Alan Michael Kobylanski “Big Al”, age 63, loving father of two amazing children Katrina and Wasyl, adoring husband to Cheryl Rose, passed away on March 4th, 2022, after a courageous battle with cancer. Alan was born April 6th, 1958 – the second oldest child for Mike and Sonya Kobylanski. His parents’ families immigrated from the Ukraine and homesteaded where Alan grew up on the farm in Volin, north of Rycroft Alberta, with his 4 siblings, and enjoyed all the benefits of the farming lifestyle.
Alan married Threasa Litwyn in 1980 and settled down to raise a family on his own quarter section in Volin only a few miles from home. Alan and Threasa welcomed their daughter Katrina into the world in 1982 and their son Wasyl in 1985. Shortly after their children were born Alan attended training in Fairview to become a heavy-duty mechanic. In the spring the family enjoyed breaking and seeding the fields, planting bountiful gardens, tending to the chickens, pigs, horses, and cows. Summertime was for fishing and outdoor fun. Alan would take his family on many week-long camping trips, and getaways, in search of “landing the biggest Walleye”. In the fall Alan spent most days harvesting the wheat, barley, and hayfields, alongside his father and brothers. He also spent a lot of time fixing all the machinery, and neighbors’ machinery as he “could fix anything!” Fall was also a time for hunting, and Alan loved to provide for his family and more. Alan and his father Mike could be easily found in the bunkhouse cutting up the most recent moose or deer, stoking the smokehouse and making the most delicious sausage, which is quite known throughout his family and friends.
Weekends and holidays always included a lot of families, friends, and food. A guest in Alan’s house never left without being well-fed! There were many ski-doo parties with neighbors all winter long, and they always ended with a big bonfire and sausage roast. Cards and games were a big part of family life from when Alan was young. There was always a game of Crib or Durak going on with his dad or his Uncle Roger where fun was poked, and a lot of laughter was shared.
Alan left the Volin area in 2003 to focus on retirement and found Nakusp BC with Cheryl Rose whom he later married in 2010 at the Nakusp Hot Springs. Alan and Cheryl settled into this small town that had everything. Alan had enjoyed his whole life, less the farming! Nestled in the mountains, Alan and Cheryl enjoyed the Columbia River for the fishing, the Kootenay mountains for their natural hot spring healing waters and BC’s fertile land and extra-long growing season. This provided plentiful cherries, blueberries, mushrooms, and gardens. This was a retirement phase in which they both continued to work full-time but could fish every evening or take off on the weekend in search of Salmon if they wished. They upgraded their boat to a 21’ ThunderJet Chinook and Alan took great pride in that beautiful boat. Him and Cheryl, his son Wasyl and Daughter Katrina spent countless hours fishing and having adventures in the majestic Kootenay Areas. Alan worked at Napa in Nakusp as – you guessed it – their one and only mechanic!
Alan possibly spent more time driving his boat than his truck with the arrow lake nearly minutes from his driveway; he could hop in the boat and be in the water fishing year long. Their back yard became a mini orchard with a generous harvest of blueberries, plums, apples, and apricots every year as Alan and Cheryl dialed in their green thumbs. His true growing pride was the garlic section of the garden. It wasn’t uncommon for Alan to plant and harvest over 900 garlic bulbs, sending dozens to his children, sisters and his mother through the mail and utilizing the rest into his sausage recipes.
Alan’s courage and strength in life were like none other. He will be forever remembered in the hearts of his family and friends. He was an amazing man, father, grandpa, brother, friend, and husband that will be sadly missed and grieved until the end of time. We love you, Dad! OUR Big Al! Gone too soon.
Alan is survived by his wife Cheryl, daughter Katrina (Jason), son Wasyl (Josie), sisters Paula (Harvey) and Anne-Marie, brother Larry, his niece Jenna (Cory), nephew Andrew (Courtney) and his two beautiful granddaughters Hailey and Sofia. He was predeceased by his mother, father, and younger brother – Robert.
Alan’s last wishes were to rest in the Volin Cemetery with his family and that there will be a small gathering to celebrate his life at his son’s farm where he spent a lot of time over the years. We would have some wonderful food, great speakers and awesome rock and roll classic music! AC/DC – Bob Seger – The Rolling Stones – Al loved good music! The family will extend that invite later.
Oh behalf of Alan, the family extends a heartfelt ‘thank-you’ to the Nakusp Hospital (Dr. Craig Cruschane), Homecare, and the Royal Canadian Legion for all the support during this extremely tough time.
“You held my hand when I was small
You caught me when I fell
You’re the hero of my childhood and my later years as well
And every time I think of you, my heart still fills with pride
Though I’ll always miss you, Dad, I know you’re by my side
In laughter and in sorrow, in sunshine and through rain
I know you’re watching over me
Until we meet again”