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October 12, 1928 ~ July 14, 2023 (age 94) 94 Years Old
Read more about the life story of Harry and share your memory.
On July 14, 2023, Harry Waschuk of Athabasca passed away suddenly at the age of 94 years.
Gregori Yakovlevich Waszczuk, known as Harry Waschuk, was born in Datyn, Poland in 1928. He came to Canada in 1930 with his mother, Violet, and three siblings, Lavina, Alexandra and Tom, to join his father who had recently homesteaded in Athabasca near the Chain Lakes area in the Larvard District. Four more siblings were born on the homestead: John, William, Sam and Mary.
Harry supplemented the family income by working in the sawmills that were close to his home and he was employed for a time at the Swift’s Packing Plant. In 1957, he legally took over the family farm which he owned until his passing. He was a self-taught mechanic and a welder, the farm and necessity of survival being the best teachers for these trades. Government regulations eventually required certifications and he obtained his First-Class Welding ticket. In the 1950s and 1960s, Harry welded on the rigs, on boilers and on tanks from Hay River, NWT to Fort Nelson in northern BC to Peace River and High Level in Alberta. He even worked in Saskatchewan on the Diefenbaker Dam, welding on the seventh turbine.
Harry was a true Pioneer in the Athabasca area. You could say that Harry was a man of the land and was a man who lived off the land. He was a jack-of-all trades and was always self-sufficient. He understood the importance of helping his fellowman; he was always willing to lend a hand to help his neighbors. In 2005, Harry made the decision to move into town and make Pleasant Valley his home. He kept the farm and he visited his land regularly, especially in the summer, until he no longer could drive. He always maintained his connection to his land.
Harry was a humble man who lived his life with a pure and unselfish heart. He was righteous, kind and honest. God and the church were his loyal companions throughout his life.
Harry is survived by one brother, William (Agnes) Waschuk and numerous nieces and nephews.
He was predeceased by his parents, Jack and Violet Waschuk; three sisters: Lavina Chernish, Alexandra Byrtus and Mary Nelson; three brothers: Tom Waschuk, John Waschuk and Sam Waschuk.
Funeral Services were held on Tuesday, July 18, 2023 at 1:30 p.m. at the Missionary Church. Reverend Jason Metcalfe officiated with interment in the Athabasca Cemetery.
In lieu of flowers, donations to the Athabasca Missionary Church would be greatly appreciated.
Athabasca Community Chapel was in care of the arrangements (780-675-3996).
The family of Harry Waschuk would like to express their sincere gratitude to the staff of the Pleasant Valley Lodge for the kindness they showed daily and the excellent care they gave to Harry during the 18 years of his stay. The Lodge truly made a home of comfort for Harry.