Walter Gerald “Wally” Chernenko

Sep 4, 1944 – Mar 27, 2018
Walter (Wally) Gerald Chernenko of Cranbrook, BC passed away suddenly at the Hospital Marina Mazatlan, Mexico on Tuesday, March 27th, 2018, where he was vacationing with his wife and close friends. He received excellent care, in a new facility, and the doctors and staff worked very hard to try and make him healthy enough to be airlifted home but Wally’s heart wasn’t strong enough to fight any longer. He was 73.

Wally was born in Nelson BC on September 4, 1944 to Fred and Mabel Chernenkoff who predeceased him in 2003. He grew up in Nelson and was very athletic, playing many sports in his youth. His love and skill of hockey took him to Melville, Sask to play junior hockey for the Millionares. He was invited to the Toronto Maple Leafs training camp, but a baseball injury to his knee put an end to that dream. However, he still played hockey for the Nelson Maple Leafs until 1967 when he moved to Cranbrook to play for the Cranbrook Royals. He met his wife Jane and they married in 1969 and had two children, Brad and Cindy.

He will be sadly missed by his wife of nearly 49 years and their son Brad and his wife Karen and their three children Danaka, Jeremy and Travis; and their daughter Cindy. His grandchildren were his pride and joy and he loved spending time with them, playing ball, hockey and taking them fishing, his annual fishing trips with his boys he said was the best. He was so proud of each of them. He was very close to both his children and his early passing has left a big hole in our hearts.

Wally also left four siblings and their families behind. They are: sister Kay Pike of Arizona and she has two daughters, Shelly Zarikoff and Wendy and her husband Jim Lamond of Okanagan Falls; sister Sharon and husband Bill Ostoforoff of Castlegar, they have three children, Cheryl, Rob and wife Alana and Glenn and his wife Silvanna; brother Ken and wife Jill Chernenko and their son Scott and Melissa Chernenko and their daughter Lynn and her husband Shane Learmonth all from Nelson; brother Ron and wife Anna Chernenkoff from Nelson and their daughter Candice and husband Tyler Tarr of Trail.

The following are the grand nieces and nephews of the Chernenko’s: Lindsay and Brad Smylie (Sierra & Emma) of Calgary, Nateena and Trent Swinarchuk of Castlegar/Kamloops, Clinton and Brandon Ostoforoff of Kamloops, Isabella, Evan and Brady Ostoforoff of Kelowna, Brooke and Joshua Chernenko of Nelson and Connor Learmonth of Nelson. From Jane’s family there are: sister Chris and husband Garry Burke, who have three children, Michael from Ottawa, Karen Bidder of Cranbrook (temporarily in China) and Pam and her husband Carmen Krischanowski of Edmonton; Jane’s brother John (Book) and wife Penny of Cranbrook and his step sons James and Ken Robinson of Winnipeg.

The following are the grand nieces and nephews: Atalia and Adrianna Burke of Ottawa, Hunter and Burke Bidder from Ottawa/Cranbrook respectively and Matthew and Ericka Krischanowski of Edmonton. A special niece Joanne Nightingale of Cranbrook and her boys, Matthew and Dustin Campbell. As well as many cousins, nieces and nephews throught the east and west Kootenays, England, Guernsey, New Zealand and Australia.

There will be a celebration of life on Saturday April 21, 2018 1:00-3:30 pm at the Cranbrook Golf Course, this is an open house, very informal, no service affair, everyone is welcome to just come and visit and remember Wally with his family and friends.

Jane, Brad and Cindy would like to express a very special shoutout to Murray and Melanie Whyte for their kindness and support through a very difficult time. Without them it would have been so much harder and words just can’t express how much it meant, thank you.

Instead of flowers, a donation to a charity of your choice would be fine.

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