Kenneth A. Filkow QC, a prominent Manitoba lawyer, a leading member of the community and a devoted husband, father and grandfather passed away on Monday, October 27, 2014.
Over his 73 years of life, Ken touched so many people in meaningful ways.
Ken taught his children, Kevin, Shaun and Lainie, about the importance of living productive lives, about being caring individuals and about being aware of what’s happening in the world around them. He was always available and supportive and wise in his advice.
His grandchildren, Jesse and Ari Filkow in Vancouver, and Molly and Shae Borzykowski in Toronto thought he was a rock star. He was fun and creative; they loved his games and stories. He was a special father in law to Debbi-Jo Matias and to Bryan Borzykowski.
Ken was a loving and proud husband. For 44 years, he and Sharon were a great force. They created a life, rich with family, friends and experiences. Sadly, Sharon passed away in June 2008. Ken very much missed her.
Ken was an esteemed and highly sought-after lawyer. He had a distinguished legal career over 48 years. Without exception, his clients, and the lawyers and judges and others with whom he worked all had tremendous respect for him.
Ken had a brilliant legal and strategic mind, extraordinary communication skills and negotiating abilities. There are many reasons why Ken was exceptional legal counsel, but the main one was that he loved what he did. To Ken, law wasn’t a job – it was a calling. There was never a day in his life where he didn’t want to go to work, even when tackling very complicated cases. He took no shortcuts. He was a special mentor to many lawyers, junior and senior. Honesty and fairness were fundamental to his life and to his legal work.
Ken did so much more – he was the longest serving chairperson of the Manitoba Human Rights Commission; he ran Klondike Sterling Glove, the business his father, Alec and his mother, Evelyn started. He managed political campaigns and politicians at all levels would often call on him for advice.
Ken had a lot of friends. Every day he would go for breakfast and lunch with the widest range of people. No one wanted to end a conversation with Ken. He was interesting and he was funny and he listened. He knew so much about so much. Many people confided in Ken and he helped them.
As remarkable as Ken’s life was, it wasn’t always easy. He lost a son, he lost a wife and then became sick himself.
How he carried himself in the last few months speaks volumes about the kind of person Ken was. He continued working, he made time for his children and grandchildren and he fought as hard as he could to keep living his life.
Ken used to say that life is not for sissies, but while he recognized life was tough, he never complained. He loved life and he loved the people he met throughout it.
Ken was loved, admired and respected. He will be missed.
Donations can be made to the Ken and Sharon Filkow fund at Manitoba Cancer Care.