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Albert Urban (Bert) Mracek
November 2, 1920 – December 31, 2013
Dad was born and grew up on a farm near Druid in the depression, leaving a deep and lasting impact on his life. He was frugal and yet generous, practical and yet conservative. He served in the Royal Canadian Air Force, initially as a mechanic and later as a pilot. He was proud of his military service and never missed a Remembrance Day service. After the war, he pursued a degree in mining engineering at University of British Columbia, graduating in 1949. He was quick to say that he was a 49'er. He started his mining career in Bralorne, B.C, where he developed a strong interest in mine safety. He joined mine rescue and eventually was a team captain, winning several provincial championship competitions in the early '50's. He carried his safety interest with him to various mines across Canada as he took on more responsible positions. In 1963 he returned to Saskatchewan to the newly developing potash industry. He spent 23 years with Potash Company of America as mine superintendent, general manager and vice president of operations. Dad retired in 1986 to assume a permanent position as head fisherman at Little Bear Lake. For the next 25 years he and Jean summered at the lake, where he fished, picked berries and played his harmonica to entertain his many visitors. Dad's priority in life was his family. He and Jean raised five children who all became engineers like their father. He taught them many life skills, but his most important lesson was that the worst day of fishing is better than the best day at work. Dad was predeceased by his wife of 65 years, Nina Jean (Henderson), and his daughter Cathy. He will be greatly missed by his sisters Dorothy Spoonheim, of Saskatoon, and Del King of Ottawa; his sons Michael (and Jeanette), Bill (and Lorrie), John (and Kathy) and Brian (and Jana); grandsons and granddaughters Kari Anne, Ryan and Craig, Jamie, and Jennifer, Shaun, Gavin and Derek, Britlynn, Landon and Karlynn, and great-grandsons, Taavi, and Parker Gambel. Bert was a man of many talents who enjoyed life to its fullest. His wit and charm and amazing memory will be missed by all. A Celebration of Bert's life will be held at 2:00 p.m. Sunday, January 5, 2013 at the Chapel of the Saskatoon Funeral Home. Memorial donations may be made to the Parkinson Foundation of Saskatchewan. Condolences maybe emailed to Arrangements are entrusted to the SASKATOON FUNERAL HOME, 306-244-5577
Published in The Saskatoon StarPhoenix from Jan. 3 to Jan. 4, 2014
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