The community is remembering the many contributions of Art Paetkau to the growth of the City of Winkler.

"He always was a go-getter from a business perspective. He never gave up," Winkler Mayor Martin Harder says. "He was always a joy to work with, the kind of guy that, if you knew he wanted to get something done, he'd get it done."

In 1978, Arty founded Arty's Air Service, a family-owned Aerial Agricultural business.

Since then the business has grown to five pilots, with their aerial application service requested across the country.

art planePhoto courtesy Arty's Air website"He's well known across Manitoba, across Canada," Harder says. "It will be a huge hole, he's just going to be missed so much."

Art Paetkau's name is irrevocably intertwined with the Winkler Airport itself.

"We can never, ever bring up the subject of the airport without having Art's involvement," Harder says, adding Paetkau was passionate about the airport and the services it brought to Winkler.

Paetkau also worked to have the Winkler Airport designated an international airport to allow international flights.

"He took great pride in it," Harder says.

The airport also saw many upgrades and repairs over the years, much of which Paetkau was willing to take on.

"There's many behind the scenes dollars that were put into the airport... I'm not sure if the public ever heard about even a quarter of it," Harder says. "He was very willing to get the job done rather than have a lot of publicity."

Together with local electrician John Friesen, Paetkau was returning to Winkler from a business trip when their plane went down East of Brunkild February 9.

He is survived by his wife Rosemary, two daughters, one son and their families.

The funeral for Art Paetkau will take place Thursday, February 16 at the Winkler Mennonite Church.

The funeral for John Friesen will take place Friday, February 17 at 2:00 p.m. at the Winkler Sommerfeld Mennonite Church.

Owner Jake Dyck notes he's worked with Friesen at Border View Electric for nearly 20 years, the last two years as a partner in the business.

"He was very dedicated to the work and his family life," Dyck says, noting Friesen is survived by his wife Eva and teenage son and daughter.

Winkler Mayor Martin Harder notes Friesen "didn't waste a lot of words," adding he was known for being meticulous in his work.

"I knew he was a passionate individual for his work and his family," Harder says. "I just appreciated him so much."

john friesen2Electrician John Friesen

 

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