In Memory of




Obituary for Michael Peter Czuboka

Sept 17, 1931 - Jan 30, 2023

It is with the heaviest of hearts that we announce the peaceful passing of Michael Czuboka with family by his side.

He was predeceased by his father in 1963, and his mother in 1984, by his son John in 1988, his first wife Carole in 1992, his brothers Walter and Bill, and nephew Frank.

He is survived by his second wife Helena (of 30 years), his daughters Jill Thorarinson (Brad), Jane Czuboka, son Jeff Czuboka (Gina), and grandchildren Laura Graumann (Nick), and Michael Thorarinson. As well as nieces Shirley (Doug), Susan (Wayne), Sandra (Ron), Nancy(Brenda), nephews Carl(Nelson), Daniel, and June (widow of nephew Frank), Kim Megaffin (Sallee), Lucia, Ulyana, Wasyl (Halya), and all of their families.

“The following was written by Michael Czuboka”

Michael Czuboka was born in Brandon, Manitoba on Sept 17, 1931. He was the son of Anthony and Rozalia Czuboka, both of whom were Ukrainian immigrants. Michael grew up in Rivers, Manitoba.

“Mike” began his working career at the age of 8 by selling vegetables from his mother’s garden in Rivers. During his teen years in Rivers he wrapped bread and iced cakes at Havlick’s Bakery; built pre-fabricated houses at the Rivers Air Base; made sausages and delivered groceries at Wareham’s Meat Market; drove a tractor at MacDonald’s farm; and served as a waiter in the College dining room and as the men’s Residence Master. As a university student he worked as a labourer in the construction of the smelter at Thompson, Manitoba, and in the building for the Symington Railway Yard Winnipeg.

Michael served with the 2nd Battalion of the P.P.C.L.I. in the Korean War 1950-1951. His battalion received the U.S. Presidential Unit Citation for “extraordinary heroism at Kapyong, Korea, in April 1951, where 2 P.P.C.L.I. was attacked savagely and completely surrounded”. In 2012 he was awarded a Queen Elizabeth Diamond Jubilee Medal for his service. On June 16, 2022 he was granted a Certificate of Honorary Citizenship to Gapyeong County, Korea. After leaving the Canadian Army in 1954, he attended Brandon College and the University of Manitoba. He received B.S. and B.Ed. degrees from Brandon University, and M.A. and M.Ed. degrees from the University of Manitoba.

He was a military paratrooper and qualified aeroplane pilot. He was awarded a trophy for being the “outstanding officer candidate” at the Canadian Army officer training school. As a hockey and football player, he received the Jim Casey award for being the “outstanding sportsman-athlete” at Brandon College. He was a past president of the Manitoba Association of School Superintendents and elected councillor for the Town of Beausejour for 16 years, the founding President of the Korean War Veterans’ Assoc. in Manitoba, a past president of the Beausejour Royal Canadian Legion, the commanding officer of the Beausejour Air Cadet Squadron, and a member of the Ukrainian Catholic Church. He played hockey and baseball until he was more than 60 years old. In his 70th year he completed a 500 km solo canoe trip on the Assiniboine river from Brandon to Winnipeg in a period of 14 days. He also curled and golfed into his 80’s.

He was a soldier from 1950-1954; a university student from 1954-1960; a high school teacher in Brandon 1960-65; the principal of Neelin High School in Brandon from 1965-1969; superintendent of the Agassiz School Division from
1969-1990; and part-time lecturer in history and administration courses at Brandon University and the University of Manitoba for many years. He taught at two universities in Ukraine on a volunteer and unpaid basis during 1996-1997. He was evaluated formally, by most of his students, as an outstanding teacher. He worked as a retirement counsellor and insurance advisor for a number of years after his return from Ukraine in 1997.

He published six books, including “An Examination of Tenure”; “They Stopped at a Good Place”; “Why it’s Hard to Fire Johnny’s Teacher”; “Juba”; “Ukrainian Canadian, Eh?” (Best Seller); and “Manifest Destiny”. Along with a contribution to a seventh book "Everyday Heroes” – by Jody Mitic. He wrote articles for the Kiev Post while in Ukraine during 1996-1997. He also had articles and poems published in magazines, newspapers and publications such as Canadian Encyclopedia.

Michael requested immediate cremation and asked that no service take place. He said that private prayers from family and friends would be appreciated.

“Do not grieve” he said to his family “Because I was fortunate to be born Canadian. My life has been a long, great and exciting adventure, and I have no regrets.”

Michael’s family would like to express their most heartfelt gratitude and appreciation to all of Michael’s extraordinary caregivers over the years, including Riverview Health Centre, Thorvaldson Care Centre, and Deer Lodge Centre, his final residence. You all have a special place in our hearts.

In lieu of flowers, we would like to suggest a donation be made in Michael’s memory, to the Winnipeg Humane Society, or any other organization in need.