December 4, 1948 – June 28, 2019

It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of Jan Urbanowicz, of Cochrane Alberta, at age 70 years.

Jan passed away peacefully on the evening of Friday, June 28, 2019, under the loving care of the wonderful staff at Sarcee Hospice Care in Calgary, Alberta.

After living with COPD for many years, Jan’s condition recently worsened and he was taken to the Foothills Hospital in Calgary. Along with the support of his children and doctors, Jan then made the difficult decision to be moved into hospice care, where his pain and medication could be better managed.

With regular visits from his children Jan was able to spend quality time with them, as well as enjoy a few of his favorite things – Pepsi, Starbucks and watching his beloved Toronto Raptors become NBA Champions. 

Jan found strength in these visits from his children and their families, especially his grandsons, Oliver and Dax.

For more than 35 years Jan was an active member in the Alcoholics Anonymous community. He spent these years mentoring others in their journey to find sobriety and was a vocal advocate of the AA community globally.

Jan is survived by his children Matthew Roy (Kristi), Shelley Elizabeth and Bradley Paul; his grandsons Oliver Charles and Dax James; his brother Paul and his sister Alix. Jan is predeceased by his mother Elizabeth. 

We ask that in honour of Jan and in lieu of flowers, you make a donation to Sarcee Hospice http://www.chpca.net/donate.aspx

Following his wishes, Jan will be remembered by his family at the lookout atop Tunnel Mountain in the Town of Banff, at a date to be decided.

We would like to request you share any stories, memories or photographs you may have that remind you of the time you shared with Jan.

With love and thanks,

Matt, Shelley and Brad

Arrangements entrusted to Cochrane Country Funeral Home, Florence (Flo) Simpson, Funeral Director. Ph: 403-932-1039.

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  1. On 15/07/2019 at 8:30 am Brenda Said:

    My heart is sad learning about the loss of such an amazing man. I will be forever grateful to Jan for the years we spent together at Extend A Family. Jan taught me so much about the person I want to be, the father I am, and the joy that is to be found everwhere. I remember saying goodbye to Jan when he left Extend A Family, and I went up to his place, to find him sitting in the back yard, silly bandanna around his head, listening to music as loud as it would go. We had a wonderful talk about life, and Jan made me promise to always find happiness in it.
    When I had my first son, Jan was the one who walked me through all of my fears and doubts about becoming a dad. He gave me a wonderful book, that I still read sometimes today.
    Jan, you made such a difference in my life. This world was better because you were in it.

  2. On 16/07/2019 at 4:23 am Sue dungey Said:


    Dear Matt, Shelley and Brad

    Steve and I are so sorry for your loss. We were privileged to be counted among his friends and we had some amazing times together. We loved having him stay with us when he would come back from Mexico or the Philippines. Our two weeks in Mexico with jan was unforgettable. I hope you all know how very proud he was of you. Hold tight to the memories…hold tight to each other❤️❤️❤️

  3. On 16/07/2019 at 11:12 am Emery Green Said:

    My sincere condolences to the family of my good friend Jan. We met abut ten years ago in Guadalajara and spent many delightful moments and in depth conversations on the patio at Starbucks where we shared the experiences and fantasies of a couple of men in there later years. Jan always arrived early so he could visit and joke with the Mexican baristas, all of whom came to love that crazy Canadian. He always said of the crew of young men that they were like family to him and he treated them as such in all respects.
    I remember when Starbucks did some landscaping at the entrance and Jan took it upon himself to water the plants on a regular basis and he joked about what the Mexican clients must have thought to see a customer watering the plants! I commented that everything looked great but I had doubts about my favorite dwarf palm that with the summer heat looked a bit peaked. Well Jan, I was at Starbucks about a month ago and that little palm isn’t little anymore…..it’s more than twice the size and full of life! I thought of you when I saw it and I will every time from now on. I will miss you……

  4. On 17/07/2019 at 2:27 pm Tom Jeary Said:

    Dear Matt, Shelley and Brad.

    So sorry for the loss of your Dad. Thank you for choosing a picture of him that I took in our back yard. Your Dad loved being there in the garden among the rocks and trees with the sound of the waterfall right behind the little pond. Over the years we spent many many hours there in quiet conversation about life and family.

    Although I haven’t seen you “kids” for a while I had the pleasure of watching you all grow as children. Your Dad was so proud of you.

    I came in to the wonderful AA program just a few months after him. We used to laugh that through all the decades I could never quite catch up to him.

    We stayed in touch as he traveled and I even visit him for a week in Guadalajara.

    I say, with all sincerity, that he was one of my closest friends ever. I will truly miss him.

  5. On 19/09/2019 at 9:08 am Sheng Said:

    Dead Matt, Shelley and Brad

    I’m so sorry for your loss. Your dad told me so many things about you including his grandchildren that he was so excited to see few months ago. Jan and I met in the Philippines. He was the first person to approached me after I cried sharing in the meeting. I never forget that. Since then, my life started to change and he was a great part of it. He taught me so many things in life in and out of recovery. I felt his unconditional love for me and the way he protects me. Your dad is an amazing man. My life is in a better place now because of him. I owe him that. I just knew today that he passed away because I lost contact of him after he transfer in Banff. I keep searching for his name all over the internet and found this article. You are always be remembered Jan. You are always in my heart. Your Asian Princess.

  6. On 03/10/2019 at 2:21 pm Terry Neisen Said:

    Matt, Shelley and Brad

    I am very sorry to hear of your father’s passing. I worked with your dad for years at the Region of Waterloo, in Waterloo On.
    I have wondered over the years where life had taken him. I enjoyed his sense of humour , irreverent, at times, which was typically him.

    My sincerest condolences to you .

  7. On 30/01/2021 at 12:17 pm Richard and Pauline Kniaziew Said:

    We knew Jan from Brantford. He went with Susan Denver when we knew him. He went to Mohawk College in Hamilton. He was a fun person to know and we have fond, loving memories of him. We are happy to know he had 2 sons and a daughter and 2 grandsons to pass on his legacy. He would have dearly loved them all. Our time together would have been late 1960’s and early 1970’s. We send our sorrows and also our best wishes to Matthew, Kristi, Shelley, Bradley and Oliver and Dax. Sincerely, his Brantford friends, Pauline (Feniuk) and Richard Kniaziew . We live in Leamington, Ontario now Big hugs to your family.