Kevin Pashuk

3 years ago · 4 min. reading time · visibility ~100 ·

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The dash between the dates

My father passed on recently.

He celebrated his 90th birthday this summer, and had recently moved down closer to his kids. In early December, he fell and broke a hip, and didn't recover.

While it was difficult to say goodbye, we had lots of time to be with him and share memories with him, and about him.

When he passed, among the things left in my charge was to gather together some words that could adequately express his life... the things that happen in the dash between the day you were born and the day you die.

I hope I have done this justice.  My father was a gentleman in the truest sense of the word.  I and my family will miss him.


Victor Pashuk
July 23, 1928 – December 15, 2018


On Saturday, December 15th we said goodbye to a beloved husband, father, grandfather, and great-grandfather.

Victor Pashuk, or Vic to those who knew him was born in Hyrica, Poland on July 23rd, 1928. In 1932, at the age of 3, he journeyed with his mother Anna, sister Helen, and brother Walt on the Ausonia arriving at the famous Pier 21 in Halifax. It was there the family name was changed from Paszuk to Pashuk.

They then travelled across the country to meet his father Stephen who emigrated earlier to set up a homestead in the Peace River, Alberta area. Vic and his siblings learned to speak English from their closest neighbours, a Metis family, who kept a moose as a pet - something absolutely fascinating to a young child from far away.

While he was still young, he lost his father and the family relocated to Magrath, Alberta where he spent his growing up years, helping his mother grow and harvest sugar beets to make ends meet. As an adult, he would still shudder as he drove by a field of sugar beets remembering the long, hard hours of work.

Vic’s career had a few interesting turns. He started University in teaching, then switched to Engineering. He briefly taught in a one-room school house, he worked as a surveyor, and became an RCMP officer with his first posting in Kamloops, British Columbia. It was here he met a pretty young brunette, Betty Joyce Carl (whom he called Jo).

In those days, RCMP officers needed to have 5 years of service before marriage, and he chose Jo over his Mountie career. They would be together over 65 years.

After a short-lived run in owning a drive-in (he never lost his love of soft ice cream), he joined the Edmonton Police force. He talked about the heavy buffalo coats they wore in those days to fend off the northern Alberta winters.

Vic and Jo then moved to Ontario where he joined the Ontario Provincial Police. He served in Kenora, a one-man detachment in Sioux Narrows, Dryden, Red Lake, Ignace, Bracebridge, Markdale, and Sauble Beach during his time there, retiring in 1987 with a rank of Sergeant.


Over the years they accumulated 3 children (plus partners), 3 grandchildren (plus partners), and 2 great-grandchildren – all of whom they loved deeply. Vic loved having his family come visit.

Vic loved building and creating things. He singlehandedly built 2 cottages, boats and sailboards, house extensions, several decks, and dozens of ingenious doodads, brackets, and jigs that made things more effective. He could never throw away anything without disassembling it for the ‘useful’ things. Before Sunday shopping came into effect, neighbours would often drop by to find a specific bolt, washer, or part for their lawnmower.

One of the sayings we had around the house was ‘My Father can fix anything!’ A broom handle fixed a broken rocking chair, a nail he just ‘happened’ to have in his pocket was used to fix an old van when it broke down while teaching Lauren to drive on the logging roads of Northern Ontario.

He was also known for his creative repurposing of wood. At times, the furniture he built would disappear from the living room into the workshop to come out reborn as something new. His workshop was a work of art in itself. So well organized, with a special stand or jig made to make all his tools even more useable.

He loved being outdoors and was happy being with others, or by himself fishing, hunting, golfing, or puttering around his yard in Bracebridge, Ontario. As kids, we competed for the cherished prize of a quarter for the first fish. As adults, we realized that he found a clever way to keep us focused.

In his retirement years, Vic and Jo spent the winters in Sarasota, Florida and summers in Bracebridge. Vic took up carving birds, starting with ducks and branching out to more complicated herons and ospreys. These carvings are lovingly displayed in the homes of family members and folks who would drop in for a visit.

Among Vic’s culinary loves were pickled herring, popcorn, and apple fritter donuts. He learned to make borscht while at home on his own and had about twenty different recipes that he perfected. You could never go wrong bringing him fruit and lemon meringue pie.

Among his other passions were reading the Toronto Star front to back every day, the Blue Jays, cowboy music (especially El Paso by Marty Robbins) he also liked the bagpipes.

He was a man of few words but had a well-defined sense of humour. He truly enjoyed the pandemonium of family gatherings, usually quietly from the sidelines. His love was expressed by doing things for people, creating things, and making things better through the work of his hands.

His last year brought on some health challenges, and a broken hip took away his remaining mobility. In his last days the whole family gathered in his room, and by Skype to share our stories and memories of him and tell him how much we loved him. Fittingly, a gentle squeeze from his hand was his way of saying a quiet goodbye.

