With heavy hearts the family of John Nicholas Popowich of Yorkton, formerly of the Whitesand – Springside area, beloved husband of the late Mary Popowich entered eternal rest on Tuesday, February 16, 2021 at the age of 90 years.
On a warm autumn morning on October 7, 1930, a baby boy, John Nicholas Popowich was born on the Family homestead, on the NE 28, which is on the same section of land as his family Church; in the Whitesand district, just south of Good Spirit Lake. John was the 2nd youngest of 9 siblings born to Anna and Nicholas Popowich.
His parents, Anna (Michayliw) and Nicholas Popowich, came to Canada from the Village of Rypne, Dolina, Eastern Galisica. They came looking for a better life for their young family.
John and his siblings attended Beblo School, which was located 1 ½ miles south of their homestead. Walking to school, he and his brothers always were well equipped with home made slingshots, always hunting for gophers. In the 1930’s The RM paid 1 cent for each gopher tail, and he was eager to earn his own spending money. Much of the money earned was spent at the White Sand Store near the Church, or at Gunn’s beach, located on the south end of Good spirit lake, just 2 ½ miles north of their place.
In 1936, when John was 6 years old, the area Whitesand parishioners began building a new church. John and his brother Fred (7) would bring sandwiches for the builders. They spoke of how plentiful the Russian thistles were, during the middle 1930’s, that it was very painful to walk across the fields. They were very poor, and often outgrew their shoes in the summer, and had to walk barefoot until the fall when they got a new pair for the winter.
When Dad completed Grade 8, at age 14, he started working for farmers in the Springside area. In 1946, at age 16, he proudly purchased his first car, a 1928 Chev Coupe. In the fall of 1946, Dad and a few neighbourhood friends, travelled to Ontario, to work at a bush camp, cutting logs for a Power and Paper company. He would return home to help farm in the summers. In the fall of 1948, he returned to Ontario, and found work at the Ontario Red Lake Gold mine. He came back home to Saskatchewan in 1951.
That summer, he married, Mary Kulaway. John parents sold them the farm homestead, and moved to Vernon, B.C. and Dad and mom started their mixed farming operation. Together they raised a family of three daughters, Valerie, Gladys and Cheryl. They lived at the Popowich homestead until July 1, 1967. At which time they purchased the Kulaway homestead, and moved there, expanding their family farm operation. They built a new home for the family in 1969-70, and enjoyed the country life. Dad and mom continued to farm until their health started failing. Mom moved into the Nursing home in 1992, and passed away in 1997. Dad continued to reside alone at the farm until 2014. At which time he sold the family home and moved to the Springside Senior Complex. He made many new friends there, and enjoyed his home there. He enjoyed still being able to garden right outside his back door. In 2019, he moved to Fisher Court at Yorkton. Again, he soon made new friends, and enjoyed visiting with his neighbours. In the fall of 2020, Dad’s health started to deteriorate, and at the end of December was admitted to the hospital.
Dad served on various local boards and committees through the years including the local school board and the Springside rural telephone association. Dad took great pride in his church, and was a member since it was built in 1936-37. He, along with many other members volunteered through the years to complete maintenance and kept the grounds clean and trim. He served on various church board positions through the years. The last position he held was in 2020, as President, when in the fall he said he was retiring, and passing the torch on to the next generations.
In his younger days, he enjoyed hunting, and loved a competitive game of troika, with his neighbours and friends. He took pride in his farm, and livestock and worked very hard to make the best life possible for his family.
He and his siblings were very close throughout the years, and they all loved to come back to visit and tour the old home place and the church. They would reminisce of days gone by, and tell countless stories of the good old days. John is predeceased by his wife Mary, brothers Dan, Mike, Wasyl, Bill and George. Sisters Nellie Petkus and Mary Hackman.
He is survived by his brother Fred; three daughters, Valerie (Conley) Cumming, Gladys (Terry) Zavislak and Cheryl Popowich (Wayne Peel). 5 grandchildren; Craig Cumming, Shaun (Maria) Cumming, Chad Zavislak, Brandi Zavislak (Darcy Sliva), and Payton Popowich. He is also survived by 9 great grandchildren, Kelsey and Kolbe Cumming; Alyssa and Ethan Cumming; Hayley and Nina Zavislak; Angel, Ava and Roco Sliva.
Along with numerous other family members and friends.
The Funeral Liturgy was held on Monday, February 22, 2021 at St. Mary’s Ukrainian Catholic Church in Yorkton with Rev. Father Yevhen Zadorozhnyi, C.Ss.R. as the Celebrant. The responses were led by Laurie Fedorowich and Ron Wizniak. The reading of the obituary was done by Brandi Zavislak and Chad Zavislak. The interment followed in the Yorkton City Cemetery with Craig Cumming, Shaun Cumming, Chad Zavislak, Payton Popowich, Darcy Sliva and Wayne Peel serving as the casket bearers. Condolences to the family can be posted at baileysfuneralhome.com Memorials in memory of John may be made to St. Mary’s Ukrainian Catholic Church, Whitesand, c/o Wayne Clark, 176 Sunset Dr. N. Yorkton, SK S3N 3L1
Вічная Пам'ять - Eternal Memory