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It is with heavy hearts that the family of Gerald Terry Metrunec announce his peaceful passing on Oct. 25, 2023 at Victoria Hospital in Prince Albert, SK.
Gerald was the eldest son of Steve and Mary Metrunec born May 26, 1937, in Myrnam, AB. He grew up enjoying the outdoors with his siblings, cousins, and friends, speaking often of how they would walk to the toboggan hill and play until their mitts were frozen, only to have to still walk home. He shared fond memories of going to his Baba and Dido’s homestead to work in the hay fields and help with harvest. At age 11, Dad contracted rheumatic fever which left him with a weakened heart. He was no longer allowed to be as active as before, but that gave him the opportunity to explore his musical interests, becoming accomplished in both the accordion and the piano. For a short time he played in a band. He would sit down at the piano or pull out the accordion and play some of his favorite 50s hits and Ukrainian favorites for us as we grew up.
He received his Bachelor of Science of Agriculture from the University of Alberta in 1959 and for a short time worked as an agrologist selling farm chemicals. He decided to return to university and completed his Bachelor of Education from the University of Alberta in 1962 and started teaching in Edmonton. Dad was not one to let life pass him by; rather he followed his love for Ukrainian culture and became a founding member of the Ukrainian Shumka Dancers, dancing with them for 10 years. He also joined a teacher’s curling league where he met the love of his life, Anne Markowski. They were married August 29, 1964, and continued to teach in Edmonton and maintain an active role in the Ukrainian Orthodox church and Ukrainian community. In 1969, Gerald and Anne decided to move their young family of Moira and Lilia out of the city to build their home on the same yard as Anne’s parents, joining them in continuing to build the family farm. Gerald and Anne continued to teach full time at Leoville Central School while growing their mixed farming operation and adding to their family Mark, Daria, and Gregory. Dad also became deeply passionate about organic farming practices, achieving certified organic status in 1975.
Hospitality was at the core of our home. Our table had company most days of the year. Whether it was a short coffee with farm help or a neighbor, distant family coming for a visit, staff parties, or exchange students from across the globe, our guest book boasts visitors from every inhabited continent. Dad was an attentive listener to people’s stories and loved to honor the pioneers’ sacrifices and values. He gave us the gift of family connections by scheduling regular trips to Myrnam to visit his parents, siblings, and extended relatives which has linked us down through the generations. Dad made every effort to attend functions that would keep him connected to his friends and family-- MGM annual reunion, homecomings, 2005 Metrunec reunion, Shumka’s anniversary celebrations, etc.
Dad’s strong work ethic and Orthodox faith instilled a dedication to the good of others and the community which directed so much of his energy and joy. He was a longstanding member of many committees/organizations, including Alberta CYMK provincial president, Leoville Lions, Mohyla Institute, Sts. Peter and Paul Ukrainian Orthodox Church, etc. Dad supported all his children to be involved in extracurricular sports and clubs and drove out of his way to pick up other kids to give them opportunities to play on teams and be involved in activities. Commitment to the greater good was woven into many of his decisions. Beyond his local interests, Dad kept up with world affairs. Dad felt much sorrow at the recent invasion of Ukraine and ongoing war and devastation. He sought ways to alleviate the suffering of the people through humanitarian means.
After 25 years at Leoville Central School, Dad retired from teaching but would still sub occasionally and also taught adult upgrading for a time. He continued to farm full time with his family until a few years ago when his health became more compromised. Even though he didn’t always feel well, he and mom continued to travel to see friends and family, watch grandchildren Ukrainian dancing and playing sports, take in cultural shows and events, all the while regenerating his energy and love of life. Dad lived a full life and left all who met him with a sense of his resiliency and motivation to do all he could with the time and gifts God had given him.
Gerald leaves to mourn his passing: Anne, his loving wife of 59 years; and their children: Moira (Mark) Stoll, Lilia (Patrick) Livingstone, Mark ( Elizabeth) Metrunec, Daria (Dennis) Michayluk, and Greg (Krystal) Metrunec; grandchildren: Kalyna (Kris), Calum (Keely), Emily, John, Catherine, Megan, Melodya, Dmitrius, Isaac, Thomas, Anastascia, Maxim, and Theodore; sisters: Vivian (Orson) Gadowsky, Carol (Marko) Mihajlovich; sisters-in-law: Vivian Couture, Mary (Henry) Konopelski, Pilahia (Tom) Filarchuk; numerous aunts, uncles, cousins, nieces, nephews, and friends. Gerald is predeceased by his parents: Steve and Mary Zoe (Sorochan) Metrunec; infant sister, Dianne; brother, Ron Metrunec; grandson, Zachary Metrunec; parents-in-law: Joseph and Pauline (Sarchuk) Markowski.
The Prayer Service will be held on Wednesday, November 1, 2023, at 6:00 pm, and the Funeral Service will be held on Thursday, November 2, 2023, at 10:00 a.m. Both Services will be held at Sts. Peter and Paul Ukrainian Orthodox Church in Glaslyn, SK. Following the funeral service, lunch will be served at the Glaslyn Community Hall, 322 1st Ave. Interment will take place at Junor Cemetery following the luncheon. All are invited back to the farm for fellowship and food. Funeral arrangements have been entrusted to Eternal Memories Funeral Home, North Battleford, SK.
Memorial donations may be made to: Sts. Peter and Paul Ukrainian Orthodox Church (cheques payable to: Ukrainian Orthodox Church-Glaslyn) Box 356, Glaslyn, SK S0M 0Y0;
OR Canada-Ukraine Foundation -- Ukraine Humanitarian Appeal, 620 Spadina Ave., Suite 200, Toronto, ON M5S 2H4 Canada (phone: 416-966-9700) website: cufoundation.ca
Dad, may you rest in a place of peace and a place of light, where there is neither sickness nor sorrow nor sighing, where all the saints repose.
Memory Eternal! Vichnaya Pamyat! Вічная Пам’ять!