Finally, the family wants to thank the phenomenal staff at Wentworth Heights for their compassionate and heartfelt care for Vic and their support for us.

Vic’s wishes were to keep things simple, and we will be celebrating his life quietly as a family in the upcoming months. We would encourage you to remember Vic by planting a tree in his memory.


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Kevin Pashuk

3 years ago #33

Thank you Proma for the kind words.

Proma 🐝 Nautiyal

3 years ago #32

Beautifully written, Kevin. It truly is a heartwarming tribute. It was inspiring to read about him. It seems he never wasted a moment in his life, lived it to the fullest, worked hard, loved with every bit of himself. It's truly difficult to lose such an integral part of your life. Remembering him by planting a tree is a beautiful thought. 

Kevin Pashuk

3 years ago #31

Thanks for the kind words Brian.

Kevin Pashuk

3 years ago #30

Thank you Mohammed

Mohammed Abdul Jawad

3 years ago #29

Dear Kevin Pashuk sorry to hear about your father's demise. I believe, every good, responsible father takes a dearest position in a family. Undoubtedly, you and your family members truly miss your father. But, with recalling memories now and then, you can express a lovely homage.

Kevin Pashuk

3 years ago #28

Thank you Neil.

Kevin Pashuk

3 years ago #27

Thanks so much Frani

Neil Smith

3 years ago #26

This is lovely tribute Kevin Pashuk. Planting a tree to celebrate an event is a wonderful gesture. Trees unite everything to the earth. Your father lives through your memory and all those that had the privilege to know him.

Kevin Pashuk

3 years ago #24

Thanks Praveen. Why a tree? It's what my father would do to celebrate or remember an event. He could tell our family history by pointing out trees in his yard that he had planted. A tree is a gift for the next generation.

Kevin Pashuk

3 years ago #23

Thanks Jerry.

Jerry Fletcher

3 years ago #22

kevin, lovely tribute. though they are gone they live on in our memories.

Kevin Pashuk

3 years ago #21

Thanks Louise.

Kevin Pashuk

3 years ago #20

Thank you Lada. Sounds like your father was a good man.

Joel Anderson

3 years ago #19

Nicely done. “The greatest use of a life is to spend it on something that will outlast it.” --William James “Every job is a self-portrait of the person who did it. Autograph your work with excellence.” --Betty M. Nelson

Kevin Pashuk

3 years ago #18

Thanks Debasish.

Kevin Pashuk

3 years ago #17

Thanks for honouring him with your with and prose Sir Ken.

Louise Smith

3 years ago #16

So lovely Kevin - a tribute to a life well lived by a Father of great personality

Lada 🏡 Prkic

3 years ago #15

Kevin, you beautifully expressed your father's life and how he spent his dash. Your words brought tears to my eyes because they reminded me of my Dad who was also a man of few words and could fix everything. You did do the justice to his legacy and the way he lived his life in the dash.

Lada 🏡 Prkic

3 years ago #14

Kevin, you beautifully expressed your father's life and how he spent his dash. Your words brought tears to my eyes because they recall me of my loving father who was also a man of few words and could fix everything. You did do the justice to his legacy and the way he lived his life in the dash.

Debasish Majumder

3 years ago #13

may your father rest in peace. you too are a gentleman and the legacy of your father being nicely carried on. lovely buzz @Kevin Pashuk! enjoyed read and shared. thank you for the buzz sir.

Ken Boddie

3 years ago #12

My previous comment seems to have gone AWOL, Kev, so here goes again ....................... A tale that’s well told, Of a man of pure gold, As he travelled on life’s winding road, You must be so proud, Of what he endowed, And the legacy that he bestowed. .……………… Sorry for your loss, Kev, but it sounds like he had a good innings.

Kevin Pashuk

3 years ago #11

Thanks for the share from down under Ken.

Kevin Pashuk

3 years ago #10

Thanks so much Charlene.

Kevin Pashuk

3 years ago #9

Thanks Jim. He was an easy guy to love, and I know that I am blessed to have such a relationship with my father.

Kevin Pashuk

3 years ago #8

Thank you Pascal

Kevin Pashuk

3 years ago #7

Thanks for the (virtual) hug Javier.

Kevin Pashuk

3 years ago #6

Thanks Manjit

CityVP Manjit

3 years ago #5

Honoured to read about your dad. We who have black and white photos are lucky compared to an age where so much is photographed but how does one find a meaningful story from 50,000+ snaps. A combination of life story and pictures which capture that story provide the greatest insight into a life of a person and that it serves as a well written tribute makes it that much more meaningful to read and behold. R.I.P. Victor.

Javier 🐝 CR

3 years ago #4

great tribute. A big hug from Madrid.

Pascal Derrien

3 years ago #3

Justice with a capital J mr Kev.

Jim Murray

3 years ago #2

Lovely, Kev.

Charlene Norman

3 years ago #1

Kevin, you did indeed do justice. Your heart is clearly brimming with love. Thank you for sharing such beauty with all of us.

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