At peace, November 15, 2023
It is with heavy hearts and profound sadness to announce the sudden passing of Kocha Hristovski on November 15, 2023 at the Saint Boniface Hospital. With close family and friends by his side, Kocha passed peacefully.
Kocha leaves to mourn his wife Stefka, son Roger (Lisa), daughter Linda, grandsons Skyler and Keagan, brother Blago (Val), sister Nadica (Miki), sister-in-law Donna, and numerous cousins, nieces and nephews. He was predeceased by his father Ilija, mother Krsta, and brother Pece.
Kocha was born in Bitola, Macedonia and was proud of his heritage. He and his family moved to Beograd, Serbia in his early years and that is where he grew up. In 2005, he was fortunate to be able to fly back to his homeland and visit with his friends and relatives. He spoke fondly of how beautiful it was there. But living in the old country was not to be his forever home.
Following his oldest brother, Blago, Kocha would leave Beograd in 1970 to call Winnipeg his home. In 1971 he met his beautiful wife Stefka, the coffee girl at the Marlborough Hotel where they were both working at the time. They married in June of 1972. It was a simple wedding; Stefka was an atypical bride dressed in a full-on wedding gown at the law courts building and Blago was their photographer. Kocha planned the reception dinner in their apartment by renting tables and having a dozen people over for a celebratory dinner.
Blago opened GB Graphics that same year and Kocha would help his older brother the following year, working as a Scanner Operator/Digital Press Operator, his professions for 34 years. Lifelong friendships were forged at GB and he enjoyed reminiscing about the people and times over his career.
His son Roger was born in August 1973 and in March 1976, his daughter Linda was born. Kocha and Stefka raised their children in a loving home, a home that he still resided in 45 years later. He would support his children in various sports, leisure activities, by adding a swimming pool, and also started up a home based business. Vacations consisted of camping, car trips to the beach, and a trip to Florida to meet Mickey Mouse. However, one of his favorite vacations was visiting Hawaii with Stefka where they enjoyed the countryside along with Blago and Val.
In the 1980’s, he started up a promotional products company and named it Midway Glassware. He would operate this part-time business to help pay for post-secondary schooling for his children. He was always very proud of his children’s achievements and the work ethic that transferred to them from both parents.
When Kocha became a Deda (grandfather), he found more joy to celebrate life. His greatest joy was spoiling and supporting them. As Skyler and Keagan grew up to become men and chart their own lives, he was a proud Deda and made sure everyone knew they were his grandchildren.
Kocha’s true passion was cooking and baking. He briefly worked for Naleway Catering, the Crusty Bun and even volunteered for Folklorama barbequing his famous cevapcici. Eventually, into retirement, baking and cooking would be his only passion and he took great pride in making breads and the most flavorful dishes inspired from his homeland, but also adding in trends and techniques of today. One particular trendy dish was when he made turducken for a Thanksgiving family dinner! If you were fortunate to be the recipient of one of his culinary creations, you knew it was always made with love (oh, and he enjoyed the praise too!).
Kocha’s health took a turn in 2007 when he suffered a heart attack. That led to a triple bypass and the turning point in his life allowing him to slow down, cook and bake for friends and family and take care of his yard. The greenest grass and a leaf-free lawn and driveway were his latest passions.
Kocha was a strong man and he loved and cherished his family. His strength will live on in his children and grandchildren. Stefka was there to the end and will always remember “her Kocha.” He appreciated the friendships made, whether you were a neighbour, a work colleague, or a DeLuca’s employee. He had a way of looking you in the eye and making you feel special to be in his life. He often called things “beautiful”. This word sums up the legacy he now leaves behind.
A celebration of life will be held at Voyage Funeral Home on Saturday, November 25th at 1:00pm. In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be made to the Heart and Stroke Foundation, Diabetes Canada or a charity of their choosing.