Born - March 15 1917 at Hafford SK
Died - November 5 1982 Saskatoon SK
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Anastasia, Nettie to all of us, was born to Anthony and Katherina Zuck at Hafford Saskatchewan. The second of six children.
During the 1930's the seed for the Brotherhood of Ukrainian Catholics(BUC) was planted by the Rev. Stephen Semczuk then pastor in the Alvena district. Soon it was evident that the youth and women desired time to themselves so branches of youth and women were formed. Rev. Nestor Drohomiretsky, pastor in Hafford was instumental in organizing the first branch of Youth in Hafford in 1937 adopting the name Ukrainian Catholic Youth(UCY). Nettie was appointed secretary for the youth groups and kept contact with the branches as they were organized. In July 1944, the first Congress of the UCY was called in Saskatoon with representitives from all the youth groups as well as party's interested in starting their own branches. There the first National Executive was elected with Morris Holota as president and Nettie as secretary.
Nettie graduated from Saskatoon Normal School, in 1936, as a qualified teacher. Her first teaching position was in the Uhrynow School seven miles south of Krydor, which would be approximately 20 miles from the Zuck homestead north of Hafford. She taught there for two years, an unusually long tenure in the same location. During those days, there was no consolidated school unit to administer schools, nor tenure regulations to protect teachers.
In 1938, Nettie taught for a half year at our Craigmore School. While at Craigmore School she taught two of her younger siblings, Victor in grade 9, and Julia who was in the elementary grades. Resigning that December, she accepted a position at Light School, located in Arlee, SK. with the Saskatoon West Unit. There she stayed till the following Christmas 1939. She completed that 1939 school year in the Greerson School that was in the Saskatoon East Unit, and continued on till June 1941. Again a position opened up near home, and there she taught in the Blaine Lake Superintendency. First at Alberton School for two years, followed by two years in our own Craigmore School, just a mile from the homestead. These being the war years, that found two of her brothers, Donald and Bohdan away in active service. So her mother and father, left to manage the farm, welcomed and were grateful to have Nettie's help.
Mother died in July 1945, Nettie elected to stay at home for a portion of the fall term to help her dad adjust to the loss, and help care for the home and her two youngest siblings. Later in 1945, Nettie resumed her career teaching at Zoria School in the Medstead School Unit. But again interrupted teaching for a crisis at home in 1946 (why?). In Krydor, her brother Victor, a freshly graduated teacher, and her, both taught together for three years till 1949. Nettie continued at Krydor for one more year alone, leaving for Canora SK. in the spring of 1950. In Canora she stayed six years, minus three months.
Again Nettie interrupted her career when her family needed her. This time it was brother Donald, then living and working in Indianapolis, Indiana who put out the call. Donald's wife Vera was critically ill and Nettie was needed to help with the the house, plus care for Donald's two small children, Cathy and Peter, Also to be a very important moral support for the entire family, during a most trying time. Nettie stayed in the U.S.A. for two years in total. While there she went through her mental catalogue of teachers she had worked with that might make a good wife for Don. Elma Kelly was thereby introduced to Don, and after a 'postal' courtship married Don and family. When Elma came, it was very hard for Nettie, as well as on Don and his children to leave.
Returning to Canada, she again resumed her career teaching at Marengo, in the Kindersley, SK. School Unit. There she taught high school home economics for the years 1958 to 1960. Nettie enrolled in the University of Saskatchewan in Saskatoon, completing a Bachelor of Education degree with home economics as her major. From there she located in Yorkton SK and spent nine years. This was the longest period she would teach at the same school in her entire 33 year career. She ended her teaching career in Ituna, SK. with the Melville School Unit.
Nettie's dedication to the vocation of teaching, was demonstrated throughout her entire life. She was in the vanguard of those teaching professionals who strove to make teaching considered at par with any other 'profession'. She assumed a leadership role in every community she served. Be it provincial, national, diocesan or parish level. Her total selflessness continued to her family. be it at the homestead during her mothers illness and passing, or helping Don and his young family when Don's wife Vera died. Nettie also left behind in every community she lived in, the most beautiful, ornate and highly skilled complete sets of priestly vestments with matching tablecloths for the altar and auxiliary altar tables. As with everything Nettie ever put her hand to, these gorgeous vestments and altar coverings, done in Ukrainian style cross stitching, are in use today and are truly works of 'museum quality' craftsmanship. At the formation of the Saskatoon Eparchy in 1951, Anastasia Zuck and Stephania Pylypchuk cross-stitched the vestments for the newly appointed bishop.
Anastasia Zuck received a B.Sc. majoring in Household Science and did classroom teaching from 1936 to 1975.
In addition to her regular school work, Anastasia was very active in the Ukrainian cultural activities. She conducted Ukrainian classes for children and adults in reading, writing, Easter egg making and cross-stitching. Having an avid interest in needlework she researched and became an authority on designs as they reflected geographic areas of Ukraine and freely shared her expertise. She was equally knowledgeable in cookery and Church Music.
A true pioneer, Anastasia took an active role in church organizations from their inception. As early as 1934, she took an active role in the Ukrainian Catholic Brotherhood (UCB) encompassing men, women and youth. With other equally inspired young people, she helped to organize the first Ukrainian Catholic Youth of Canada here in Saskatchewan. She was a strong supporter of Ukrainian Catholic Women of Saskatchewan. In 1944 Anastasia attended a meeting in Winnipeg that marked the beginning of the Ukrainian Catholic Women's League of Canada (UCWLC). From that time, Anastasia played pivotal roles at the National, Provincial, Eparchial and Parish levels. In the book, Blessed Endeavour, the history of Ukrainian Catholic women in Saskatchewan published in 1987, the author, Anna Maria Kowcz-Baran, cites the work of Anastasia Zuck some sixty times in various capacities on executives and committees. Her involvement included revision of the UCWLC constitution and its policy paper, Nasha Doroha, which became the official publication of the National Executive of the UCWLC. She sewed the UCWLC banner, her version has become the prototype that graces the meeting rooms of UCWLC branches across Canada.
She never married, but she died as she wished. On November 5, 1982, while attending an early morning Divine Liturgy at Saints Peter and Paul Church in Saskatoon, she passed away during the consecration, surrounded by her friends and fellow worshippers. That was our Nettie