(November 21, 1888 – November 5, 1971)
Life Sketch/Tribute written by his children
Read at the funeral service, Beauvallon, Alberta
November 8, 1971
Mike Melnechuk was born in Valowchi, Bukovina, Austria on November 21, 1888. At the age of 14, he came to Canada with his parents to the district of Canora, Saskatchewan. On January 19, 1910, he married Katherine Chernowsky and they farmed in the district of Sturgis, Saskatchewan. Here four children were born and in 1917 he moved his family to Youngstown, Pennsylvania where he farmed and worked in a factory. In 1920 he returned to Canada to the district of Beauvallon where he raised his family and lived for the past 51 years. It was at Beauvallon where he joined the Seventh-day Adventist church in 1921.
Mike was a man of few words as his family and neighbors will testify, but the words he did say were well chosen. He had two objectives in life: to raise a Christian family and to give his children an education. He had the joy of realizing both of these goals. All of his children are members of the Seventh-day Adventist church and his eight daughters are contributing their talents as homemakers, teachers, and nurses. One son is an optometrist and his other son operates an automotive business.
Though Mike had no formal education and never held a church office, his philosophies and teachings are left as gems. His children remember Friday nights at home where they spent many happy hours singing. Though he never joined in the singing, he always urged them to sing more. As they grew older and began working on their own, he always asked them if they paid tithe. He was very particular about the family being ready for Sabbath and attending church. He was a man of strict honesty, leaving no one who could say that they had been cheated in their business with him. He instilled in his family the idea that work is a blessing and not drudgery or a curse. He enjoyed working and taught his family that a job done to the best of one’s ability is a reward in itself. Another belief of his was that it isn’t what you think of yourself that counts, but rather what other people think of you. He wasted no time in self-pity but accepted life with its problems as a challenge. He never turned anyone away who was in need and he practiced the Golden Rule.
He often talked to his family about how good God was to him. It gave him great joy to visit his children and see how they prospered. Just three weeks ago he said, “I am ready to die. God has assigned to man three score and ten years. I have been blessed with an additional 13 years”.
He was blessed with good health for all of his 82 years. Just recently he underwent two surgeries and was making good progress towards recovery. His sudden passing has saddened many. Grieving their loss of a good husband and wonderful father are his wife, Katherine, of Beauvallon, Alberta; Mrs. Mary Slusarenko, who operates a childcare nursery in La Sierra, California; Mrs. Dora Nahorney, a homemaker in Edmonton, Alberta; Mrs. Jessie Tkachuk, Director of Nursing at Canyon Crest Convalescent Hospital in Loma Linda, California; Mrs. Annie Tarangle, who operates a kindergarten in Abbotsford, British Columbia; Mrs. Pearl Tarangle, a homemaker who lives in Langley, British Columbia; Dr. John Melenchuk, an optometrist in St. Paul, Alberta; Mrs. Eva Proskiw, an elementary teacher in Langley, British Columbia; Mrs. Caroline Kiehlbauch, Director of the Fairyland Kindergarten and Day Care Center in Calgary, Alberta; Mr. Bill Melnechuk, who operates Melnechuk Motors in Simcoe, Ontario; and Mrs. Ruth Eli, a registered nurse in San Bernardino, California.
There are 32 grandchildren, 37 great grandchildren, and a host of other relatives and friends whom he has cultivated through the years
We will miss him but the blessed hope of meeting on the resurrection morning gives us the courage to press forward and lead such lives that we will be ready to meet him.