Andrew Hull passed into the arms of Our Lord and Saviour on Tuesday, August 21, 2018 at Seven Oaks General Hospital. He is survived by his beloved wife of seventy-two years, Sofia (Mytsyshyn) and his only daughter, Orysia.
Andrew (Andriy) was born in the town of Czesaniw, Lubachiw region, Lviv oblast in Poland to Ukrainian parents, Oleksander and Paraska (Galeta) Hul. He was the second child in a family of five children. His mother died when he was a teenager. Their family was very poor, so each child was required to leave school at a very young age in order to work their land and maintain their farm. Their father, however, did ensure that each of his sons learned a trade. Andrew completed his apprenticeship as a carpenter but could not find steady work in his region. When the Nazis came into the town, Andrew signed up for work in Germany, thinking he would earn some money for himself and send money to his family. This decision at the age of twenty had very serious consequences for him later on.
His work placement was to the village of Geilshausen (Rabenau), Hesse region of Germany. He was employed by Ludwig Kriep to perform jobs as required by the family business. He was treated with respect by the Kriep and Wallenfels family. He learned quickly, was a hard worker and he looked after their farm and other business steadfastly. In August of 1944, he was arrested by the Gestapo and sent to a work camp in Mainz and then to Buchenwald Concentration Camp where he became number 70967. After the American liberation of Buchenwald in April of 1945, he and many others were sent to a “feeding camp” in Jena to train their bodies to accept food and to gain some weight.
As the allies attempted to create order out of the chaos of war, all foreigners were required to report to a camp in their region. Andrew asked around and learned that Ukrainians were being told to report to a particular camp in the Soviet zone of Germany. In Andrew’s words, “I knew of what they smelled”. Instead, he and two friends reported to the camp at Mainz-Kastel in the American zone, Wiesbaden command. Here he was introduced to the love of his life, Sofia. On the first evening they met, he told her he would marry her. Within a month, on February 23, 1946, they were married in the Ukrainian Catholic Church in the camp. Two years later their daughter, Orysia, was born.
When the Soviets took over Poland, Andrew became an enemy of the state because he left Poland willingly. He would be required to work in Siberia for the same number of years as he worked in Germany, or risk being shot to death on the spot as he crossed the border. Furthermore, after the destruction of WW II and Actsia Wiesla (wherein Ukrainian families were removed from Poland and resettled in Ukraine), for many years he did not know the location of his family. This meant that he could not return home and thus, he became a displaced person.
The uncertainty of this period was very difficult for Andrew and Sofia until Eleanor Roosevelt visited each room in the camp and, through a translator, informed them that the USA would not force anyone to go to the Soviet Union. In May of 1949, Andrew and Sofia received notice from the Canadian High Commission that their new home would be in Canada.
They arrived in Halifax at Pier 21 on July 24th, 1949, and boarded the train for Winnipeg. It was on this journey across much of Canada that Andrew said “now I am a free man”. The first day in Winnipeg was a “day off”; the next day he looked for work. He immediately became an employee of the Canadian National Railways. On the third day he began working for CNR (later CN) and remained with the company for thirty-two years. In the interim he learned to speak, read and write English, moving from extra gang, to section man to foreman of the East Yard (depot area), from which he retired.
Throughout his life Andrew was a man of strong faith and an active supporter of the Ukrainian Catholic Church. In Winnipeg, he first attended Holy Ghost Church on Ada Street. Since 1955 he has been a member of St. Joseph’s, which was like a second home for him. He served in the Ukrainian Catholic Brotherhood, The Men’s Club, the Pledge Committee for the Church Building Fund and as a Bingo worker and caller. He was also a member of the Knights of Columbus St. Josephat Council 4138 and the Canon Luhovy Assembly. He was a hard worker and helped in whatever way he could. Macular degeneration and blindness in his late years did not prevent him from attending church every Sunday and any special event at the church.
Andrew was predeceased by his brothers Volodomyr, Ivan, Roman and Slavko and his sister Yulia. He is survived by numerous nieces and nephews in Ukraine. In Canada, he will be missed by his wife, daughter and many who called him “uncle” and friend.
Funeral Liturgy will be sung on Saturday, August 25, 2018 at St. Joseph’s Ukrainian Catholic Church, 250 Jefferson Avenue, Winnipeg, MB at 10:00 am with Redemptorist Fathers officiating. Donations in his memory may be made to St. Joseph’s Ukrainian Catholic Church Building and Capital Maintenance Fund, The Bishop Velychkovsky Martyr Shrine or the Redemptorist Fathers.
Rest among the Saints, Beloved Husband and Father
KORBAN FUNERAL CHAPEL
907 Main Street
Bishop Velychkovsky Martyr's Shrine
250 Jefferson Ave., Winnipeg MB R2V 0M6
St, Joseph's Ukrainian Catholic Church
250 Jefferson Ave., Winnipeg MB R2V 0M6