(August 3, 1951 – December 18, 2014)
Tribute written by cousin, Elayne (Proskiw) Jacobson
I have many memories of my precious cousin Harold–mostly his humorous laugh and fun loving nature. We both went to the Beauvallon School for grade one and had my mom (and his aunty) as our teacher. Harold was busy and full of mischief. It was not uncommon to see him lying in the aisle between the desks playing on the floor with a few little cars while the rest of us busied ourselves in our workbooks and school assignments. He was no doubt finished his work or couldn’t be bothered to do the work. My favorite memory of him was when the school bus broke down and my mother (Eva Proskiw, the teacher) picked up all the kids and transported them to school but decided to leave Harold with the bus mechanic so he could watch the mechanic fix the bus. Much to my mom’s dismay, Harold never turned up to school at first recess, nor at lunch. By the afternoon recess she was really concerned so she sent my brother Bryan to go looking for him. Bryan found him, riding on the tractor with Geedo. Bryan escorted Harold back to school and my mom proceeded to lecture him on how he was very wrong at playing “hooky” from school. Harold listened carefully and then went outside to talk to Bryan. What he said was hilarious: “Boy, your mom sure reamed me out, but she kept telling me I was playing “hooky” and I don’t even know how to play the game”! He just laughed it off and went out to play.
Later, when we would visit St. Paul and hang out with their family, I can remember—in detail–the elaborate stories he could make up and scare all of us cousins, about the nuns and priests in the Catholic church at the end of town. We loved to go play in the park on some wheel that turned round and round, but had to go past and through the yard of the Catholic church and, because of Harold’s stories, we were all totally petrified as we ran through and past the church to the park.
Because we always spent Sabbaths at Baba and Geedo’s place, he was always involved when we cousins would play “doctor” upstairs in the old family house and would be one of the front runners as we would run into town to buy our penny candies as soon as sundown came.
Later in life, it was a treat to meet up with Harold. I remember him vividly while we lived in Langley and when he first started dating Gwen.
And then when we lived in the Okanagan it was a wonderful treat to have him drop in for a visit.
Most memorable was my phone conversation I had with him several years ago. It was like talking to him when I was a kid. His voice was the same, his humor the same, and his openness and willingness to share and visit refreshing. It was hard to know that he was suffering but he tackled that with courage and fortitude.
I will always love him. He holds a special place in my heart.
Rest in peace my special cousin.
Tribute written by cousin, Michael Melenchuk
I was very young when I knew Harold and my memories revolve around him being the older cousin who made many of us younger of cousins laugh. He kept us all wide eyed and amused with all his funny remarks around my father or Uncle Nick or Aunt Pearl. I’m sure he drove them crazy with his upbeat spirit….still remember his contagious laugh and smile. Rest in peace, Harold.
Tribute written by cousin, Debbie (Slusarenko) Merritt
My memories of Harold were when they lived close to us in La Sierra. He always had such a great sense of humor and a contagious laugh. Was kind of a pest to Brenda and me at times also (to be expected from brothers, but love them just the same). Love and prayers to Brenda and Lynda and families.
Bob, Debbie, Kristin, Rob, and Kimberly