UKRAINIAN BAPTIST HERITAGE CENTRE

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JOHN SUK was born in Brest, Belarus April 29, 1928.  He immigrated to Canada at the age of 6 months with his parents Trofim and Maria, who were in search of  a better life.  John’s family settled on a homestead in the Moon Lake, Alberta area, until 1951, when the family moved to Edmonton.

John gave his life to Christ at a young age and as a teenager, was baptized by immersion.  John attended Nazarene Bible College in Red Deer for part of his high school education, aspiring to be an electrical engineer and mechanic.  While there, he took voice lessons and sang in the choir, the first of many he would be in.  He always loved to sing, not only in choirs, but also in quartets, trios and duets, the old gospel tunes being his favourite.

In 1952, he met Nettie Piatocha, his future wife, and courted her from Edmonton to Benito, Manitoba, where she lived, until they married in 1954.  They were married 52 years, and had a relationship built on mutual faith in God, respect, friendship and deep, deep love for each other.  They parented 6 children, Caroline, Marianne (who passed away at age 2), Ken, Cathie, Colleen and Kelvin.  They both shared a deep faith and love for Jesus their Saviour and for missions.  John and Nettie loved to travel and shared the gift of hospitality.  John was a founder of the First Ukrainian Evangelical Baptist Church of Edmonton, now known as Evangelical Baptist Church, for over 50 years.

While in Edmonton, John made many career choices.  He started out as a Fuller Brush salesman, worked in retail, and then was a milkman with Silverwood Dairies.  During that time, he prayed that God would give a job that would allow him the flexibility to travel and attend the various church conferences in Canada and the United States he was so involved with.  God answered that prayer by allowing him to hurt his back so he would have to make a change.  That led John to State Farm Insurance and he enjoyed a prosperous career as State Farm Agent until retirement in 1995.  His job, as was the rest of his life, was his ministry and throughout the years he impacted the lives not only of his staff, but his clients, colleagues and many friends, with his honesty, compassion, integrity, gentleness, and generosity.

John slipped away into eternity in the early hours of November 24, 2006, in his own home with family at his side.

Funeral services were held on November 30, 2006 where his family, friends and colleagues congregated to remember the life and service of John Suk, a good man with a deep faith.

Nettie Suk wrote the following poem in memory of her husband:

“UNTIL THEN”

This cold day in November

My heart is warmed to remember

The fifty-two wonderful years

The best years of your life

You shared with your wife

And now, left me in a valley of tears.

 

Together, our faith bound us

Because Jesus found us

And forgave us all our sin.

He died for us and arose

Therefore, my heart knows

I will see you, beloved, again.

 

How empty life seems

But God’s love and peace beams

Peace we cannot comprehend

Through family and friends

God’s comfort never ends

Because I know I will see you again.

 

So until THEN!!

 

Nettie Suk

 

Article published in the Spring/Summer 2007 issue of The Christian Herald, Vol. 65, No. 1, pages 20-21

 

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