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It is with heavy hearts that our family announces the passing of our beloved father and husband Chester Kuc in the early morning hours of February 16, 2013.
Left to cherish his memory are his wife, Luba; and two daughters, Larysa Kuc and Daria (Grant Stuart) Kuc. Chester is predeceased by his parents, John and Bernice Kuc.
Although Chester was born and raised in Edmonton, his love and passion for his Ukrainian heritage began at a very early age. Because of Chester's parents' involvement in the Ukrainian community, he was encouraged to participate in various activities such as Ukrainian school, choir, plays, skits, writing Pysanky, and folk dancing. He also received his degree in violin and Grade 10 in piano from the Royal Conservatory of Music. Chester's love for dance began at the age of seven and would lead to the formation of one of the largest dance schools in Edmonton as well as being the founder and artistic director of two vibrant dance groups in Edmonton, Shumka and Cheremosh, all while working full-time for the Government of Alberta.
Throughout the years Chester was recognized for his hard work and dedication in the community and was the recipient of sixteen awards, including the following: in 1969, Chester received a "Lifetime Membership award for his dedication and highly artistic work as Founder and Director of Shumka." In 1974, he received the "Achievement Award in recognition of outstanding service in the field of Ethno- Cultural Activities" from the Province of Alberta. And in most recent years (2003), Chester was presented with the "Queen's Golden Jubilee Medal" for past voluntary contributions which took Chester on a trip to Ottawa to be presented with this prestigious award.
Inspired by a trip to Ukraine in the 1980s, Chester began to collect and preserve authentic Pysanka designs. In the years to follow, he began writing Pysanky and assembled a collection of his own which resulted in a collection of over 2,500 Pysanky. From March to May 2006 this Pysanka collection, together with many of his private artifacts, were displayed for seven weeks at the Royal Alberta Museum.
While Chester enjoyed donating his time and energy to different organizations, he found great pleasure spending time travelling together with his family, walking down Ada Boulevard with the dogs, having family dinners, and taking daily trips to Tim's with his wife. He was a wonderful father, husband, and a thoughtful and generous person who was always willing to help others.
Prayers Thursday, February 21 at 7:00 p.m. at St. John's Ukrainian Orthodox Cathedral, 10951 - 107 Street.
Funeral Rite Friday, February 22 at 10:00 a.m. at St. John's Ukrainian Orthodox Cathedral. Right Reverend Stephan Semotiuk officiating with interment in St. Michael's Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Kule Chair for Ukrainian Ethnography or to the Ukrainian Canadian Foundation of Taras Shevchenko, 202, 952 Main Street, Winnipeg, MB R2W 3P4.
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Published in The Edmonton Journal on Feb. 19, 2013