Ilio Gushulak

With family beside him, Ilio Gushulak, 89, of 1154 Walker Ave., Fort Frances, Ont., passed away peacefully at Rainycrest Long-Term Care in Fort Frances, where he had been a very content resident since December, 2010.
He was born to Anastasia and Theodore Gushulak on March 28, 1923 in Sirko, Man. and was the youngest of nine children.
As a strong young man, and having grown up during a difficult time in history, Ilio developed a keen sense for the need to work very hard at everything he did, with true grit and dedication. Early on, he travelled the rails, looking for various farm jobs, arriving in Northwestern Ontario, where he found work in the bush.
Having found his sweetheart for life on the neighbouring farm in Sirko, he exchanged wedding vows on July 12, 1947 with Mary Melnychuk at the Ukrainian Orthodox Church in Sundown, Man.
In 1949, they moved to the north end of Fort Frances with their first son to build and settle in a home where five more sons were raised. As proud parents of six boys, they eventually welcomed daughters-in-law who became the girls in the family, loving them as their own.
Dad was employed with the pulp and paper mill in Fort Frances for 35 years, retiring in 1985. During retirement, he kept busy by always being available to help his family with a variety of home and business projects—each one performed with true dedication to make sure it was always a job well-done.
His favourite activities were gardening, camping, fishing, and hunting with his sons and grandsons, singing, and playing music, either on the guitar, accordion, fiddle, harmonica, or jewish harp. These passions have been passed onto those who follow and remember the joy with which he shared these talents.
Other activities included bowling, curling, and playing cards, especially Smear and Cribbage.
Travelling was another way to relax, and he especially enjoyed taking road trips to visit his sons and their families.
Dad was a dedicated and longstanding member of St. George’s Ukrainian Orthodox Church. During that time, he served in several executive capacities, including president. He worked alongside many of his friends and relatives as they created activities and cherished memories at the Ukrainian Hall.
He also enjoyed his membership at Royal Canadian Legion Br. #29, where he would gather with his chums to share a cold one, tell a few stories, and find out who had won the daily “Pig Draw.” He also would regularly support the monthly 50/50 raffle as both a seller and purchaser.
His loving family includes his wife, Mary; six sons and daughters-in-law, Richard (Pat) of North Bay, Ont., Bill (Mary Jane), Gordon (Kim), and Robert (Marg) of Fort Frances, Ont., Ron (Susan) of Loveland, Ohio, and Paul (Elise) of Minneapolis, Mn.; 12 grandchildren, Richie (Laura) and Ryan (Adriana) of North Bay, Ont., Dr. Kate Gushulak (Dr. Brian Schick) of London, Ont.. Matthew of Winnipeg, Man., Steven (Bev), Amy, Jeff (Krista), and Brad (Jamie) Gushulak, and Sarah (Chuck Arpin, Jr.), all of Fort Frances, Ont., and Reagan (Jessica), Nathan, and Michael of Loveland, Ohio; along with four great-grandchildren, James, Gianna, and Carson Gushulak, and Peyton Arpin, all of Fort Frances, Ont.
He also is survived by his brother, Nick, of Kamloops, B.C.; his sister-in-law, Pauline Gushulak of International Falls, Mn.; and by many nieces and nephews.
He was predeceased by two sisters, Mary Shypit and Helen Bordun; five brothers, William, Ivan, Mike, George, and Matt; and several nieces and nephews.
Visitation will be held Thursday, May 24, 2012 from 7-9 p.m. at Green Funeral Home in Fort Frances, with an Ukrainian Orthodox prayer service at 7:30 pm.
Funeral services will be held Friday, May 25, 2012 at 10 a.m. at Green Funeral Home, with Rev. Fr. Henry Lakusta officiating.
Interment will follow in Riverview Cemetery in Fort Frances.
The active and honourary pallbearers will be his grandchildren.
In memoriam donations may be directed to the Alzheimer Society of the Kenora/Rainy River District, P.O. Box 837, Kenora, Ont., P9N 4B5, or any other local charity.
Please join us in remembering Ilio Gushulak by visiting our online memorial at