Marty (Martha) Helen KRUHLAK

With heavy hearts and profound sorrow, we announce the sudden passing of Marty (Martha) Helen Kruhlak, nee Kubrak. She passed away, surrounded by her loving family, on August 19th. Cherished and remembered by daughter and son, Connie (Larry), Mike (Mela); grandson, Brett (Jenna); brother, Orest (Linda); predeceased by husband, Ole.

On May 17th, 1942, Marty was born in Mostyska, Ukraine, to Dmytro and Maria Kubrak. In 1948, in an effort to seek a better life away from a war-torn Europe, they began the process of migrating to Canada. During an immigration medical in Germany, there was a concern about a “shadow” on one of their chest x-rays. As a result of Marty’s ability to, at the age of six, speak fluent German, as well as Ukrainian and Polish, she was able to translate for her parents. With her long braids, bows, and charm, she convinced the German doctor to allow them to emigrate. They settled in Vegreville, Alberta, and in 1953 were blessed with a second child, Orest.

In her adult years, Marty studied at the University of Alberta School of Nursing, developing a career that suited her disposition towards compassion, tenderness, and love. She graduated from nursing in 1963. Marty was a labour and delivery nurse during her years in Vancouver, BC. She also experienced nursing in pediatrics for many years and finally family medicine for the remainder of her time in nursing.

Partway through her studies, a fellow classmate and best friend convinced Marty to go on a blind date with a man whom she described as “really groovy.” As it turns out, her friend was right, and Marty and Ole spent 52 years together, a marriage filled with laughter, support, and unconditional love. The family was complete through the addition of their daughter Connie and their son Mike.

Throughout her life, Marty was incredibly passionate about reading; from her early days as a child reading Nancy Drew, and throughout her adulthood, she relished in her books, always excited to learn more about the world. She held a passion for developing knowledge, exploring new, progressive ideas, and always allowing herself to fall into a good story. She had an appreciation for art, thoroughly enjoyed music and movies, but most of all, she adored the good, competitive fun of a round of cards or a board game.

Her mind was sharp; she was ever attentive and full of intelligence, humour, and always exhibited an abundance of wit. But most importantly, she was full of love. From her career, to the people she surrounded herself with, and finally, in every interaction with those closest to her, her love was boundless and authentic. This love also extended to her children and her grandson, Brett, for whom she displayed ceaseless admiration in the form of unlimited generosity and respect.

In the last five years of her life, she developed an array of friendships with her neighbours at the Highlands Senior Apartments. After her passing, her friends described her as the “Shining Light” of the building; if a decision needed to be made, Marty was approached first: “Marty will know what to do.” They will miss her baking and her cooking, her knowledgeable medical advice, and her laughter.

In dealing with adversity, Marty was optimistic but always realistic. If the problem was beyond her control, incapable of being resolved, she accepted it and moved forward with grace. “It is what it is,” she would say. As her family and dearest friends, we are struggling, and will likely continue to struggle for some time in dealing with the sudden nature of this loss. We hope that her graceful spirit can live on in us, helping us to move forward but to never forget.

“It is what it is.”


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