TRAMTelephone Retirees Association of Manitoba



BRIAN KOBYLAK  Obituary pic


Born: Nov 03, 1944

Date of Passing: Oct 07, 2017

BRIAN KOBYLAK It is with sadness and thanksgiving that we announce the sudden passing of our loving husband, devoted father, adoring grandfather and beloved coach, Brian Kobylak, on October 7, 2017. Family was the love of Brian's life. He will be forever missed by his soulmate of 55 years and beyond, Pat; daughters Barb (Dan) and Sarah (Dennis) and grandchildren Diana (Jeremiah), Noah, Travis and Christian; Brian's brothers Barry and Garry and their families; and his extended family of friends, football players and fellow coaches. Welcoming him with open arms on the other side were his parents, Jack and Mary Kobylak, in-laws Conrad and Pearl Hicke, brother-in-law Daniel Buhr and niece Laura Kobylak, as well as his grandparents and family ancestors that Brian knew guided us and continue to watch over us. Brian was born on November 3, 1944 and grew up in East Kildonan. He spoke fondly of his years at St. Alphonsus School and Church as well as at St. Paul's High School where he played football with the Crusaders. He was quite proud of being invited to tryout camp with the Blue Bombers. At a holiday party in 1962, he met Patsy Hicke and the two were inseparable from that evening on. They married on October 14, 1967 (today is their 50th wedding anniversary) and, hand in hand, set out on an awesome adventure. They found their own piece of paradise in the country and moved north of Anola on Halloween 1970, creating a loving home that quickly expanded with the arrival of Barbara in 1971 and Sarah in 1973. Brian spent nearly 30 years working as an electronics technician with MTS. Upon retiring in 1998, he pursued his dream of coaching football with the Manitoba Minor Football Association, first with the Transcona Nationals and then with Fort Garry Lions and Sunrise Coyotes. He took his passion to a new level as a Winnipeg High School Football League coach with the Murdoch MacKay Clansmen before joining the Steinbach Sabres, where he truly felt a special connection. Brian proudly wore three WHSFL championship rings, but the real win for him was being able to encourage young talent and nurture the love of the game in others. Coach Koby loved taking "his boys" out for wings and was especially proud to stand on the sidelines with Head Coach Jamie Peters and the league's finest coaching staff. As great a coach as he was, Brian was an even better dad and grandpa. He was a gentle and patient teacher and our biggest fan, taking an active interest in all of our lives. He challenged and encouraged us, always putting family first and helping out whenever he could. When he became a grandpa, that love was magnified. Grandma and Grandpa Kobylak drove in from Anola every morning for years to babysit their preschool grandkids, making precious memories that have become family folklore. Sleepovers were always in demand, thanks in part to all the fun had playing in the treehouse and with the elaborate, three-room train set he built. Brian enjoyed fishing and simply being outdoors as it connected him to the earth. He had a soft spot for animals, and showed a deep affection not only for the dogs, cats and fish that were pets over the years, but also to the birds, chipmunks and deer that he kept well fed in the yard. He had his own unique brand of spirituality, including a deep interest in mythology and a never-ending quest for knowledge to the secrets of the universe. We take comfort knowing that all of his questions have now been answered. As per Brian's wishes, a private and meaningful celebration of life will be held at a future date. The family wishes to thank Beausejour Hospital for their care and the medical and spiritual staff at St. Boniface Hospital's Acute Critical Care Unit for their compassion. If friends so wish, donations are gratefully accepted in Brian's memory to Siloam Mission at Lastly, if you knew Brian, you know he loved three things: his family, football and Star Wars. When a Jedi dies, they are transformed into the Force, and in our hearts, we are certain that Brian is now One with the Force. MAY THE FORCE BE WITH YOU.

As published in the Winnipeg Free Press on Oct 14, 2017