It is with deep sadness that we announce the passing of William (Bill) Gushulak, 80, of Rainycrest Long-Term Care in Fort Frances, Ont., on Monday, Dec. 26, 2011.
Bill was born Oct. 4, 1931 in Sundown, Man. to the late Michael and Alice Gushulak.
Dad left school at an early age to help support his brothers and sisters. His life was dedicated to providing for his family.
He worked hard labour beginning in logging bush camps and construction labour, then going on to work for the then O&M pulp and paper company and finally his favourite job there—driving the boom boats as Captain Billy with more than 30 years of service.
He kept the family freezer filled with food he gathered through gardening, fishing, berry and mushroom picking, and hunting. The bush was just a walk in pantry for our father, who would disappear for days on end and then reappear with food in hand.
When an injury finally sidelined him, he continued to persevere without complaint—driving his scooter into his notorious adventures around and about. He held on fiercely to his independence, surpassing all expectations.
Dad was passionate about his Ukrainian heritage, country music, and cowboy movies.
Dad also loved children and took delight in his Neenee, Nonny, and Billy, followed by the grandchildren (Melissa, Alex, Lorrie, and Jimmy). Then the next generation came forward to receive his treats—Wayne Gretzky, Bobby Orr, Gordie Howe, and the Princess.
In between, he welcomed the rest who joined the family. There was always room for more children.
Dad walked his own path, following his own sense of what was right, and left us a legacy of courage in the face of adversity, strength beyond the day, and love without boundaries.
Left to cherish memory are his children, Nancy (Ben) Normand of Kenora, Ont. and their children, Gerard, Robert,Tracey, Dave, Laura, James, Joseph, Veronica, Shayne, and Verena; Joan Oswald of Apple Valley, Mn. and her son, Alexander; and Allan (Jan) of Fort Frances, Ont. and their daughter, Melissa.
Also surviving are his brothers, Orest (Karen), Gary (Kim), and Denis; his sister, Iris (Ted) Gogosha; as well as numerous nieces and nephews.
He was united in marriage to the former Shirley Robinson, who predeceased him on Feb. 27, 1994.
He also was predeceased by his parents; brothers, Walter and George; and sisters, Lillian Mcteague and Mary Franko.
Funeral services will be held Wednesday, Jan. 4, 2012 at 10 a.m. at Green Funeral Home in Fort Frances. Fr. Evan Maximiuk will officiate, followed by interment in Riverview Cemetery in Fort Frances.
Friends may visit with the family on Tuesday, Jan. 3. 2012 from 7-8:30 p.m. at Green Funeral Home. Prayers will be offered at 7:30 p.m. by Fr. Maximiuk.
The pallbearers will be Rick Socholotuk, Rod Cupp, Chris Gogosha, Dan Fox, Bill Gushulak, and Melissa Gushulak.
In memoriam donations may be made to Rainycrest Long-Term Care East Wing c/o Green Funeral Home, P.O. Box 427, Fort Frances, Ont., P9A 3M8.
Online condolences may be offered at www.greenfuneralhomefortfrances.com