Kohalyk, John

Regimental Number: M605475
Rank: Gunner

John, born on June 1, 1921 at Stuartburn, Manitoba, was the 6th child born to Hryu and Agnistkor Kohalyk (Kochalyk). He had three brothers; Frank, Stefan and Anton and three sisters; Lina, Rosia and Helen. The senior Kohalyk’s had immigrated to Canada from Galicia, Austria in 1900 and settled on a farm near Stuartburn, Manitoba. Stuartburn is considered to be the first Ukrainian community in western Canada. The family eventually moved to Orkney, Saskatchewan where John attended the Marne School. At age 16, John decided to leave school and moved to northern Alberta where his brother, Frank, had established a farm at Bezanson. He was employed in the logging industry for one year and then farmed with his brother for two years.

On November 20, 1942, John was called up for service and enrolled at the Grande Prairie Training Centre where he received basic training. On January 25, 1943, John was transferred to the Training Centre in Halifax, Nova Scotia for advanced training. In April 1943, John successfully completed a Clerk Course “Group C” and was employed with the Head-Quarters orderly room staff and at the Reception Centre. Gunner John Kohalyk (Regimental # M605475) served in Canada, received the War Medal 1939-45 and was discharged on July 6, 1944 at Vancouver, BC.

John met Kathleen Stewart and they subsequently married. They had three children; a daughter who passed away at the age of one, and two boys; Steven and Kevin. Kathleen also had a daughter, Louise, from her previous marriage. Kay worked as a waitress and John found employment with O’Keefe Breweries. Unfortunately Kay passed away in 1968 leaving John with two small boys aged five and seven to raise. John was a wonderful father who spent a great deal of time with his children. He retired after working for O’Keefe Breweries for 42 years. Once retired, John enjoyed trips to the Race Track. He passed away on May 9, 1997 at Vancouver and was cremated.

Contributed by Wanda Zenner

Service File
Kevin Kohalyk (son) Vancouver BC
1926 Canada Census