It is with great sorrow that we announce the passing of our father, Harry Lupichuk on June 27, 2018. Harry was born in Strong Pine, SK on August 24, 1931. He was raised in a large family on the family farm. Growing up during the depression and World War II gave Harry a strong work ethic and taught him about hard times and about the resilience needed to survive through difficult times.
In 1955, Harry married Sophie Slonski, and they moved to a quarter of land south of Weirdale where they worked hard to expand the farm and raise their children. Dad built their first house which was only two rooms and a porch. The place was small but a warm comfortable place for Dad, Sophie and their first children, three daughters. Dad and Mom had a hard life starting out. They started with a few head of cattle and a quarter of land. There was no running water and wood had to be chopped for the cook stove. The first tractor was one with steel wheels and it needed constant attention to keep it working. Luckily, Dad was a natural born mechanic and was always able to fix his own machinery.
By 1962, Harry and Sophie had purchased a second quarter of land from the Leonards who were very kind when payments for the land were short. Harry and Sophie would name their first son Leonard because of them. It was in that same year Harry and his brother-in law Mike, who was a carpenter, built the farm house that became the family’s new home. In that same year Dad and Mom had their fourth child, a son. Dad was so excited to have a son and a future farmer to join him. By 1963, a second son was born and the family was complete. Because money was scarce, at first Dad set up a cold water tap to the kitchen sink. There would be no other plumbing for a few years.
The sixties and seventies were a whirlwind of work. With seeding, spraying, haying and harvest, Dad was always busy from spring to fall. In the winter, there was all the work of feeding the cattle and the milk cows. Dad always tried to take Sundays off if possible. That was the day for him to rest and play with his children. But if there wasn’t too much work for an hour on Saturdays, he would make an exception. He was a fan of Stampede Wrestling and of course we kids were too. We were all familiar with Ed Whalen’s phrase: “There was a malfunction at the junction.” The Harts, Andre the Giant and Abdul the Butcher were either loved or hated depending on whether they were good guys or bad guys. The most exciting part of Stampede Wrestling was getting to practice the more familiar wrestling moves and holds with Dad. It was so much fun. Sunday nights were also special because if we kids behaved, we got to stay up late Sunday night to watch Bonanza. This was a special time when all seven of us gathered in the living room to see what Ben and his sons were up to in the newest episode. In the summers, on Sundays, if Dad wasn’t busy on the fields and if the weather was perfect, we got to go to Wasketeena beach at Candle Lake. The weather had to be perfect because Dad knew once his kids got to the lake they were getting in the water and staying there for as long as possible. Dad liked to swim and there are so many good memories of Dad playing in the water with us.
Of course soon the kids would become teenagers. Dad’s first three children were girls which meant a lot of worries on our father’s part. Betty and Judy were the first to enter teenage hood and they have many vivid memories of the hard work it took to convince Dad to let us go to a Larry Christie record hop. We’d have to work on our Mom first, who then had the job of convincing Dad that his girls should be allowed out into the world of loud rock ‘n roll and boys. Dad liked to show up at the end of the dance with Frankie Will and see what was going on before he picked us up. Betty and Judy were not impressed!
Connie and Len were next through the partying stage. By then Dad and Mom were quite a bit more laid back. Betty and Judy always felt that their younger siblings had a much easier time with being let out to have fun. Of course Connie and Len had issues too. Dad had a sixth sense about the future. If he had a bad dream about something, we might not get to go out at all. When Connie was 16, she wanted to attend the Meath Park after-grad party. Dad had a bad feeling about that night. He said, “Connie, if you go out tonight, you are going to drown or flip your car.” Well, guess what? That night Connie rolled her car into a slough at Candle Lake. Luckily, she survived that adventure.
The eighties were good years in many ways. Farming was successful and farmland was finally worth something. By now the farm had expanded and Dad and Mom were doing well. Soon Dad had Len to help him on the farm. They would continue to farm together until 2013. The eighties also meant the teenagers were becoming adults and were getting married and having children of their own. There are so many good memories of gatherings out at the farm over a big Ukrainian supper and then a game of Kaiser afterwards. This also meant that the future sons-in-law had to learn a few things about Harry. Dad had strong opinions on everything and you were expected to be comfortable with a good argument and you had better expect to be losing said argument. Dad loved to play Kaiser so his sons-in-law had to learn to play the game and were required to be his partner in the game. Partnering with Dad in a game of Kaiser was not easy because Dad remembered every card played and who played it and he expected his partner to have the same skill set. So if you played the wrong card, there was no getting away with it.
