October 25, 1920 – February 14, 2014
It is with great sadness that we announce the death of our father, Metro Surkan, on Friday, February 14, 2014 at the Victoria Hospital. Metro was born on the farm north of Theodore, SK, on October 25th, 1920. He was the ninth of ten children to Michael and Polly (nee Torsky) Surkan. Metro started school at the age of seven; he could only speak Ukrainian, but he quickly learned English in the classroom. He was a very quick learner and, because he was in a multi-grade classroom, he was accelerated and graduated public school in Buchanan, SK, by the age of sixteen. Metro saved money for one year before starting university. After his first year, he won an arts and science scholarship but could not afford to continue his studies. Thus, he went to Normal School and received his teaching certificate. He’d barely started his new job when his father had a stroke; he went home to farm with his mother for seven years. In 1945, the family farm was sold and Metro had the opportunity to follow his dream of going back to the University of Saskatchewan in pre-medicine. He was accepted into medicine in one of the few spots not reserved for war veterans. Metro received his BA in 1948 (Cum Laud) and graduated from medicine in 1950 from the University of Alberta, since the U of S did not have a full degree program at that time. He was awarded a gold medal in surgery upon graduation. Metro then interned at City Hospital in Saskatoon, where he met his beautiful wife, Helen, a recent nursing graduate. They were married on June 16, 1951, and settled in Prince Albert working at what would become the Associate Medical Clinic. Metro was very busy at work, but he also found the time to be involved in the community. He volunteered for 11 years at the Prince Albert Public School Board, 60-plus years with the Kiwanis Club, and was President of the Shrine Club Society. Metro was the President of the medical staff at both hospitals, and he was the President of the PA District Medical Society. In 1978, Metro was granted a fellowship in Family Medicine. Metro always encouraged people to do their best, and his patients were given the highest quality of care during his fifty-year career as a physician. Metro loved the outdoors; hunting, fishing, and mushroom and berry picking were common events in his family. He loved to till the garden and to work in the yard. He enjoyed curling, golf, and time spent at the family cottage at Waskesiu. He was also a Life-Master of Duplicate Bridge. Metro was extremely proud of his five sons’ accomplishments: four became medical doctors, and the youngest became a veterinarian. All five boys have tried to follow his example and live vibrant, independent lives. Metro is survived by his five sons Michael (Virginia), David (Jean), Gordon (Sue), John (Vivian), and Peter (Ida); his 12 grandchildren Vilija (Tyler), Aaron (Ashley), Sean (Jeannine), Laura, Jennifer (Scott), Robert, Daniel, Neil, Nathan, Alanna (Ian), Megan (Scott), and Jason. Metro was predeceased by his beautiful wife, Helen, on January 21, 2014; his parents, Michael and Polly; his siblings, Annie, John, Nellie, George, Dora, Mary, Nick, Kay, and Victoria. Metro donated generously throughout his life to many causes, both financially and with his time and wisdom.
Be ever mindful of the needs of others
A funeral will be held for Metro, along with Helen, at a later date at Wesley United Church. In lieu of other tributes, memorial donations can be made to the Surkan Scholarship Fund at the Kiwanis Prince Albert Music Festival. Condolences may be sent to the family at www.grays.ca. Funeral arrangements have been entrusted to Gray's Funeral Chapel, Myriam Minier, Funeral Director (306-922-4729).