Paul Stelmaschuk

03-Jul-1923 - 22-Jun-2018

Obituary Overview

Paul Stelmaschuk

On June 22, 2018 Professor Paul Stelmaschuk passed away peacefully at Middlechurch Personal Care Home in Middlechurch, MB.
He was born on July 3, 1923 to parents Joseph and Sofia.
Paul completed 2 years of High School at Spedden, the last year at Grande Prairie. There he was one of the top students with his name on a wall plaque.
He is mourned by Anna, his loving wife; 6 children; 11 grandchildren; as well as 5 great-granchildren. The six children are: 1) Tony (Oksana), teacher in Townsville, Australia, now retired. His children are Dr. Chris (Marissa), they have a son Elias and a daughter Sharon. Tony’s daughter Hilary (Harry) is a graphic arts designer. 2) Terry (Jan) dentist, retired, daughter Kim (Tylor) is a nurse, her daughter is Harper; Adelle (Victor) is a school teacher, she has twins, a boy Marshall and a girl Davey. 3) Natalie (Rick) computer operator, retired, and son Jesse is a real estate salesman. 4) Dean (Gertie), dentist, retired. His son Greyson is a security patrol, and daughter Taryl is a graduate in Bus. Admin. 5) Michael (Marion), lawyer, his 4 sons are Jake, Sean, Ben, and Joel. 6) Dr. Stephen, PhD in microbiology, working in Quebec City. All will miss Paul’s good humor, warm relationship, and love he bestowed upon them.
In his youth Paul belonged to a 4-H club. He won a trip to the Olds School of Agriculture. There he won a scholarship and returned to the school to take the two-in-one course. The school opened Paul’s eyes to the scientific part of the Agriculture Industry and he went on to the University of Alberta, graduating in 1951 with a B.Sc. in Agriculture, and 2 courses short of a simultaneous B. Education. He took a job in North Dakota teaching G.I.’s agriculture. After 5 years he got a position in Minneapolis as an employee of the University of Minneapolis. He worked as County Agent in Thief River Falls. While County Agent, the 4-H enrollment almost doubled to over 400 and the 4-H leadership increased to 81. He started a DHIA (Dairy Herd Improvement Association), greatly increased membership in a Crop Improvement Association which then put on the fall Feed and Crops Show which included seminars on agriculture topics. He helped to organize a Farm Management Association which then hired a specialist in Bill Penning; he devoted much time to Farm Management in Pennington County. Under Paul’s leadership the county won numerous awards (e.g. for most soil testing on a per farm basis, farm safety, communications, and farm management). As county agent, he was promoted from instructor to Assistant Professor, and then to Associate Professor.
He completed his Masters in Secondary School Admin at the University of N.D. in 1962. Soon after that, in 1963, the University of Minneapolis appointed Paul as the first Rural Development Specialist in Minneapolis. Three years later when the same type of position opened in Alberta, Paul’s home province, he took the job or Rural Development Specialist working with HRDA (Human Resource Development Authority).
After 5 years, Paul was selected to become Director of the School of Agriculture at the University of Manitoba in Winnipeg. During his time, 14 years, the school added a one year program in Horticulture. There was also a one year program in Dairying in addition to the two year program which emphasized farm management. During Paul’s 14 year tenure with the University of Manitoba, there were about 11 graduates almost the same number as there were in the years 1900 – 1972, a span of 72 years.
After 3 years, in 1975, Paul was promoted to the rank of full professor at the University of Manitoba. In 1979-1980 he was granted a one year sabbatical. He used it to conduct a study of “Post high school, non- degree, agriculture education in Canada”. He wrote his findings in a 550 page book and supplied a copy of the book to each of the institutions he had worked with. In addition Paul served for 6 years as member on the Board of Directors of St. Andrew’s College, a Ukrainian Orthodox Theological College located on the University of Manitoba campus. In the last year Paul was made Chairman of the Board. One year he also served on the College Senate.
Paul was an avid golfer and in 1997-98 he played 388 games in one year, a record for Canada.
Paul’s work has been acknowledged in various ways. 1) he is listed in the Who is who in Canada” books from 1976 – 1996. 2) He holds membership in the Canadian 4-H 500 Club. 3) He was awarded the Shevchenko medal in 1995 – this is the highest award granted by CUC (Canadian Ukrainian Congress). 4) He was awarded the Certificate of Excellence by the Ukrainian Self Reliance League. 5) He was chosen by the Canadian government to be on a team of 5 to help Indonesia develop. This was a two month assignment. 6) He was voted into the 5th degree by the Order of St. Andrew. 7) He was also a director and Canada’s representative in the National Association of Colleges and Teachers of Agriculture (a U.S. organization).
Paul retired in October of 1986. He and his wife Anna, who was of great support and help to him, took up residence in Kelowna, B.C. (a fruit growing area). Both enjoyed music. Anna sang with an opera company in Edmonton; both Paul and Anna sang with the Koshetz, and the church choirs in Winnipeg, and the church choir in Kelowna.
Upon Paul’s retirement, Dr. Nairmark, the president of the University of Manitoba wrote the following to Paul:
“During your 14 years with the School of Agriculture, enrollment increased dramatically – this required innovative and skillful management – without sacrificing content – you were eminently successful in providing the administrative leadership necessary to maintain the reputation the school enjoyed. Your participation as coordinator in NCTA kept you in the forefront of your discipline – you held a highly successful conference in 1978 – I’m told this was in no small measure due to your organizational abilities. – May I, on behalf of my colleagues in central administration record our appreciation for your devoted service to the University – and may the years ahead be a time of happiness – enjoy your retirement.”
Paul and Anna have funded a scholarship and a bursary at the School of Agriculture at the University of Manitoba. They also developed a foundation at the University of Alberta to assist professional people who wish to help Ukraine improve its extension teaching.
Anyone wishing to assist extension education in Ukraine – in lieu of flowers please send gifts to:
The Stelmaschuk Foundation, CIUS,
University of Alberta, 352 Athabasca Hall
Edmonton, AB T6G 2E8

Condolences and sympathy may be sent to the family at

Funeral Details

  • Funeral Service

    Glen Eden Funeral Home

    Event Times:

    02-Jul-2018 2:00 PM - 3:00 PM

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