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Janko Krotecjanko's obituary

May 24, 1946 - September 6, 2009

My Life

Serengeti Sunrise, October 2004

Serengeti Sunrise, October 2004


“I cherish the magic of the sunrise and sunset every day.”

– Janko Krotec

I was born May 24, 1946, on my family’s farm in Preloka, Slovenija (Jugoslavija), delivered into this world by my maternal grandmother. I am the fourth of eight children born to my parents, Ana and Jozef.

Growing up on a farm, I learned to deeply appreciate nature and farm life. At age 12, I went to work at a farm in another village and attend school.

Following the example of my older brother, I entered a Catholic seminary at age 16. After 5 years in the seminary in Croatia, interrupted by mandatory military service, I left the seminary.

I returned to my family’s farm to construct a suitable home for my parents and younger siblings. It was during this time that I decided to follow the path of my eldest brother, who had settled with his family in Vancouver. On November 14, 1968, I departed for Vancouver to create a new life of opportunity in Canada.

My new life in Canada, as a foreigner who did not speak English, was both challenging and exciting. This promising new life brought many life lessons about relationships and entrepreneurship.

Life generally works out better than expected-mine did. I am blessed with three amazing children, a wonderful grandson, two darling nieces each with two children, and an adoring nephew with two daughters. I struck gold meeting my lovely wife, Donna. She has helped deepen the bonds between me and my family, bonds that have kept me buoyant, especially during the past 13 years.

Bette Davis was right when she said, “Growing old is not for sissies.” My 50th birthday came with an unwanted gift-a diagnosis of stage IV non-Hodgkin Lymphoma (Type-B Small Lymphocytic blood cancer). The years since have been a blessing of sorts, filled with multiple treatments, travel, family, specialists, friends and enjoyment of life.

My medical team was coordinated with the guiding hand of Dr. Joseph Connors. By August 2008, it was clear, despite the efforts of many, including myself, that the cancer cells were as resilient to treatment as I had been to the cancer; the treatments were no longer effective.

I began a period of transition that I view as neither tragic nor imminent. A palliative home care team was assembled to ensure that my quality of life continues for as long as possible. Life continues with this knowledge, making each day and every encounter precious.

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