Thomas James Stefanyk
Thomas James Stefanyk (70) passed away peacefully on August 17, 2022 at the Grey Nuns Hospital in Edmonton. Thomas was survived by his son Mykyta (Michelle), daughter Zonia (Zach), brother Larry (Cindy), sister Cyrene (Don), nieces (Anne, Jill, and Kendell), and numerous cousins.
Thomas was able to overcome many challenges in life - one of the most significant being a serious childhood injury threatening the loss of his leg. At the age of eight, he was on his bike and was passing a horse drawn milk cart when the horse spooked and the horse’s hoof came down on his knee. The injury was so severe that the doctors were not sure if they could save his leg. After eight hours of surgery they were successful. After several surgeries and many months in the hospital (and a determined spirit), Thomas was able to walk again.
Shortly after, Thomas’s parents encouraged him to start dancing lessons. He became involved in ballroom and tango dancing competitions with his sister. Later, he started lessons in Ukranian dancing. At the age of 15, he was accepted into the Shumka Company. He performed all over the world. During his 17 years with Shumka, Thomas was also involved in the executive committee. His final performance was at Shumka’s 25th anniversary celebration. After retiring from the company, he assisted with the creation of an Alumni Association.
Thomas was very talented and had several career paths including: garbage man, Firefighter, Paramedic, Senior Fire Captain, Massage Therapist, and Massage Therapist Instructor (Grant MacEwan College). Later in life, Thomas was ordained in the Greek Orthodox church. He held several positions in spiritual services such as, Operations Supervisor (Capital Health), Coordinator of Spiritual Care (Caritas Health Group), and Director, Mission and Diversity Services (Covenant Health).
Thomas’s friends and colleagues described him as committed and generous. During his career Thomas received several recognition awards, including: The Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal, the Alberta Emergency Services Medal, the Canadian Forces Medallion for Distinguished Service, the Alberta Centennial Medal, the Inductee into the City of Edmonton Cultural Hall of Fame, and the Papal Service Medal.
After his retirement from spiritual services, Thomas worked for Costco for over 10 years. What started as a casual job soon became another career and he moved into a supervisory role. He was loved by many and several of his coworkers became like a second family to him. He will be fondly remembered for his kind and caring spirit as well as his collection of colourful glasses and matching shirts. Thomas’s brother is very grateful for the outpouring of love and support shown by his Costco coworkers.
Thomas’s family would like to thank the physicians and staff at the Grey Nuns Hospital for the excellent care they provided.
A celebration of life will be held on September 24, 2022 at the Norwood Legion (11150 82 St NW), in Edmonton Alberta from 1-5 pm.