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John Wasyl Welykholowa

John Welykholowa Obituary

John Wasyl Welykholowa: 03 August, 1925 – 15 March, 2024 Age 98 years

Dad was born on his father’s farm 5 miles south of Veregin, SK.  When he was a youngster, the family moved to Veregin, where his father was the Wheat Pool Elevator Agent. At one point he was sent to Tonkin one summer to help out at the elevator there. They then moved to Kamsack just before WWII.  Dad completed his high school in Kamsack, then joined the Royal Canadian Navy in 1943, serving until early 1946.  He married Mary Koroluk, his high school sweetheart, on 09 June 1946.  After the war, Dad had several occupations.  He helped his father build the Capitol Theatre, Parkinson’s Hardware and the Welykholowa Block (Prairie Family Centre building).  He then joined the railroad as a trainman and conductor.  He didn’t stay with the CNR long because he missed being away from his wife and children. He drove taxi for Bob (Pokey) Armstrong. He worked for Kamsack Plumbing and Heating.  In the 1950s he purchased and operated the corner grocery where the current TD Bank is.  Bob Armstrong and Dad operated a restaurant for a short time in Kamsack. Dad also assisted at Wilson’s funeral home.  From 1959 to 1968, he and Mom operated the new Ministik Inn and associated concessions at Madge Lake.  During the off seasons, he worked for Laimon and Banks as a butcher, a veterinarian’s assistant for Dr. McAllister, a projectionist in the family theatre business and helped his brother Bill in his pharmacy in Regina. He and his father were partners in the Capitol and Drive In theatres, after his Uncle Fred left the business. In 1970, Dad and Mom opened a Stedman’s general goods store (later renamed the Prairie Family Centre) in the former locker plant in the Welykholowa Block, and operated it for 22 years before they retired. He and Mary then became Commissionaires for F Division of the RCMP and guarded at the jail in Kamsack.

Dad was a Shriner, a Mason and a proud member of the Kamsack Royal Canadian Legion for 79 Years, and was the last surviving WWII veteran in Kamsack.  With the legion, he held various executive positions and played the base drum in the Legion band.  He was also a member of the 53rd Field Regiment, RCA Band in the 1960’s. Many will recall that he was pretty handy with a harmonica, and that he loved to sing.

Dad and Mom lived full time at Madge Lake for over 25 years before moving back to Kamsack in 2021.  They both loved being at the lake, where they constantly hosted family and friends. They also loved to travel, spending time with friends and relatives.  For the past 21 months they have lived in a suite at Eaglestone Lodge. Even as John’s health deteriorated Mary continued to look after him, with excellent help from the staff and support from the family. He really missed being at the lake and he missed having a car and being able to get out.

Dad was an excellent goalie in hockey in High School and later for the Royal Canadian Navy team in Halifax.  He periodically played old-timers hockey into his early 60’s.  He was also an avid curler, bowler.  His favorite pastimes were fishing, golfing and cooking shishliki while entertaining with his family and friends.  He lived for his grandchildren, great-grandchildren and grand-puppies, and always had a bag of red liquorice and gummies for the children.

John was pre-deceased by his father Bill, mother Annie, brothers Bill and Arthur and sister-in-law Ann (Scottie) Welykholowa.  He is survived by his wife (of 77 years) Mary, his sister Elizabeth (Garth Schaffer), children Doug (Nancy Clark), Colleen (Debra Cullinane), Susan (Doug Bear) and David (Brenda Taylor), 10 grandchildren and 13 great-grandchildren.

A Legion church service and a family celebration of life will be held at 2 pm on 2 August 2024 at a location to be determined. The family would like to express their sincere appreciation to the staff at Eaglestone Lodge and the Kamsack Hospital for your kindness, and the care you provided John and his family.  In lieu of flowers, donations to Eaglestone Lodge Personal Care Home in Kamsack would be greatly appreciated.

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Memorial Service
August 2, 2024

2:00 PM
Guaranteed delivery before the Memorial Service begins


Eaglestone Personal Care Home
346 Miles Street, Kamsack, SK s0a1s0


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