Michael Nick Kozakevich (Mike) went home into the arms of our Lord on Sunday, December 17, 2017, at 92 years young. Born on September 18, 1925, Mike was one of eight children born to Nick and Nancy (nee Bellak) Kozakewich. From the Goodeve district, he attended school, worked on the family farm and assisted neighbours in the Goodeve area. In 1944 Mike enlisted in the military and was part of Company “A” until WW II ended in 1945. He returned to farming just before he started working for the Canadian National Railroad in 1948. Mike met Sophie Krusky, and the two were united in marriage on July 12, 1953. The couple resided in Melville and were blessed with four children. Mike built one of the first houses on Jubilee Crescent where they still reside. In 1954 Mike became certified as a CN Locomotive Engineer and continued his career for 34 years. He retired in 1982, and he and Sophie travelled, becoming snowbirds for many years, enjoying their children, grandchildren, family, friends and relatives.
Mike was a great sports enthusiast; he enjoyed hunting, fishing, golfing and curling. He supported his Melville Millionaires both hockey and baseball and loved his Blue Jays, the Saskatchewan Roughriders and the Montreal Canadians when they were still part of the original six. Legion curling took him to the nationals representing Saskatchewan in Truro, NS, and there are still hours of curling recorded on his television that he loved watching. Mike also loved working in the garden and with his flowers.
Mike was dedicated to his community and serving it. He was a caregiver, helping for many years to take care of sister-in-law Helen and sister Katie. He was a proud active member of his Royal Canadian Legion, where he marched for years in the Colour Party, took care of the Veteran widows and just finished delivering their Christmas chocolates. Mike constantly volunteered and received his 50-year service pin November 11, 2016. Mike’s passion for service also included the Lions, Melville Housing Authority, Legion Manor and Meals on Wheels. He was awarded the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal in recognition of his significant contributions as a leader and his passion to build a better community. Mike was always available to assist others in any way possible, even if it was just to sit and visit or share a joke.
Very proud of his faith, Mike helped maintain St. Mary the Protectress Ukrainian Orthodox Church and assisted the priest as Sacristan. He instilled faith in his family, to know the importance of prayer, to work hard, have the values of honesty, loyalty, integrity and commitment. Some years ago, Mike made a Ukrainian cross at Crystal Lake camp, which the kids still pray in front of to this day. He will be dearly missed by his family, friends, relatives and the community.
Mike was predeceased by his parents, Nick and Nancy; brothers John (Olga) and Alex; sisters Adella (Tony) Scheitel and Annie (John) Wersta; brothers-in-law William Sawchyn, Alex Stecyk and Edward Sawchyn; son-in-law Michael Hovet; Sophie’s brothers, sisters and in-laws, Mary and Leonard Shelstad, Nellie and Alex Denny, Annie and Henry Anderson, Nick Krusky, Peter and Arion Krusky, Russell and Louise Krusky, John Krusky, Joseph Bonneau, Jack Zentner and several nieces and nephews.
Mike will be lovingly remembered by his wife Sophie of 64 years; son Larry (Marilyn) and children Kelly, Shannon, Justin (Jenna) and Macey; son Harvey and daughter Tosha; daughter Karen (Dean) Burns and children Kyle and Ashley; daughter Linda Hovet and children McKenzee (Dustin) Kuhlman, Garrett, McKayla and Kristen; great-grandchildren Alexandra, Joshua, Anna, Mya, Calon, Rosie and Jade; sisters Katie Sawchyn, Marie Stecyk and Helen Sawchyn; brothers and sisters-in-law Sophie Kozakewich, Helen Zenter, Millie Bonneau, Don and Joyce Krusky, Willard and Pat Krusky, Marge (Krusky) Gorgerat and Grace Krusky; as well as many nieces and nephews.