Obituary of Gregory William Polnick
It is with profound sadness and broken hearts that we announce the passing of Greg on Saturday, May 13, 2023 at the tender age of 20 years. Adored son and friend of Bill and Mary. Best big brother of Lauren and Greyson (fur baby). Cherished grandson of Mafalda and the late Angelo Barone, the late Bill and Donna Polnick. Dearly missed nephew of Carla Barone, Luciano and Jennifer Barone, Brian and Melissa Polnick, John and Stephanie Polnick, Jim Polnick and his cousins Nicholas and Michael Fabbro, Zachary, Easton, Carson, Harrison and Ash Polnick. Extended family in Italy, Belgium, Sault Ste. Marie, Toronto, Niagara Falls, Edmonton and Calgary are also mourning this tremendous loss.
Greg loved having the boys over at our place in the basement hosting Grey Cup football chili, Boxing Day turkey soup and backyard gatherings. Fondly known as “The Boys”, they hold a special place in Greg's heart. Greg was blessed to have a second family, many guys and girls hung out at the house every weekend. Thank you to all of you, for your support and all the good times over the years.
Greg had a thirst for knowledge and learning his entire life. In elementary school he would often finish work well in advance and would sneak a book on his lap to continue expanding his knowledge. He absorbed every bit of information like a sponge. His friends would often refer to him as the human version of Google. A graduate of St. Mary's College, Greg excelled in the Advanced Placement program in Math, Science and English while also participating in the school hockey academy, playing football for the St. Mary's Knights and mentoring junior students as a Link Crew leader. He was offered early acceptance into the competitive dual degree program of Mathematics at the University of Waterloo and the Bachelor of Business Administration program at Wilfrid Laurier University. He aspired to one day pursue his PhD in Mathematics and manage a hedge fund to build his empire. His goal was to invest in research and development in the field of human genetics and cancer research for the betterment of humanity.
In addition to his academic achievements, Greg loved participating in a variety of sports over the span of his life including hockey, football, lacrosse, soccer, biathlon, cross country and downhill skiing. He enjoyed working as a hockey referee and assisting Tony Boniferro coach football in the SMFL. It is here, that Greg gained the amazing experience of being a part of a squad of fine young men.
A passionate entrepreneur at heart, Greg ran his own business venture during the summer of 2021, Superior Yard Cards in addition to Greg’s Aerating every spring from 2020 to the present. Greg’s fellow St. Mary’s College Knights will finish off this season aerating lawns in his honour. A very special thank you to Theo Smith and Thomas Irwin who are leading these outstanding young men. We would like to acknowledge Mark Donnelly of IG Wealth Management and Tony & Heather Fasulo with Acclaim Management and Maximus Rose as these community leaders positively engaged Greg and worked tirelessly to create opportunities for his success.
Over the last couple of years, we had the privilege of witnessing Greg evolve into a kind, compassionate young man who showed exemplary care and concern for the less fortunate as he struggled with his own mental health challenges. He gave food and money to the needy and even took the hand of a lost blind man to guide him to his destination. Greg was profoundly moved by the work of Paul Scornaienchi from Ergo Office Plus, who opens his business on a weekly basis to allow those less fortunate to make phone calls to loved ones.
Friends and family are invited to visit at Northwood Funeral Home Cremation and Reception Centre (942 Great Northern Road, 705-945-7758) on Thursday, May 18, 2023 from 5:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. Funeral Service will be held in the Chapel on Friday, May 19, 2023 at 11:00 a.m. with Deacon Rob Thibodeau officiating.
Greg’s Legacy: Leadership is the ability to impact others’ behaviour through your own actions. Please, follow Greg’s leadership, change your behaviour, stop and help those in need. Say hi, give food or offer them money and tell them it’s from our son Greg. Memorial donations to SOYA (Saving Our Young Adults) or The Greg Polnick Memorial Bursary for Leadership & Excellence for a graduating student at St. Mary’s College (please make cheques payable to the “Catholic Education Foundation” and on the memo line please write “Polnick Bursary”) would be greatly appreciated by the family in honour of one of the most amazing human beings to walk this earth.
There are countless people to thank for supporting Greg during these last two years between Sault Ste. Marie and Waterloo. Nurses, doctors, first responders are on the front line of our mental health crisis and we commend your compassion, understanding and patience. In particular, we would like to thank Dr. Kevin Wacker and Dr. Ahmed for their attention to Greg’s complex health issues, ICU nurses Robin, Anna and Michelle, Dr. Curran and Dr. Ghosh who treated Greg and our family with compassion during his final days.