse, working his way up to machinist. In 1957, he left the CNR and took on a new challenge with a new mine opening in Thompson. Percy claimed to have bragging rights to being one of the first 20 people who pioneered Thompson in its early days. Then, in the early 1960s, he worked at the Grand Rapids Hydro Generating Station.
Percy then returned to The Pas and started in the electrical trade, bouncing between various electrical contractors. He subsequently earned his Journeyman Electrician license and his 3rd class Power Engineer certificate from Red River Community College in Winnipeg. In the late 1960s, Percy formed his own electrical contracting business - Mid Can Electric Ltd., eventually working in just about every community in northern Manitoba.
He met Eva in 1972, and they eventually moved to Churchill, while he worked a two-year contract. Once the contract was done, they returned to The Pas and decided to permanently settle his roots, once and for all.
Percy was always interested in politics, but never had the time to get involved. Once returning to The Pas, he was involved with the Chamber of Commerce, where he served on many committees and served as President for two years. He was awarded a lifetime membership for his service to the Chamber.
He further involved himself in Town of The Pas politics, proudly serving as a town councilor for 14 years and 3 years as Mayor. As Mayor, Percy represented the Town on Provincial and Regional committees. He involved himself in Provincial politics and twice ran as the P.C. candidate for constituency of The Pas.
Percy often talked about meeting so many people and enjoyed every moment of that experience. Percy and Eva made many trips to Poland where they toured most of the country, exploring other European countries by train, plane and automobile. His most memorable experience was back-packing from country to country and enjoyed their many stop overs in the U.K.
He claimed the Edmonton area as his second home, taking many trips out there to visit his children on holidays, birthdays, graduations, weddings and everything in between. He often claimed to have lost count of his grandchildren and great-grandchildren, but enjoyed coming together with them whenever he could. Percy was incredibly proud and loved his large, blended family.
Throughout his life, Percy maintained a good sense of humor, sharing a special bond with his childhood friends, enjoying many laughs together. He often mentioned the old saying that “laughter was the best medicine”.
Later in life, he was able to overcome some serious medical problems and continued to enjoy life to the fullest. He never considered retirement and often said he would work and keep busy until the end, which he did. He often said his strength was due to his religion and practiced his worship to God in his own way. Percy passed away peacefully with family by his side, Wednesday, February 12, 2020, at St. Anthony’s Hospital, The Pas, Manitoba, at the age of 86 years.
Percy is survived by his wife and best friend, Eva; their children Christopher (Dawn) and Lucyna; as well as his children, Gerald (Wendy), Valerie (Terry Beath), Sharon (Larry Bunney), Renee Bunney, Darren, Kelly, Lisa, Bill; his brother Frank; daughter-in-law Darlene Shaw-Pielak; and many grandchildren, great-grandchildren, nieces, nephews, and numerous friends and acquaintances.
Percy was predeceased by his parents Stanley and Clara; his son JP; daughter Kathy; sisters Helen and Frances.
In keeping with Percy’s wishes, cremation took place and a celebration to honor Percy’s life was held Saturday, February 15, 2020, 3:00 pm, at Our Lady of the Sacred Heart Cathedral, The Pas, Manitoba with Fr. James Fiori, OMI presiding. A reception followed at the Golden Agers/Kin Centre, The Pas.
In lieu of flowers, donations to the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Manitoba, 6 Donald Street, Winnipeg, Manitoba, R3L 0K6, would be appreciated by Percy’s family.
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Canadian Cancer Society
193 Sherbrook Street, Winnipeg MB R3C 2B7