Donald Leonard Mantyka July 31, 1948 – September 27, 2021
It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of Don Mantyka. He is survived by his son and daughter-in-law Scott and Tina; his pride and joy grandchildren Bryn, Jaimyn and Denym; his sisters Joyce (Jim) and Elaine; his nieces Kim, Charma (Scott) and Joèl (Gregory); his great nieces and his dear friend Karen. He also leaves behind countless friends and colleagues.
Don was predeceased by his son Chris, his parents Peter and Jean, and his brother-in-law Roger.
Don grew up in Saskatoon, attending Tech Collegiate. He then went on to start his life-long career with the CN Railway, finally retiring after almost 40 years of service. Don was also an entrepreneur. He had many successful businesses over the years, most recently owning Vern’s Pizza and the Westley’s Jr. B Hockey Club.
Keeping busy running back and forth between the rink and the pizza store was his hobby. He loved being part of both. The rink was like a second home to him – any rink was. He was a ‘coach’ to everyone he knew. But what he loved the most was spending time with his grandchildren. He would be at every game and practice. Often being a chauffeur and always being the ‘fan-of-the-year’. He would be at every school event as well. Whether at graduation or at the provincial finals, his cheer was always heard. He was so proud of his grandchildren that he talked about them and their accomplishments non-stop. Bryn, Jaimyn (J-bird as he always called her) and Denym were his passion. He repeatedly said his life was complete because of them.
Don was the first to lend a hand, a dollar, or his advice to anyone who needed it. He made sure everyone was looked after. He’d drive around from house to house before bed making sure all his family’s vehicles were home and everyone was safe and sound. He loved being a big brother to Elaine and Joyce and adored being ‘Uncle Don’ to his nieces and their families. He cherished family gatherings. Don was the type of man to dress up as Santa for his two boys and his nieces, then eventually for his grandchildren. He was so excited to give presents that he could barely make it to Christmas eve. He loved to host backyard pool parties for his family and friends. His fridge was always full and his pool was always hot.
Don was an incredible father, grandfather, brother, uncle, coach, and friend. He was a true mentor both in business and in the hockey community. This world was a fantastic place because of his generosity, his kindness and his presence. He will be dearly missed by all.
As per Don’s wishes, we will be having a small private family gathering. In lieu of a celebration please think of Don while you hug, appreciate, cherish and spend quality time with your family, teammates and friends.
So sorry for your loss, our prayers go out to you and yours He gave all of us a lot to remember and stores to tell R.I.P. Don
My deepest condolences to Don’s family. He was a great friend and mentor of mine and will be greatly missed by myself and my children.
I will always remember the trip to California in the 77 Lemans to visit Dons friend there. Jaws ( the movie) was the big thing. He took us to Universal Studios. He bought me a Jaws TShirt
I wore it till it was threadbare. Peace . Love and happiness to the family. 🙂
I am so very sorry for your loss. My heart & thoughts are with you all.
I worked with Don. He made the work fun. I also helped at Vern’s in the booth at curling and other special events that they did in the past. I will miss him. May he Rest In Peace.
Scott, Tina and family, I am so sorry for your loss. I have incredible memories of Don as a coach when we were young and as a father figure to all his hockey boys. I can still hear “Briz” echoing in the rink when he would yell at me to get skating!! I think my parents loved Don for that because it scared me into skating hard every time!! Don has had an incredible and lasting impact on a large group of hockey boys and families, he will never be forgotten and always be remembered.
Our condolences and prayers are with you and your family during this difficult time. Don was a friend and business acquaintance of ours for numerous years. He always greeted us with his firm handshake and friendly smile. We were fortunate enough, to have seen him about 3 weeks ago, as we stopped into Vern’s Pizza for a slice of pizza and he just happened to come back from the bank. He will be sadly missed. RIP Don 🙏
So sorry to hear of Don’s passing. Hadn’t seen the big guy in a while, but think of him often when reminiscing of the old junior B days. Scott, your dad was a good man with a big heart. He will be missed.
Spent many an hour with Don at the old Cheesetoast on 7th Ave. He always had a lot of great stories.
Dear Scott and Tina,
Thinking of you all at this sad time. Sending deepest condolences from us all.
TIna, Scott, and family – I’m sorry to hear that Don has passed on. When Jerome called me with the news I was stunned.
I got to know Don while he and I worked at CP Rail, in the Sutherland roundhouse shops – – he worked the midnite shift in the locomotive shop as a Hostler fueling engines and caring for them as they idled outside the shop.
I also remember the days back then when he was a bartender / bouncer in the pub at the Capri Hotel.
On his shift there wasn’t any nonsense from patrons – – – they all respected him. He was good at how he handled situations that might arise as people got a bit too intoxicated and rowdy, with the occasional patron exiting the back door into the alley with a helping hand from Don. I’m not sure what the record toss was but it was elevated from ground level, then back to tapping beer for the rest of us that were behaving.
I was away from Saskatoon for about 20 years working on Vancouver Island and when we moved back to Saskatoon got connected with “The Don” at Verns Pizza. I was surprised that he’d left CP Rail to the CNR . That was a long visit as we caught up on what had gone on since we last saw each other. Don always had time for me when we visited with a ” Freddie – – How the Heck Are You” ?
He always called me Freddie – – kinda cool – – his own way of greeting me.
Although I hadn’t seen Don for several months, he always asked Jerome how was Freddie doing? and I’d get the message.
I’ll always remember Don as being a fanatic hockey fan, his recordings of NHL Hockey FIghts, the gold neck chain with the $ pendant – – – his Black Lincoln – – Don had class.
So many more memories.
Rest In Peace Don.
Our deepest condolences to don,s family
Very sorry to hear of Don’s passing. He was a good friend at work and at the rink. He gave a lot of kids a chance to play, including my son. Donny was a good man. He will be greatly missed.
Our sincere condolences to Scott, Tina, Bryn, Jaimyn & Denym. May your memories provide comfort. Twila, Sydney & Ryley
Scott,Tina and family. So sorry to hear of your Dads passing Scott. Sending prayers that happy memories of your dad will bring you comfort and peace.
Our Sincere Sympathy
Wally and Marcie Hunchak
Our most sincere condolences to Scott, Joyce, Elaine and their families. We knew Don since King George schools days, Tech, Raider zone hockey, Junior B, Verns then recently chatted at TD bank Lawson Heights. He was truly a terrific man with numerous talents. We know he is missed so cherish those wonderful memories. Tony and Sandy Bula