Harry was a self-taught mechanic and inventor. He could fix or jerry-ring any piece of equipment to make it last through one more season of seeding or harvest.
By 1989, Dad and Mom would go their separate ways. We soon learned that our Dad was a bit of a Casanova. He started going into Prince Albert to the Minus One dances and was able to meet more than one good woman. His most lasting partner was Ida Lechler. All Dad’s children appreciate how good Ida was for Dad. We also marveled at her patience dealing with him. Dad had no problem voicing his wants and needs and Ida was always there to keep him happy.
Dad would continue to have cattle and farm until 2013. One night during seeding preparations, Dad phoned Len and told him, “You’re taking over farming.” There was no further explanation. Len figured it must have been a very bad day for Dad on the farm. We marvel at Len’s patience farming with Dad. Harry had his own way of doing things and was not prone to take advice about new methods of farming. Len and Raelene lived close by and Raelene always welcomed Dad as part of her family and listened to his often unsolicited advice with grace.
Dad was a tough guy. In 2005, He had a bad accident when a pressurized tank blew up and part of it hit him in the face and ribs. He sustained serious injuries: a huge cut to his face, a fractured eye socket and cracked ribs. He was in the Royal University Hospital to get treatment for his eye when he decided he was going home contrary to the doctor’s orders. His son-in-law Doug got the dubious honour of driving him back to PA. Dad moaned every time the vehicle hit any bump on the road, but by the next afternoon, Dad was out on the quad checking on his cattle. When there was work to do, Dad was out there doing it no matter what.
Unfortunately, the fall Dad had two weeks ago in which he sustained broken ribs would be too much and he passed away in the hospital on June 27. We are grateful to the staff that cared for this needs at the Victoria Hospital.
Harry was always a strong-willed man. He had opinions that he enjoyed expressing and discussing. He was a straight-forward man who would tell you what he thought whether you enjoyed hearing it or not. He was a self-taught mechanic and inventor which served him well as a farmer. Farming was more than Dad’s job. It was his life. Dad was fair with all of his children. He helped them out equally. Dad’s grandkids and great grandkids were a source of pride to him. Their accomplishments were his as well.
Harry’s children will always value the life lessons Dad taught them: the value of hard work, self-sufficiency and the value of honest and fair dealings with friends and family, and because of him, we’ve all learned how to engage in a strong argument when the occasion should arise.
Thanks Dad. We will miss your unique personality and your advice. Your children, grandchildren and great grandchildren will hold the good memories we have of you close to us. We love you Dad!
Harry is survived by his special friend, Ida Lechler; his children: Betty (Doug) Cooper, Judy Kendel, Connie Lupichuk (John Odishaw), Leonard (Raelene) Lupichuk and Barry Lupichuk; his grandchildren: Mitchell Lupichuk, Megan Cooper, Jessica Wozniak, Nicolette Larson (Ashton Brandoline), Justin Lupichuk, Devin Lupichuk and Amanda Lupichuk; his great-grandchildren: Jaiden Larson Wojciechowski, Willow Wozniak, Hesper Wozniak and Charlie Brandoline; his brother: Wiliam Lupichuk; His sister: Helen Lupichuk; his brother-in-law: Tom (Gloria) Slonski, his sister-in-law: Rosie Slonski and many nieces, nephews and their children and grandchildren. Harry is predeceased by his parents: Micheal and Mary Lupichuk; his brothers: John, Pete and Fred Lupichuk and a brother in infancy; his sisters: Anne Lupichuk, Pauline Lupichuk, Katie Molitwenik, Sophia Mackie, and Nettie Lupichuk; his brothers-in- law: John Molitwenik ,Pete, Joe, Frank , Adam and Mike Slonski , Don Mackie, Harry Kalinowski and AdamStankowski; his sisters-in-law: June Lupichuk, Susan Lupichuk, Pauline Kalinowski, Helen Stankowski, Marie Slonski and Vicki Slonski.
For those who wish to send a tribute in lieu of flowers, it is the family’s wish that a donation to a charity should be given. Thank you.
Funeral Service will be held at 1:30pm on Tuesday July 3, 2018 at St George’s Ukrainian Catholic Church 770 – 14th Street West Prince Albert, SK with Father Vasyl Kravchuk officiating. Interment will be held at the Samburg Cemetery. Family and friends wishing to send online condolences are welcome to visit www.beaulacfuneralhome.com. Arrangements have been entrusted to the care of Beau “Lac” Funeral Home, Lorne Adams, Funeral Director, Prince Albert, SK 306-763-3322.