We knew the day would come when we would have to say goodbye but still we are not ready.
Nick Dika, our beloved father, grandfather, uncle and friend to all passed away in Fairview on October 30 just a few days short of his 94th birthday.
Dad was born on the banks of the Burnt River near Rycroft November 5, 1925 to Anica and Ivan Dika. Life on the farm wasn’t easy, but if you asked Dad, it was a good life.
Dad met Norma Pears and they married April 15, 1954. They had five children: Nick, Randy, Becky, Shelly and Penny. They homesteaded land on the Peoria Road east of Woking.
Mom and Dad provided their children with a life on their farm for which they will be forever grateful. There wasn’t a lot of money, but there was a whole lot of fun and – as the kids liked to say – a whole lot of rock picking. (This was later alleged to be exaggerated).
In his younger years Dad enjoyed baseball and later hockey, watching and coaching. He was an Edmonton Oilers fan, and always loved the underdog; so it was he remained a loyal fan long after the Gretzky years … although the last few tried even his commitment.
A coal miner and a cat skinner, he was a man of all trades, as our pioneering farmers had to be. He and Mom spent many winters working in the bush to supplement the farm in their early years. His cows and grain farming were near and dear to his heart, though the former was usually the motivation for the two or three times we ever saw Dad angry.
Dad took pride – and joy – in life’s simple things like a Sunday dinner, an afternoon drive, the perfect round bale (and there were many). Dad never finished high school but was the smartest man we knew.
As a father, Dad was a gem. He set an example for his kids and grandkids by living his life well. He didn’t tell us how to live; he showed us.
Dad was a man of integrity, a kind, gentle soul who always strove to be kind and helpful to his neighbours and strangers. We hope we can live up to the example Dad set for us.
Dad will be deeply missed by his children Nick, Randy, Becky, Penny (Ken); grandchildren Jennifer (Jason), Caitlin, Shelby (Mitch), Abby, Daniel, Landon, Benjamin, Grace and Olivia; great-grandchildren Presley, Jase, Myer, Miller, Sem and all those who knew and loved him.
He was predeceased by his wife Norma (2013) and daughter Shelly (1962) as well as several brothers and sisters.
A private family burial was held on November 7 at the Municipal District of Spirit River Cemetery. A Celebration of Life will be announced at a later date.
If so desired, memorial donations may be made to Alzheimer Society, Alberta and Northwest Territories #102 9823 – 116 Avenue, Grande Prairie, AB T8V 4B4.