It is with a heavy heart that we announce the passing of a Husband, Dad, Gigi and Big Gigi, John Caruk, age 87, on Tuesday, January 4, 2022, at Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Centre. John passed away peacefully with his family by his side after a short illness.
John or “Johnny” to friends and family, the eldest son of Mike and Annie Caruk, was born on November 5, 1934 in Garland, MB. He attended Garland school up to Grade 6 until the family moved to Fort William, ON in 1947 and there he attended Crawford Avenue School. In 1949, when the family moved back to Garland, he worked on the family farm.
In 1952, at the age of 18, he decided to make a change and move to Winnipeg, MB and was employed with Bird Construction. In 1957, John moved back to Fort William and found work at Great Lakes Paper Mill. Towards the later part of 1957, he met Josephine (Josie) Livitski at the Embassy Grill through his sister Elsie. The two were married on June 6, 1959.
Together they raised 4 children at their home in Westfort, where he continued to live until his passing.
Family summers included packing up the tent trailer and making road trips “out west” to visit family in Dauphin, Ethelbert, Pine River and Baba’s little farmhouse in Garland, MB. There were also many camping trips to Chippewa Park and Kakabeka Falls with the Tymchyshyn family and weekends at the Shubaly camp in Shebandowan.
John spent his career with Great Lakes Paper, working as a shift supervisor and finishing room foreman until retiring in 1991, after 34 years of service.
Retirement was good to John; he was able to enjoy some travel to places like Las Vegas and Minneapolis and was a member of the Port Arthur Prosvita Society. Many afternoons were spent there with the “Port Arthur” family and other friends he made.
For the past 21 years he enjoyed the time spent with Josie and family at their trailer at Birch Point Resort. At home he loved to sit on his deck or in his favourite chair with a toothpick in his mouth, usually enjoying his daily shot of rye and watching all the comings and goings in the neighborhood. I’m sure Dad could tell you a lot of stories about the shenanigans he saw but kept most of them to himself. He was never really a man of many words but when he did have something to say, it was usually straight to the point.
Survived by his beloved wife of 62 years, Josie; children Karen (Gerald) Matson, Mike (Ann Marie) Caruk, Susan (Larry) Bale and Wendy Caruk (Ian Kimber); grandchildren Terry (Veronique), Scott (Vicki), Melissa, Chelsey (Travis), Connor, Abby, Paula (Travis), Cody (Rachel), Megan (Ryan) and Jordan (Melissa); great grandchildren, Archer, Weston, Vance, Lincoln, Lilliana, George, Wyatt, Ellie and Lenna and his favourite fur grandchildren, Cooper and Tucker (whom Gigi always had a treat for).
Also survived by his siblings Hilda Tymchyshyn, Elsie (Eugene) Prokopowich, Ron (Phyllis) Caruk, Eddie (Elsie) Caruk and Mabel Wingie; brother in-law Peter and Carol Livitski and as well as numerous nieces, nephews and other relatives.
Predeceased by his parents, Mike and Annie Caruk; sister, Olga Tymchyshyn and husband Paul; brothers in-law Peter Tymchyshyn and John Wingie; Mother in-law Nellie Livitski, sister in-law Mary and husband Bill Shubaly, sister in-law Nellie and husband Carl Killer, brother in-law Nick and wife Julie Livitski and brother in-law John Livitski.
Cremation has taken place and a celebration of life will be held at a later date. Arrangements have been entrusted to the WESTFORT CHAPEL, 420 West Gore Street at James.
The family wishes to thank Kim, RN in Unit 2B for her compassion to make Dad’s journey as peaceful as possible. Thank you to Dr. James Toppin for his care and kindness over the years.
If friends so desire, donations may be made to the Northern Cardiac Fund made payable to TBRHSF.
Dybosyia Dad, until we meet again.
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