Rural 07

Edward J Prystay

April 24, 1945 ~ November 12, 2022 (age 77)


The family of Edward (Ed) Prystay, sadly announce his sudden passing on Saturday, November 12, 2022, at the age of 77.

The eldest of four children, Ed was born to Julius and Jennie Prystay on April 24, 1945, in Preeceville, Saskatchewan.

Ed attended Waler Country School to completion of Grade 8, after which time he took on more and more of the farming activities that would later become his life-long passion.

In 1959 Julius bought land north of Preeceville and moved his family to start a farm of his own. It was hard work, but eventually the land was cleared, and their mixed farming operation began. Ed was young and strong and worked hard to learn the lifestyle. His big hands could gently cradle the smallest of baby chickens as easily as he could chop and limb large trees to break the land.

It was while Esther was employed at the Toronto Dominion Bank, that Ed became enamored of her. When she was crowned Carnival Queen in 1967, Ed remarked to his friends that “somehow he was going to marry that girl”, and his friends teased him that it wouldn’t happen if she ever saw his bank account balance! Through hard work, Ed increased his bank balance, and through persistence and perseverance…

Ed and Esther were married in a double ring ceremony held on July 19, 1968, in Preeceville. They enjoyed a reception in Preeceville followed by a reception in Hazel Dell on July 20th. They bought a “starter home” and moved to the Prystay farm, sharing the home quarter with Julius and Jenny. This is where they began their married life working and raising their family together. As it goes with farming, both Ed and Esther worked outside of the farm to supplement their incomes. Through the years Ed worked at the mine in Flin Flon, with the Department of Highways, gravel crushing, logging, working for the Mentanko family’s Massey Ferguson shop and with All Season Rentals. Julius retired from farming and sold the land to Ed and Esther in 1980. When the children were old enough, Esther re-entered the work force and spent 25 years at the Preeceville Bakery until she retired.

When Ed retired, he found that the changing seasons and call of the land was just too hard to ignore, so he began working for neighbours and other farmers to help them with seeding and harvesting. He had fond memories of working for Tonn Farms and enjoyed everyone that he worked with including Daisy the dog. While Ed was amazed at the changes taking place in the farming industry and all of the moves to a more modern and automated style, he continued to rely on his old school ways of knowing the feel of the land, watching for signs of rain and incoming storms, changing wind patterns, temperatures, and the satisfaction of seeing a strong crop survive from seed to harvest to bin. Ed and Esther enjoyed packing some coffee and snacks to go “crop checking” and watch Alan, Corwin and crew working the fields.

Volunteering to help others was a huge part of their lives. Together, Ed and Esther could be found helping at community events, church functions, fundraisers, and honouring community members by singing and serving at funerals. For many years Esther and Ed made the May long weekend trek to the shores of Manitou Beach where they assisted the SaskTel Pioneers in planting flowers for the campers at Camp Easter Seal. Ed was a big man with an even bigger heart and was always ready to lend a hand to those in need.

Ed was very much a social person and loved meeting new people and talking. He enjoyed reminiscing about the days when friends and neighbours had time to visit each other, and he loved hearing and telling stories about growing up around the Preeceville area. When “brother Jerry” moved back to Preeceville, he enjoyed the adventures they went on, and the people that they would go and visit, bringing some of the old traditions and memories back to life.

Being a farmer means being a “jack of all trades” and finding innovative ways to get things done. Ed spent and enjoyed time showing his sons how motors and equipment worked, and how to fix them when they didn’t. Whether it was bringing an old wooden wagon back to life, fixing a lawn mower or restoring engines, Ed was keen to help David and Darcy with any of their projects and knew just where to go to secure various pieces and parts.

As much as gardening was a passion of Esther’s, Ed was dedicated to helping her. Much effort was put into getting ready for the horticulture shows, and Ed diligently helped to get all the pieces put together – and he was so proud when his raspberries won prizes! The raspberry patch remained his pride and joy and he spent many afternoons soaking up the sunshine and grazing through the bounty.

With Esther’s passing on November 21, 2021, Ed took on the task of continuing with planting and caring for the gardens and keeping up with the flower beds and potted plants. His gardens flourished to the point where he decided to learn how to preserve some of the vegetables and was grateful for the patience and guidance he received from Mary, Carol, and Sharon as he learned to pickle beets, carrots, and cucumbers.

Ed looked forward to the summer and fall weekends sitting outside by the firepit and enjoying time with family and friends. Time together was marked by the highs and lows of the Saskatchewan Roughrider season, listening to the tunes from the Saturday Night Get Togethers offered by GX94 and playing Kinsmen Radio Bingo. No visit was complete without his homemade chocolate dipped pretzels and fresh percolated coffee.

After retiring, Ed did odd jobs for Mrs. Pollock. He enjoyed being busy and helping out with tasks like cutting grass and trees, watering and tending to plants and feeding the birds. While it was work, it was also a friendship that lasted up to his passing.

The family would like to gratefully acknowledge the many neighbours who were so kind and generous with their time and gifts of food and baking after Esther’s passing. Dad was appreciative of the gestures, and often overwhelmed by your thoughtfulness.

Ed was predeceased by his parents Julius and Jennie Prystay, and sister Eldeen Gorski. He also mourned the loss of Sam and Helen Antonio, brothers-in-law Johnny Antonio, Paul Antonio, Mike Pasiechnik, sisters-in-law Nettie Antonio, Pauline Antonio, Bonnie Antonio, and niece Crystal Dziaduck.

To celebrate his life with love and cherished memories are daughter Deborah (Martin), sons David, and Darcy (Terry) and grandson Justin. Ed is survived by sister Doreen (Tony) Sousa, brother Dallas (Dianna) Prystay, sisters-in-law Isabel Pasiechnik and Betty Dziaduck, and brother-in-law Phillip (Doreen) Antonio as well as nieces, nephews, numerous relatives, and friends.

It was clear that Ed missed Esther dearly and while we are devasted by his passing, we are comforted that the “two peas in a pod” are joined together once more.

As per Ed’s wishes, there will be no funeral service. A private family gathering will honour Ed at the farm where he and Esther worked tirelessly and with love to create their “prairie oasis”. Ed will be laid to rest within the family plots at the Preeceville cemetery.

Ed loved being outdoors and it was important to him that families could spend time together in the fresh air. We spent many happy hours following Dad around the farm on “science hikes” to discover bird nests, beehives, berry patches, mushrooms, and nature trails. In lieu of flowers, friends so wishing, may make memorial donations to the Preeceville Lions Family Trail.





You can still show your support by sending flowers directly to the family, or by planting a memorial tree in the memory of Edward J Prystay
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