December 20, 1917 – May 26, 1997

On Monday, May 26, 1997, SAM RAPKO, beloved husband of Anne, passed away suddenly at his home in Saskatoon, SK.

Sam was born on December 20, 1917 and received his public schooling in Gonor, Man.  He attended four years at the Winnipeg Bible College, after which Sam married Anne Kupchik on June 21, 1947.  Sam and Anne then moved to Saskatoon, Sask., and together served the Lord for twelve years at the Ukrainian Bible Institute.  In the early years he was known as “Uncle Sam” to many children who listened to the children’s stories on the Ukrainian radio broadcasts on CFQC.  For the next 24 years Sam was employed by the Saskatchewan Government and retired on his 65th birthday.

Sam was an avid fisherman, and always had good stories to tell about his fishing trips.  He will be greatly missed by his fishing buddies.  Sam also enjoyed working with his hands, fixing bicycles and gardening.  Sam was not one to just sit around, he always found things to do and was always willing to help others.  Whenever the men and women of the church gathered to pack boxes for Ukraine, Sam was always there and made sure that he had enough twine to tie those big boxes and they had to be securely tied.  It brought Sam much joy knowing that the many needy people in Ukraine would be helped.  We will miss Sam always when we gather to pack boxes.

Sam was a faithful and active member of Fairmont Baptist Church (formerly the Ukrainian Baptist Church).  He was chairman of the Church Board for many years, deacon, Sunday School Superintendent and choir member.  Sam was a very friendly, outgoing person who enjoyed laughter and life.  His grandchildren will miss him greatly as he loved them so much and took every opportunity to be with them, and each one was very Special.

Sam never passed up an opportunity to chat with those he happened to meet.  He was always ready to witness about the Lord whom he loved and served and wanted others to know about too.  Sam was a living example of a life dedicated whole heartedly and freely for the Lord.  He will be sadly missed by his family and friends, and we will always cherish the fond memories that we have of him, until the glorious day when we shall be reunited in heaven.

On June 21, 1997, Sam and Anne would have celebrated their 50th Wedding Anniversary, but the Lord had other plans and we know that His ways are always best even though we may not understand them at times.

Sam was predeceased by his parents William and Lena Rapko, and his two sisters Katherine Kreviazuk and Victoria Screpnek.  He leaves to mourn his passing, his loving wife Anne, his children: sons – Tim (Mary) of Prince Albert, Sask.,  Bob (Barb) of Vancouver, BC, Don (Rita) and Ted (friend Bev) of Saskatoon, Sask., daughter Kathy Robinson (Tom) of East Selkirk, Man., as well as Gido’s 10 grandchildren.

Rev. Steve Skoworodko conducted the funeral service on May 30, 1997 from the Fairmont Baptist Church, Saskatoon, Sask.  During the service the congregation sang “Safe in the Arms of Jesus”, followed by scripture reading from 1 Thess. 4:13-18 and John 14:1-6 and prayer.  Another hymn was sung by the congregation “What a Friend We Have in Jesus”.  The Obituary was read by Tim Rapko after which the Mixed Quartet sand “I Will Meet You in the Morning”.  Tribute was given by Steve Rapko and Pat Rapko, after which a duet was sung “No Disappointment in Heaven”.  Pastor Steve Skoworodko brought a comforting message to the family and friends that the Word of God assures us that absent from the body is to be present with the Lord.  All who put their faith in Jesus Christ are assured of heaven.  Christ says, “I am the way, the truth and the life, no man cometh unto the Father but by me” (John 14:6).  We know that Sam is with the Lord and has been reunited with those who have gone on before.  The congregation sang the final song “Does Jesus Care”.

Internment was at Hillcrest Memorial Gardens, followed by a lunch which was served in the lower auditorium of the church.



I am now at home in heaven;

            All’s so happy, all’s so bright!

There is perfect joy and beauty

            In this everlasting light.


All the pain and grief are over,

            Every restless tossing past;

I am now at peace forever,

            Safely home in heaven at last.


Did you wonder I so calmly

            Trod the Valley of the Shade?

Oh! But Jesus’ love illumined

            Every dark and fearful glade.


And He came Himself to meet me

            In that way so hard to tread;

And with Jesus’ arm to lean on,

Could I have one doubt or dread?


Then you must not grieve so sorely,

For I love you dearly still;

Try to look beyond earth’s shadows,

            Pray to trust our Father’s will.


There is work still waiting for you,

            So you must not idle stand;

Do your work while life remaineth –

            You shall rest in Jesus’ land.


When that work is all completed,

            He will gently call you home;

Oh, the rapture of the meeting!

            Oh, the joy to see you come.

  • -         Ramona Z. Hancharuk

[Published in the July-September 1997 issue of The Challenger, Vol. 30., No. 7-9, page 7.]


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