July 20, 1926 – February 21, 2015

John passed peacefully with his family at his side after a short stay at NRGH. He is survived by Ella, his loving wife of 60 years; three children, son John (Fay) in Qualicum, son Rocky, daughter Donna, both in Nanaimo; two beloved grandchildren Alexandr Kurulak and Esme Kurulak, both in Qualicum; two of his twelve siblings, brother Nick (Rose) of Kamloops, and sister Georgina of Winnipeg. Many sisters-in-law, nieces and nephews. John was predeceased by his father George Kurulak in 1935 and his mother Barbara Kurulak (nee Anaka) in 1983. John was born and raised on the family farm near the township of Stenen, Saskatchewan. In his early work life John worked on the farm and on lumber crews, then started a sawmill operation in northern Saskatchewan. Once he met Ella, whose family had a neighbouring farm, they moved to Prince Rupert and started their family, moving to Nanaimo in 1961. John worked as a pipefitter at pulp mills in Prince Rupert and Squamish, before working at Harmac until retirement. Outside of work and during his happy retirement years, John enjoyed gardening, woodworking, sports and family time. John gave generously of his time and skills. He was especially interested in sports, politics, local community and neighbourhood projects. He shared the bounty of his garden and workshop. Many friends and family will treasure those memories and the handcrafted work he created. John lived with dementia for over a decade and continued to have a good quality of life, living at home with Ella, with his children nearby regularly. He will be missed by many and well-remembered for his good humor, a wink and a smile and much more. The family thanks Dr. Luella Miller for her support over the years, and at NRGH sixth floor Palliative Care staff for their kindness and compassion.

Service and Orthodox Mass by Fr. Chad Pawlyshyn will be on Saturday, February 28th, 11:00 a.m. at Telford’s Chapel, 595 Townsite Nanaimo followed by burial at the Chinese cemetery. Flowers are gratefully declined. Donations may be made in John’s memory to Alzheimer’s Society of BC. Condolences may be offered at

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