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- November 27, 2017
Scroll down the page for the Obituary, Funeral Details, and Condolence Messages.
It is with our deepest sadness, we announce the untimely death of our patriarch, Bruce Ernie Sorochuk, on Saturday November 25, 2017 at the age of 56.
Bruce was born to Ernie and Bernadette Sorochuk on January 28,1961 in Saskatoon. He grew up on the family farm outside of Norquay Saskatchewan, where he developed into a hard-working young man. He attended school in Norquay and at Saint Vladimir College in Roblin. Starting at a young age and continuing throughout his life Bruce had a curiosity for knowledge and for how things work. As a result of this natural curiosity, Bruce became an expedition leader for a great many adventures.
Bruce found love and completion with Gaylene. Over their 16 years, of marriage they created a life filled with love that radiated through those fortunate enough to be graced by their hospitality. Their passion for laughter and life has been a glowing example of partnership and love.
At the age of 46, and with the support of his wife, Bruce accomplished a diploma in Mechanical Engineering. Most recently, he worked as the Construction Manager for Cameco at the Cigar Lake mine. Like many things in his life, he was passionate about the work he did and was an inspiration to many.
Bruce loved to spend time with family and brought people together with both food and conversation. These gatherings took place in so many locations over the years: at the farm in Norquay, in Outlook or Saskatoon, and recently most often at the cabin - or on the pontoon boat - at Christopher Lake.
Bruce had a clever mind, a sharp wit, a tender personality and he was an expert at providing advice when asked. He was a treasured mentor to so many, advising through decisions both big and small. He was proud of his Ukrainian heritage, sharing it with others and honoring tradition.
Bruce is survived by his mother Bernadette Sorochuk and he was the loving father of 5 daughters: Vanessa Fantillo (Collin), Kristin Catto (Nate), Andria Adams (Mason), from his marriage with Karen; and Kaitlin Sorochuk and Angela England (Kent) from his marriage with Gaylene. Bruce was an incredible Grandpa to Christian Fantillo, Petra Catto, Wilder Catto, Aeden England, Karys England and Preston England. He was a brother to Debora Grywacheski (Len), Loretta Huska (Kerry) and Neil Sorochuk (Lynn) and had numerous nieces and nephews. He was pre-deceased by his father, Ernie Sorochuk and we take comfort in the fact that Bruce will be greeted by his dad. Although we have lost a remarkable man, he will live on in the lessons and wisdom imparted to those fortunate enough to have shared life with him.
In lieu of flowers donations in memory of Bruce may be made to St.Michael’s Camp at Box 128, Kamsack, Saskatchewan, SOA 1S0.
WORDS OF REMEMBRANCE FROM ANGELA ENGLAND
Hello. My name is Angela England. I am one of Bruce’s daughter’s with Gaylene, my mom. Technically, one might say I’m Bruce’s stepdaughter, but he and I never saw it that way. I’m lucky to have 2 dads.
Bruce came into my life when I was an adult. He met my mom in 2000. They had an arranged date through a dating service, and I remember my mom being so nervous about meeting him. On that first date, the connection between them was obvious. Even in so much as both of them confessing to each other that they had lied on their dating profiles about being non-smokers, which they chuckled about as they shared a cigarette outside the restaurant. Mom came home that night and informed me and my gramma that “This is the man I am going to marry”. Bruce’s feelings were mutual. Within 3 months they were talking marriage, but they decided to wait until after he introduced my mom to his 3 daughters. So, they managed to wait and were married on August 18, 2001. From the moment Bruce entered my mom’s life, he embraced all of her family with loving, open arms…myself, my little sister Kaitlin, and all the rest of the Lapetsky clan. Along with that, Kaitlin and I gained 3 sisters and a new family was born that has grown in number and closeness over time.
Since joining our family, Bruce showed us he was larger than life in so many ways. I’d like to share and acknowledge some of the beautiful gifts he has given us.
Food. Anyone who knows Bruce, knows how he loved food. My husband Kent and I knew we were in for some great food and great times with this man, when on our very first camping trip with him and mom, instead of hotdogs, we ate homemade lamb shishliki by the fire. Kent worried about wild animals attacking us all night after the shishliki marinade had been spilt around the campsite. He grew his own food, building a beautiful raised garden outside their home that flourished each year full of bounty which he turned into homemade horseradish, borsch, and dills. I will treasure his last batch of borsch, some of which I have in my freezer. He also brewed homemade tea from home-grown herb sprigs, with some still hanging to dry beneath their deck at home. He love to go on wild mushroom picking excursions. Bruce enjoyed using his smoker..smoking meats of all kinds that many of us were lucky enough to enjoy. He loved nice kitchen tools and gadgets and made great use of them, even including his dad Ernie’s antique pasta maker, and would share recipe ideas and cooking tips via texts almost daily. This past Thanksgiving with Collin and Vanessa, he brought home walnuts from Ontario and was excited to show us how to hull them. Some of these walnuts are in his arrangement here at the front of the church. A few years ago, he came home from Fort Mac after visiting Kristin and Nate, so excited to try to replicate some African food they had introduced him to. His latest project he had just started within the last few weeks was curing the meat for a charcuterie platter for Christmas Eve. Kaitlin and Claude, his colleague and friend from Cigar lake, have been carrying on this batch for him. I know I’ll miss his advise and be shedding more than a few tears making cabbage rolls this Christmas.
