Luba Huk (nee Szuflyn) 1931-2020. Peacefully on August 22, 2020, Luba entered into God’s kingdom. She was born on July 23, 1931, in Nadvirna, Ivano Frankivsk oblast’, Western Ukraine, to Kateryna and Mykhajlo Szuflyn.
In 1944 during the second world war, Luba, along with her sister Tania, and their parents left Ukraine, travelling through Poland, to Goslar, Germany, where they lived in a DP camp for five years. In 1949, Luba and her family immigrated to Canada, arriving in Halifax. After a two day train ride out west, they arrived in Shoal Lake, Manitoba. Though the countryside was lovely, opportunities in the big city of Winnipeg beckoned. The move to Winnipeg was costly but by the grace of God, a stranger, lent them money, which was repaid once Luba’s parents secured jobs in the city. They settled in Point Douglas, on Granville St. This is where Luba’s new Canadian Ukrainian life really began.
Suddenly, Luba was immersed in the rich Ukrainian life in Winnipeg She became a member of St. Andrew’s Ukrainian Catholic church, and a lifelong member of Plast, belonging to the kurin’, Pereletny Ptytsì. In fact, it was at a Plast picnic that she met her future husband, Volodymyr Huk. They married on August 6th, 1955, at St. Andrew’s Ukrainian Catholic Church. Luba and her husband loved adventure. In 1956, they visited Hawaii and Fiji, before moving to Melbourne, Australia.
But one Christmas, as they stood on the edge of the Pacific Ocean, Volodymyr saw Luba looking into the distance. He could tell that she was thinking of her family so far away. At that moment, he knew that they had to return to Canada.
Once back in Winnipeg, Luba and her husband became members of Sts. Vladimir and Olga Ukrainian Catholic Metropolitan Cathedral, where Luba became a lifelong volunteer, parish council member, and a member of the Ukrainian Catholic Women’s League of Canada. Luba also became a long time associate of the Sister Servants of Mary Immaculate.
She had an immense love of children. In March of 1963, Luba, had a dream of establishing a Ukrainian Catholic nursery school. With Father Mitrat Roman Dobriansky, she founded the first all day immersive Ukrainian language Sadochok at Blessed Virgin Mary Ukrainian Catholic Parish in Winnipeg. 30 students enrolled! Pani Huk’s Sadok ( as it was lovingly referred to) ran five days a week. It was a success! Families and children loved her and were drawn to her vibrant personality. Her young students learned about their Ukrainian heritage, all under the guidance of a very gifted teacher. What made Pani Huk’s Sadok successful for over 35 years, was her unwavering belief in God and the Ukrainian Catholic church; her love of children; and her love of the Ukrainian language and culture. She was a visionary in early childhood education and a strong proponent of Ukrainian language learning. She alone was able to influence generations of Ukrainian Canadians.
Although best known as an educator, she always spear headed causes that helped others. In 2004, during the Orange Revolution in Ukraine, she made 100’s of orange scarves, and sold them across Canada and the United States, with proceeds going to support those on the front lines of the revolution.
Always an adventurer, Luba and her family travelled Canada, the United States and Mexico from coast to coast. And every summer, Luba would hop on a plane, often carrying one of her famous walnut tortes, and visit her sister in Rome. She’d volunteer at the Vatican Radio and enjoyed many good meals, liturgies, and adventures with the Sister Servants of Mary Immaculate in Rome. But Luba and her sister, Tania, wouldn’t just stay in Rome. They took trips across Italy, Sicily, the former Yugoslavia, France, Germany, Austria, Poland, Switzerland, Greece, Portugal, and Ukraine.
Luba was predeceased by her husband Volodymyr. She leaves to mourn her daughters Tania (Myron), Arusia (Andrew), grandchildren, Kathryn (Jay), Alexa ( Shane), Andrijko, Nicholas, Emily, great-grandchildren, Luke, Sofia, Mia. She also leaves to mourn her partner in adventure, her sister Tania Szuflyn in Rome.
The family thanks Dr. Terry and Dr. Andrea Babick for their long friendship and wonderful care. Thank you to Holy Family Home for the exceptional living environment and compassionate care. Thank you to the Sister Servants of Mary Immaculate for being a guiding beacon of light and truth throughout her life.
Thank you мама for leading us by your example of faith, your love of family and our Ukrainian heritage.
A private family funeral will be held.
In lieu of flowers, donations in Luba’s name may be made to Lubov SSMI Foundation, 1085 Main St. Winnipeg, Manitoba, R2W 3S1, info @ lubovfoundation.ca
To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Luba Irena (Szuflyn) Huk, please visit our floral store.