(April 5, 1921 – November 14, 2013)
Tribute written and presented by Bryan Proskiw
Funeral Service, Rutland, British Columbia
November 25, 2013
I want to thank everyone for coming to this service. My father would be touched by the number of calls, texts, and postings on Facebook from people expressing their condolences. On behalf of my mother and our families we thank you.
Anton Proskiw was born on a small farm in Myrnam, Alberta on April 5, 1921 to Paul and Mary Proskiw. His parents had emigrated to Alberta from the Ukraine at the turn of the century with their parents who were seeking a better life and opportunity for their children. He grew up in this little Ukrainian community with his 7 brothers and sisters. Dad was about 5 years old when his parents became Seventh-day Adventists His belief in Christ and the Adventist message became an integral part of his entire life.
Dad remembered helping his Dad, Paul build the first Ukrainian Seventh-day Adventist church in Myrnam. This church still stands today and is now an Alberta Heritage Site. Dad remembered carrying boards for his father as the Adventist men built their new church.
Dad was born left handed but had to learn to write with his right hand since the teacher felt it was unnatural to be left handed. He found school difficult and always remembered how the teacher tied his left hand behind his back so he would learn to write with his right hand. He attended this little country school house and quit as soon as soon as he turned 16. He never did finish grade 8 and thought he would become a farmer.
Dad developed a love for working with wood from his father and I remember Dad being happiest when he was building something.
Dad married Eva Melnechuk on August 5, 1945 and they began their life together; he farmed and mother was a teacher in a local one roomed country school house.
I was born in 1948 and my sister Elayne was born in 1951. Our family moved often but whether we lived in Beauvallon, Edmonton, or Langley, Elayne and I remember our family life revolving around busy work weeks and restful, spiritual, Friday nights and Sabbaths. Friday nights we would gather around the piano, sing and learn new songs. These singing sessions often ended with Elayne starting to giggle or me starting to laugh because someone hit a wrong note or messed up the words.
Sabbath was special in our home. Mom and Dad were always thankful to have been given one day of the week to worship and rest.
I want to remember and mention some of the many people that Dad felt enriched his life. His little brother Joe who is here today. We have spent so many times singing and playing our guitars together.
Thank you to Randy and Karen Ferguson, Marie and Ralph Kneller, Fritz Wirtz, Albert Fedesanko, Don and Marilyn Melashanko, Vicki and Derek Hillary. Thank you for your visits. Margaret Hossack– Margaret looked after Dad and Mom’s personal needs when they lived at the Missionwood Retirement Home.
George Mason–Mom and Dad’s accountant and friend who has always been there to help with their financial planning.
My mother-in-law Verna Jacobson whose smile, wit, and chuckles were always appreciated.
Pastor Brian Hawes and his wife Karen, you don’t know how much your visits meant and of course he appreciated the food Karen brought.
Finally the staff at Missionwood where Mom and Dad lived for the last couple years and the staff at Lake Country Lodge & Manor.
I’m sorry I can’t mention you all but my daughter Lora has been given instructions to keep me on the clock.
Dad told me that his family accepted the Seventh-day Adventist message when he was about 5 yrs. old. He referred to this as becoming a “believer” even though the family had to endure many challenges practicing their new religion.
Dad always considered it a privilege to be part of his large Adventist family and developed a deep conviction for what was right and what was wrong. He wished he could have become a singing evangelist.
He always loved helping others and considered it a privilege to be asked to build something for someone. He helped build the Edmonton SDA Church, the Kelowna SDA Church including the lamps, and worked at the Okanagan Adventist Academy fixing things up or renovating. Working and being busy were what kept Dad happy.
Farming in northeastern Alberta was a difficult life. Trying to grow grain in a short growing season area with unpredictable weather was hard on Dad and his health suffered so we moved to Edmonton where Dad developed his carpentry skills and mom furthered her teaching career.
Dad eventually became a finishing carpenter, building contractor, rest home owner, and rental property owner and manager.
We moved many times but Mom and Dad always worked as a team trying to get ahead. They eventually settled here in Kelowna and this was the one place that Dad really liked.
Over the last two years, Dad’s physical abilities really began to take their toll but he really had no chronic pain and his heart condition was well controlled with medication and for this he was thankful. He used to tell me, “this growing old is a crazy thing”.
I’m sure you all know how much he enjoyed his cars.
I suspected this past April when he decided to give up his driver’s license just before his 92nd birthday that he was ready to stop living.
He continued to enjoy reading his Bible, singing hymns and gospel songs. He would play his guitar or harmonica while listening to his favorite hymns.
Dad’s life was simple yet memorable. He believed in forgiveness, helping and respecting others.”
He was dedicated to his wife, children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren. He was so proud of their accomplishments.
He loved my wife Judy as a daughter and Elayne’s husband, Warren, as a son; my children, Adam, Lora, and Brooke; and Elayne’s children, Justin and Lindsay. But over the last few years he really enjoyed spending time with his great grandchildren: Noah, Quinten, Addison, Brynn and newborn Avery.
He understood the importance of family and faith. Dad was a wonderful father who dedicated his life to his family and Christ.
His faith was unwavering and he went for a nap last Thursday morning after breakfast and was found in his bed with his head resting on his arm with no sign of struggle or suffering.
Dad now waits to hear his Saviour’s voice on the Resurrection Morning.
Proskiw, Anton C. 1921 – 2013
Appeared in Edmonton Journal November 20, 2013
The family of Anton Proskiw is sad to announce his sudden passing on November 14, 2013. He died peacefully in his sleep at Lake Country Lodge and Manor where he lived with his beloved wife Eva. He was born in Myrnam, Alberta on April 5, 1921 and enjoyed a full and wonderful life as a farmer, finishing carpenter and building contractor. He was a devoted husband, father, grandfather and great grandfather. He was happiest in the last few years when he was surrounded by grandchildren or playing with his great grandchildren. He also loved listening to music or watching his Vancouver Canucks.
He will be greatly missed by his wife Eva of 68 years, son Dr. Bryan (Judy) Proskiw, daughter Elayne (Warren) Jacobson, five grandchildren; Adam Proskiw, Lora Proskiw Moran (Grayson), Brooke Proskiw Stromsmoe, Justin (Becky) Jacobson, and Lindsay Jacobson. His five great grandchildren; Noah Stromsmoe, Quinten Stromsmoe, Addison Moran, Brynn Moran and Avery Jacobson will especially miss their Gido. His faith was strong to the very end and he now waits to hear the voice of his Savior on the Resurrection Morning.
A funeral service will be held on Monday, November 25, 2013 at 2:00 pm at the Rutland Seventh-day Adventist Church, 130 Gerstmar Road. A private family interment will take place on Tuesday, November 26 at Lakeview Memorial Gardens Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made to the Okanagan Adventist Academy, 1035 Hollywood Road S., Kelowna, British Columbia V1X 4N3. Arrangements entrusted to VALLEYVIEW FUNERAL HOME, Honoured Provider of Dignity Memorial 250-765-3147.