ZYTARUK, Dr. George John
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BEd, BA(Hon), MA, PhD, DLitt(Hon), President Emeritus
Died peacefully at North Bay Regional Health Centre on April 12, age 85.
Predeceased by his parents, John Zytaruk and Domka Wennick; brothers William, Steve, and Michael; sisters Mary and Anne.
Survived by his wife of 55 years, JoAnn Korenda Zytaruk; children Carolyn Anne Zytaruk-Dugger (Edward Dugger), John Andrew Zytaruk (Collette Savard), Dr. Maria Catharine Zytaruk; grandson Daniel William Dugger; sisters Sandra Chappel and Lily Wiren of Kelowna B.C., and numerous nephews and nieces.
George was a devoted husband, father, and grandfather. He loved his family, Canada, his Ukrainian heritage, poetry, woodworking, and the Habs. Born in rural Alberta, George respected self-sufficiency, hard work, and persistence. Knowing little English when starting grade one, he eventually won the Governor General's Bronze Medal for the District of Smoky Lake in grade nine. Summers were spent as a carpenter with brother Steve. George joined the Princess Patricia Canadian Light Infantry COTC and upon graduation in 1949 obtained his Infantry commission and rank of Reserve Army Captain. George earned his BEd, BA (Honors English) and MA at the University of Alberta in Edmonton. He taught school in Alberta at Hairy Hill, Fort Assiniboine, Athabasca, and Edmonton. His PhD degree in English was granted by the University of Washington in Seattle in 1965, the year his teaching at the University of Alberta began. Dr. Zytaruk was appointed in 1967 as founding President of Nipissing University, a post he held for 16 years. He additionally held the academic rank of full professor and achieved an international reputation in D.H. Lawrence studies. After retirement he continued to teach English language and literature and in 1992 was awarded an Honorary Doctorate of Letters from Nipissing University. He became the first Professor Emeritus of the University in 1997, and President Emeritus in 2011. In May 2002 the new academic wing was named Zytaruk Hall in his honour. George is remembered for kindness, love of literature, outstanding teaching, and gracious manners. The motto he gave Nipissing University was his own: "integritas".
Thank you to the VON nurses and personal support workers who cared for George at home, and to the outstanding palliative nursing staff on A1. Special thanks to Dr. C. Catton of Princess Margaret Hospital, Dr. J. Galipeau and Anna Ouellette Galipeau, friends Dorothy Bale, John Hachkowski, Stan Lawlor, and Anne Moffat.
Family will receive friends at the MARTYN FUNERAL HOME on Wednesday, April 17 from 7:00 to 9:00 p.m. and from noon on Thursday, April 18 until the time of the Memorial Service at 1:00 p.m.
Donations to the Nipissing University Zytaruk Memorial Scholarship in English Studies, or to the North Bay Regional Health Centre would be appreciated.
Online condolences at www.martynfh.com.
Published in The Edmonton Journal on Apr. 16, 2013