Joseph (Joe) Sterbenc

Sterbenc, Joseph (Joe)

February 27, 1928 – September 29, 2015

It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of Joseph (Joe) Sterbenc on Tuesday, September 29, 2015 at Durand Manor at the age of 87 years.

Beloved brother, husband, father and grandfather, Joe was born in the farming village of Radenci, Slovenia on February 28, 1928. He was the oldest of 5 siblings and spent most of his childhood and early adult years working on the family farm.

In 1944, at the age of 16, he was enlisted in the Yugoslavian army to fight alongside the Allied Forces. He became an important part of the regional Partisans and regarded his role as Messenger with great importance. His keen observations and reporting prevented many lives from being lost.

After the War, he returned to work on the farm. Under the Communist government, Joe felt there was no future or opportunity for him in Slovenia. After several attempts, he finally succeeded in his escape through the Alps and arrived in Austria.

He moved to Canada at the age of 30. His first point of entry into Canada was Halifax and Joe looked forward to his new Canadian life working in Toronto. Through a family arrangement, he met his wife Mihela, for the first time, when she arrived into Canada. They lived in Canal Flats then moved to Golden where Joe worked for various companies including CP Rail and Evans. He later started his own business as a custodian for approximately 15 years before he retired.

His great love was carpentry. He built an addition onto their modest home, and spent a lot of time in the workshop creating such things as furniture and jewelry boxes. He was a regular fixture for many years at the Golden Christmas Craft Fair.

Joe enjoyed spending time with family and friends, loved to laugh and had a great sense of humour. He especially enjoyed spending time with his grandchildren whom he adored.

He will be deeply missed by his wife of 55 years, Mihela, brother Peter (Martina), sisters Ivanka and Mimi, daughters Maria (Don) and Irene (Stan), son Rob, grandchildren, Michaela and Benjamin, and numerous cousins, nieces and nephews. Joe was predeceased by his parents Ivanka and Joze; his brother Paul and nephew Peter and his beloved pet and companion Sydney.

Funeral service was held on Saturday, October 3rd at Sacred Heart Parish.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Henry Durand Manor.


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