March 16, 1946 – March 16, 2021
It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of George Arthur Lopushinsky. He passed away at his home on his 75th birthday.
George was born on March 16, 1946, in Vancouver, BC to Celina Lapka. He grew up on the farm with his siblings. George’s childhood was very tough, and it eventually led to him leaving home at the age of 15. He was forced to work hard, learned to appreciate the small things and relied on his grit in order to survive and pursue the life he wanted for himself. In 1968 George married Anne McNeil in Saskatchewan and ended up moving to Langley, BC to start a family. They ended up parting ways in the late 70’s.
In 1979, George married Ellen, the love of his life. They were completely inseparable from newlyweds until their final days together. They both graduated from university with a passion for teaching and shortly thereafter accepted a job opportunity in the Yukon Territory. They started their careers in the remote Yukon community of Old Crow, where George was quickly given the nickname ‘Sasquatch’ because of his thick head of hair and full beard. The following year they moved to Faro, where they lived for five years and met so many of their lifelong friends. They spent one year in Teslin and in 1987 they put down roots in Whitehorse. George taught many grades in many schools over the years, but if a student’s name was mentioned, he would remember them and usually had a story to tell about them. In the early 2000’s George was diagnosed with a rare neuromuscular disorder, which impacted his physical quality of life and inevitably forced him into early retirement. His students will remember him as a firm, but fair teacher and undoubtably remember his consistent fashion choice of a black leather vest, tucked in button-up shirt, jeans and belt buckle.
Friday night was always dedicated as ‘family night’ (with an open door to friends) which included playing pool in the basement and listening to music. He loved spending summer vacations camping and fishing in Alaska and more recently in the Yukon. It makes us smile knowing that Dad’s photo as “the Iconic Northern Man” lives on in the photo albums of countless southern tourists who eagerly snapped his picture, while he more than enjoyed posing for them in his flannel jacket, with either an axe over his shoulder or a freshly caught salmon in hand.
His passing has left a hole in the hearts of all that knew him. He was strong, selfless, loyal, reliable, disciplined, principled and caring. His family and friends will remember him best by his efforts spent making people laugh, his work ethic, his sense of humour, his ability to fix anything, his stern looks and his great smile.
George is predeceased by his mother Celina, sister Shirley, first wife Anne and soulmate Ellen.
George is survived by his sons James (Randi), Shane (Robyne) and daughter Jessica with wife Ellen; daughters Cheryl Keleher, Debra (Derek) and Wendy from first marriage (Anne McNeil); grandchildren Amanda (Dustin), Brittany, Ella, Ryan, Scarlett, Aubrey and Mila; brothers Joe, Jack Hutton (Jackie), and Bob (Sherry); and many other extended family members. George also leaves behind many dear friends that he always considered family. Thank you to all who have reached out and helped support the family with a special thanks to the Beaudin Family for their love & friendship along the way.
George and Ellen, together again and forever in our hearts. “See you later alligator!”
A joint celebration of life for George and Ellen will be held once restrictions have been lifted. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made in George’s name to the Myasthenia Gravis Society of Canada (mgcanada.org) Obituary
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