It is with profound sadness that we announce that our husband, brother, father, grandfather, uncle James Bilan has left us to be with the Lord on Thursday August 29th 2019 at the age of 89. Jim was born on April 12 1930 to Matthew and Anne Bilan on the family farm southwest of Buchanan Saskatchewan. The 2nd of four children, he received his education at Woodhurst School and later at the Buchanan High School. Upon leaving high school he and a buddy hopped a boxcar to Winnipeg in search of work. He successfully landed a job with Canada Packers but he knew bigger things were in store for him back home. After a brief stint with SaskTel he landed his dream job with Sask Power in 1955. He began his training as a lineman, and after working all over the province received his journeyman status and then became District Operator at Yorkton. While working in Wynyard he met the love of his life Elsie Zemlak who was working as a waitress at a service station called The Grill. It took him 3 years but he finally proposed and they were wed on June 15, 1959 in Foam Lake SK. They made Canora their first home and in 1962 moved to Yorkton. Together they raised a family of four children. One of his favorite pastimes was hunting. This started at an early age while walking home from school, he would pick off partridge with a slingshot and bring home dinner. That passion grew into many trips up north with relatives and friends and most often brought home something he could make into sausage. He was an avid sportsman and his hobbies included camping, fishing, golfing, curling, bowling, and bingo. He was a master at cards and an avid Leafs, Jays and Roughrider fan until the very end. On July 31, 1990, after 35 years, Jim decided to start a new chapter and retire from Sask Power. For the next 30 years some of his best memories were his work days as he fondly recalled a career that brought him so much pride and fulfillment. Jim was a jack- of- all trades and could fix anything. He was always there to lend a hand and be a good neighbor and host. Jim gave his time volunteering at the church hall serving at weddings and functions. He had an impeccable work ethic and was a devoted family man. His pride and joy were his children and grandchildren. He enjoyed giving tractor rides and attending hockey games and all their activities when he could. His incredible wit, sense of humor and smart-ass comments will forever be his legacy. A friend to all, Jim will be dearly missed by all who knew him. We all imagine him meeting up with his loved ones that have passed and looking around at all that is heaven and exclaiming "This has got to be something, 'this is just super! " James was predeceased by his father Matthew, mother Anne, brother George (Florence), sister Wilma (Dan), sister-in-law Flo and niece Shelley. Left to cherish his memory is his wife Elsie, children Karla (Bruce Thompson), Laurie (Kevin Stefanick), Kevin (Denise), Darci; grandchildren Tanner, Kelsey, Caitlyn, Madison, Brady and Haylee; brother Howard and numerous nieces and nephews extended family and friends. Friends so wishing may make donations in lieu of flowers to the Holy Transfiguration Orthodox Church or to the Heart & Stroke Foundation. The family wishes to express sincere appreciation for your thoughts, compassion and presence at the service. Special thanks for all those who took time from their day to be with the family; those who helped and brought food and those who visited and shared great stories about dad. We also wish to recognize the wonderful care dad received at the Yorkton nursing home for the short stay there. We will forever be grateful. Vichnaya Pamyat! Rest in Peace. Prayers were held on Thursday, September 5th 2019, and the funeral service on Friday, September 6th 2019, all from Holy Transfiguration Ukrainian Orthodox Church in Yorkton. Rev. Fr. Michael Faryna and Rev. Fr. Mel Slashinsky offficiated. Cantor, Yvonne Panchuk, assisted by members of the Parish Choir sang the responses. The Crossbearer was Garry Gawryliuk, the Bannerbearers were Curtis & Trevor Bilan. Honorary bearers were George Stanicki, Art Loucks, Ed Tchorzewski & Ken McGillivary. The interment took place in the Yorkton Memorial Gardens with Robert & Tanner Thompson, Kevin & Brady Stefanick, and Kelly & Jared Bilan serving as the casketbearers. Condolences can be left at baileysfuneralhome.com
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