Mr. John Skoropad, age 90 years, passed away suddenly on Thursday, December 23, 2010.
John was born in Port Arthur on November 3, 1920 to parents Peter and Oksana Skoropad. He attended Cornwall School and Port Arthur Technical (Hillcrest) High Schools. Upon graduation he started working in the sheet metal trade with Lakehead Engineering, then as a first employee of New Idea Sheet Metal Company. Later as an employee of Canadian Car & Foundry, John specialized in a then new field of working with light alloy metals, emphasizing on aircraft assembly.
John enlisted in the RCAF in 1941, attaining the rank of Leading Aircraftsman, working on numerous wartime aircraft, including leading a project he was most proud of, the conversion of B-24 Liberator bombers into transport aircraft.
Discharged in 1946 he started his own sheet metal and built up roofing business, Del Craft Metal Industries, which he operated until 1969, when a new company, Newport Metal Industries Company Limited was formed and a new plant built, which could handle bigger, heavier materials and larger projects.
In 1974 he accepted a position with the Ontario Ministry of Labour as a Construction Safety Inspector covering North Western Ontario. Retiring in 1987, he continued being active in the construction industry and volunteering his time for worthwhile projects.
He was a life member and past president of the Thunder Bay Lions Club, charter member of the Thunder Bay Barbershop Chorus, and a member of the board of trustees of Riverside Cemetery, serving as board chair for the last ten years of his office. During his tenure Riverside Cemetery enjoyed major expansion in usable property and the addition of a new office, amongst many other improvements.
During his business years he was active member of the Sheet Metal Contractors Association, Roofers Association, Homebuilders Association, Chamber of Commerce, and Lakehead Executives Association, of which he also served a term as president. He also served as a director on the advisory board of the 55 plus centre on Red River Road, and as president and past president for four years. Member of the Ortona Legion and past member of the RCAF Wings Association which was instrumental in building the Air Force Memorial monument at the entrance to the Thunder Bay International Airport.
John is survived by his son Thomas, daughter in law Erin, sister Anne Skoropad, sister in law Patricia Hupka and special friend Helen Anderson. Numerous nieces, nephews, and friends also survive.
He was predeceased by his wife Catherine and his parents Peter and Oksana.
Cremation has taken place and a private family interment will be held in Riverside Cemetery. A celebration of John's life will be held on Saturday, January 8, 2011 at 12:00 PM in the Airlane Travelodge Hotel – Tiberio Room. If friends so desire, in lieu of flowers, donations made to the Heart and Stroke Foundation or the CNIB would be greatly appreciated.
EVEREST FUNERAL CHAPEL,299 Waverley Street at Algoma in care of arrangements.
Please sign the online condolences at www.everestofthunderbay.com