On March 18, 1932, Ernie Elmer Holuk was born on the farm 7 miles southeast of Carrot River to Steve and Anna Holuk. Dad lived and farmed on this same homestead for the majority of his life. Growing up, he attended Cosmo School, and told us stories of walking to school, getting chased by a bull and walking to a nearby farm to get water for the school children. In the early 1950’s, Dad attended the Mohyla Ukrainian Institute in Saskatoon and took a gas and diesel mechanical course. He remembered his time at the Institute and Saskatoon fondly with anecdotes like “it only 70 cents for 7 people to take a cab to school”. Dad returned to the farm, married Janet (Holmes) in July 1962 and had four children together. Farming, while presenting many challenges and rewards, was in Dad’s blood and he continued to have interest even after retiring in 2005. When Dad wasn’t farming, you could find him at auction sales collecting treasures and antiques, especially coal oil lamps. Many “surprise” boxes made their way home, as he just couldn’t pass up the opportunity to bring a treasure home.
Over the years, Dad demonstrated that he had a soft spot for the different animals that came through our home. While he often tried to feign being tough, it was Dad that sat up with our injured cat, Sandy and advocated for our dog, Misty to have access to the living room. Growing up, it was common for Hockey Night in Canada to be blaring on Saturday night, and to cheer for anyone but the Saskatchewan Roughriders on Sunday CFL. That being said, anytime the Riders were in the Grey Cup, he was tuned in and watching with a smile.
Dad always loved having the garden in the summer, especially his tomatoes. His interest in the kitchen also involved making homemade sausage, which became quite well-known among family and friends. Getting the recipe ‘just right’ was always a challenge, but always his goal.
Dad’s health was failing over his last months, and he passed away peacefully at the Carrot River Health Centre on May 17, 2018 at the age of 86 years.
Ernie will be remembered by his son Morris (Shelley) Holuk; daughters Donna (Terry) Strilaeff and Carol (Jason) Rohovich. He also leaves behind grandchildren Thomas and Timothy Holuk; Zachary and Brianne Strilaeff; sister Lillian (Don) Gordon, in laws, Jean Holuk; Ken (Donna) Holmes; Lorraine (John) Babiak; Ruth (Vic) Timm; Grace Holmes; numerous nieces, nephews relatives, and friends.
Dad is predeceased by his wife Janet, son Paul, parents Steven and Anna, brother Bill, brother in law Duane.