Adventure. Pretty much everyone who knows Bruce has had an adventure with him. He would try anything and find things to do anywhere. He honoured life with his curiosity and savoured opportunities to grow and learn.
Kent, myself, and our children were so blessed to share a cabin with Bruce and mom for several years, and Andria and Mason in recent years also made Christopher Lake their recreation destination. Vanessa and Christian, Kristin and Petra…I’m sure all have wonderful memories at Christopher Lake with Bruce. It is a terrible loss for all the grandchildren that time with him at the lake has ended, especially for little Wilder who never had a chance to be there with his grandpa. I know our kids are especially going to miss playing board games with grandpa, time by the fire, and cruising around on the pontoon boat. He loved exploring the north with trips to Crean at Waskesiu with the boats cruising the big beautiful lake, fishing, and ending in beach side hotdog roasts. Some of the drift wood from one of those Crean trips is part of the arrangement here. He and I loved planning food and snacks for those trips and would giggle at mom when she got aggravated with the food prep. Bruce found adventure in knowledge and loved learning about new things and planning …his phone or tablet was never far from reach so he could look up some piece of information that someone was wondering about. His electric bicycle was a great source of adventure for him bike riding and touring around the city … for example, last spring he rode his electric bike downtown and took in an air guitar competition .. just because…which we joined him for and had a lot of laughs. We were lucky enough to live 5 houses down from Bruce, mom and Kaitlin…and in summer months would often see him cruising by our back path on his bike (very fast I might add)….it is heart wrenching to know that we will never see that again. These days I can barely look out our back window, because I used to look out and know he might be seeing the trees and sunset as well, and right now nothing feels the same knowing he is not sharing the view.
Family. For Bruce, if you were family he was, as my husband put it, “all in” and he would help you in any way he could. When my husband’s father passed away Bruce stepped up and became such an amazing support for him and our family.
He’s been a wonderful son-in-law to my gramma, including her on various excursions, helping her with anything she needed, and showing her patience and kindness. If he was able, he was a cheering fan at many of our kids’ hockey and football games and swim meets. He was the organizer and planner of many family reunions, loved relations and generations of people sharing time together, and simply bringing people together. Everyone felt that they had a special relationship with him..he had a way relating to people with his kind and accepting nature and quietly showered people with love.
Spirit and faith. Over the years, I’ve come to regard our patriarch, Bruce, as my family’s spiritual leader. Bruce enriched my and my children’s life with much spirituality and grace. When we were recently moving, I believe he helped us sell our home, by giving us a St. Joseph statue to pray and place in our yard. It sold in 3 days. Then, when we moved into our new home, Bruce led us all around the house blessing it with Holy Water. It was so special and meaningful to me and I’ll never forget it. Thanksgiving wasn’t just for eating turkey with Bruce…he led us in sitting and sharing with each other what we were thankful for…always being sure the true meaning of celebrations were recognized. We were blessed to celebrate several traditional Ukrainian Christmas Eve dinners with him…he would work for days on food preparation, get hay for the table and always set an empty place for those who had passed before us, following tradition. I experienced my first blessing of the Easter food basket at the Ukrainian Orthodox Church with him. He had a reverence for ceremony and many dinners were started by his saying grace and making a toasts . My kids are careful to follow his rule of always making eye contact with people you are toasting with. His thought and care he put into everything infused life with meaning and enrichment. To me, Bruce was angel on earth, doing God’s work here.
On Nov 19th, at about 2pm, there was an accident. From that point on, for many of us, our world has been spinning and spiralling in what seems out of control. Then started days upon days spent in the ICU waiting room with my mom and the girls, Kaitlin, Vanessa, Kristin, Andria, Bruce’s siblings, Deb and Loretta, and Neil, our partners, his mother Bernadette, and my Aunt Sheree. We found ourselves anchored there, to him and to each other. I had never spent so much time with so many of Bruce’s relatives together in one place and will be forever moved and comforted by how much we were brought together and were very much connected through that time. I know that Bruce wanted us together, supporting him and each other. And as we sat there day after day, I was struck by the goodness of these people. Bruce’s people..all influenced and grown in Bruce’s love.
And now, the pain is deep and the loss is far reaching. Despite our desperate prayers and pleading for our Angel Bruce to remain with us here, he is no longer. We struggle and ask why he can’t be here with us doing God’s work…why he had to leave us now and how we will go on without him. But, like the bible verse his mother, Bernadette, carefully chose for his remembrance card says , God took him to protect his tender heart from something…and I find comfort in this. We have to let you go so God can protect you.
So reluctantly saying goodbye for now, I promise to try my best to carry on things you’ve taught us, and to honour your devotion to family and God.
I thank God for the time we were blessed with you in our lives, and hold on and wait for the day that I will see you again.
EULOGY FROM VANESSA FANTILLO . . . to follow
Mass of christian Burial will be celebrated on Thursday November 30, 2017 at 10:30am at the Cathedral of the Holy Family at 123 Nelson Road, Saskatoon.