Obituary of Johnny Balaniuk
BALANIUK – The family of Johnny Balaniuk sadly announce his passing on January 31st at Yorkton Regional Health Centre. He was 82 years of age.
On a quiet summer evening a baby boy was born. The day was Sunday, August 10, 1941, he was named Johnny Peter Balaniuk. His parents were young struggling farmers, so he grew up poor, but happy. Family was very important to him, he communicated with them up until he died. He attended Brandon School just north of Wroxton. At the age of 18, he got a job in Winnipeg with CN, working as a cook’s helper in the dining car. He worked there until he turned 19 and got married. He worked in Winnipeg until the spring when he returned to the family farm to help his dad. He did a variety of jobs, bull dozing trees for farmers around Kamsack and working in a hardware store. Later he purchased a newer car and took over Barry’s Taxi in Canora which he operated for two years. He then took on employment with a transport company hauling fuel up north. Later he purchased a secondhand truck and began hauling crude oil to Northern Petroleum Refinery in Kamsack. A worker’s strike at the refinery resulted in a complete shut down. This had Johnny looking for further employment with his one truck and trailer. This he acquired with Pounder Emulsions, but since they already had another truck/trailer operator, they convinced Johnny to buy out the other. This resulted in Johnny now owning two truck/trailer units. From then, things only got bigger and better.
Johnny loved his job, being on the open road, doing a job that no one could do as well as him. This working relation ended in 2009 after 30 years when the company requested a 18% kick back Johnny sold all his trucking assets. This resulted in the end of Balaniuk Transport Limited which owned 14 semi trucks, 24 tanker trailers, 3 flatbeds and 2 refrigerated vans for hauling groceries.
At this point, Johnny went to the U.S.A. and purchased a beautiful motor home and for 7 years spent winters in Texas where he made numerous friends who learnt about his time when he was an Ice Road Trucker for 9 years. During his trucking career, he hauled hay bales, wide load grain bins, cattle, all types of food from California to Ontario food terminal. In the summer he hauled emulsion and asphalt, in the winter he did anything and everything else. He was authorized to work from BC across Canada to PEI and into 42 U.S. States. A truck driver through and through, Johnny could do things with any truck that most people couldn’t do with a car.
Johnny is predeceased by his parents, John and Mary (Skwernuik) Balaniuk, his little brother and his oldest son Johnny III rd.
He leaves to cherish memories of him, his wife of 63 years and his four children, Theresa Tkachuk (Ken), Darcy Balaniuk, Timothy Balaniuk and Martie Balaniuk; six grandchildren and two great grandchildren, as well as many relatives and friends right across North America.
Prayers were held on Monday, February 5, 2024 and the Funeral Liturgy on Tuesday, February 6, 2024, both services at
St. Mary’s Ukrainian Catholic Church in Yorkton with Rev. Father Basil Malowany as the Celebrant. The Responses were led by Lorne Stechyshyn & Funeral Choir members. The cross bearer was Darcy Balaniuk and the epistle reader was Laurinda Jeffery. The interment followed in the Garden of St. Luke at Yorkton Memorial Gardens with Jarren Balaniuk, Nathan Balaniuk, Brennan Balaniuk, Blair Bieber, Mark Tetoff and Chris Jeffery serving as the casket bearers. Memorial donations in Johnny’s memory may be made to St. Mary’s Church Building Fund as gifts of remembrance. Condolences to the family can be sent to baileysfuneralhome.com
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