John Huk, 85 of Whitney Pier passed away on Sunday, April 10, 2016 at home, surrounded by his family.
John was a lifelong resident of Whitney Pier, and member of Holy Ghost Ukrainian Catholic Church.
John was employed with the Department of Community Services for 32 years. Following his retirement he was able to enjoy his many favourite pastimes. He was an avid outdoorsman who enjoyed hunting, fishing, gardening and being in nature. John was often out and about with his faithful companion, Abby. He enjoyed travelling and was able to fulfill his lifelong dream of visiting the Ukraine and exploring his Ukrainian roots.
John was devoted to his family, his wife of 59 years, Wanda and children, Stella Maria and Mary Anne. He was also devoted to his Ukrainian community. John was active in the art of Ukrainian dance from a young age. For 35 years he taught his love of dance and his Ukrainian Heritage to countless numbers of young people in the Ukrainian community. John was a founding member of the Ukrainian Catholic Men’s Club and for many years was active in the Ukrainian Choir.
Many knew of John’s passion as an avid reader and writer. He used his passion to chronicle the history of the Ukrainian migration to Nova Scotia, and in particular Cape Breton Island. John’s labour of love was published in a book, Strangers in the Land: The Ukrainian Presence in Cape Breton which was published in 1986. The book was later updated and re-published by the Beaton Institute in 2013 to coincide with the 100th anniversary of Holy Ghost Parish.
John’s passion for collecting and preserving the history of the Ukrainian community earned him a place as the church historian. John spent many a day entertaining the children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren of the church’s founding families, many who had left Cape Breton years before. He readily shared stories and the community’s history with local school children, and anyone who wanted to hear.
A lasting legacy to the Ukrainian community has been left through John’s collaboration with the Beaton Institute. A number of years ago, much of John’s collection was gifted to the institute to ensure that the history of the Ukrainian community, the culture and its’ families would live on long into the future.
John is survived by his loving wife, Wanda; daughters, Stella Maria, Mary Anne (Shawn Fraser), Hubbards, and his three grandchildren who he adored, Kristen, Morgan, and Alex. John is also survived by his brother, Steve (Tania) Huk, Whitby, Ont.; sister, Stella, (Peter) Morash, Dartmouth; a niece, two nephews and a number of grand nieces and nephews.
John was predeceased by his father, William Huk and mother, Agnes, formerly Durkacz.
At John’s request there will be no visitation. Memorial mass will be celebrated on Wednesday, Apr. 13, 2016 at 10 a.m. in Holy Ghost Ukrainian Catholic Church, Whitney Pier, with Fr. Roman Dusanowskyj officiating. A reception will take place at the parish hall following the memorial mass. Private family interment will take place in Forest Haven Memorial Gardens, Sydney at a later date.
In lieu of flowers, donations in memory of John may be made to Holy Ghost Ukrainian Catholic Church.
Funeral arrangements are entrusted to the care and direction of Pier Community Funeral Home.
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Wanda and Family: Sorry to hear of John's passing, our thoughts and prayers are with you at this time.
From: Stan and Estelle Reppa
You are in our thoughts at this time of sorrow
From: Doug and Sandra
So sorry to hear of John's passing, our prayers are with you.God bless all
From: Joe and June Kowalski
Stella & family, so sorry to hear about your Dad. You & your family are in my thoughts & prayers.
Sending our thoughts and prayers to Wanda and the girls. John was a wonderful person and an extremely loyal and good friend to my mother. Many childhood memories spent at Johns house playing snooker or camping.Rest in peace, you will be missed.
From: Terressa DeLorenzo Moore
Dear Wanda and Family, I was so sorry to hear about John's passing. I had the pleasure of working with John for many years at the Provincial building– besides being my coworker,I considered John a good friend–He will be truly missed.
Dear Wanda and family, It was with much sadness that I learned of John's passing. When someone like John, who has given so much to his community and to the Ukrainian community in particular,as John, we think that he will be with us forever. While I am far from my home in the Pier, I never forget what it means to so many of us, and no one appreciated that more than John. I am currently in British Columbia until the end of April; and, I know that no words can express your sorrow, but, please accept my deepest sympathy in your losing someone so dear as John.
From: Ann (Brygidyr) MacLean
Wanda, Stella Marie and Maryanne and Family – your husband, father and grandfather was a fine gentleman and a pleasure to know. In my younger years I always enjoyed his company and witty sense of humor. God Bless – Michael Litowski
We are very sorry to hear of John's passing. John and i have fond memories of good times spent with John. He certainly left his mark on the Ukrainian community. Our thoughts and prayers are with you all at this time.
From: John and Leona MacPherson, Winnipeg
So sorry to read of John's passing; John was a great guy and I always enjoyed chatting with him when he visited the Chip Wagon (on many occasions); John always had an interesting story to tell and I know he will be greatly missed. I am away in Fl. but wanted to send my deepest condolences.
From: Donnie (Fuzzy) Bacich