Paul was born in Brilliant, B.C., on April 5, 1917, to Paul and Nastia Voykin. He was the second son in a family of five, with two brothers and two sisters.
For most of his childhood years he lived in Ootischenia in the area where the Castlegar airport is now located. There he attended three years of English school in a one-room country school.
In his teenage years, he lived at home in Crescent Valley (Krestova) and during the summer months he would travel to Kelowna where he worked for farmers in the orchards. As times were hard, Paul would hitch a ride on the roof of the freight trains that went from Nelson to the Okanagan. One time on his way home from Kelowna, he stopped and visited in Grand Forks where he met Mary P Holoboff, commonly known as Mary Zebroff (her stepfather’s name).
Paul and Mary were married on February 4, 1945, in Grand Forks. They lived for a short time in Krestova, then during early springtime moved to Kelowna, where they lived for several years. Paul was employed as a carpenter and worked on various buildings in Kelowna and later in Trail. During this time, Paul and Mary were blessed with their first son, Bernard.
In the early 1950s Paul, with his family moved to Grand Forks and their family grew to include sons Paul and Ted. Paul built their home on Kenmore Road and was employed at the local sawmill. During his 26 years with the sawmill he held many different positions including carpenter, millwright, welder and plant fire chief, and through all these years he provided Industrial First Aid for the plant employees.
During the last 20 years of employment, in the evenings of the winter months Paul held First Aid classes, training Boy Scouts, Girl Guides, industrial workers and the general public. Paul coached an industrial first-aid team, which in 1973 competed and won the title of the best in B.C. by capturing the provincial first-aid trophy.
In 1992 St. John’s Ambulance, for whom Paul had worked training others in First Aid, recognized him for this public service by nominating him to The Order of St. John. The nomination was approved by the Governor General of Canada, and Paul received the honour in Victoria from the Lieutenant-Governor of British Columbia.
Paul and Mary spent their time raising their family, gardening, travelling, enjoying their grandchildren and visiting with friends. They took pride in a very well kept yard and home. Paul liked carpentry, building furniture, helping his sons build their homes, and volunteering in the community. He often entertained by playing his harmonica and he always had a joke to share.
In 1988 Paul lost his loving wife Mary. After spending some time on his own, he developed a relationship with Anne Perepolkin. They spent many years enjoying each others company- travelling, gardening and being active members of the Grand Forks Slavonics Senior Citizens Society.
In his later years, Paul’s health required him to move to Boundary Lodge, and then to Hardy View Lodge where he lived to the end of his earthly life. He passed away at Hardy View Lodge at the age of 93 on September 15, 2010, surrounded by his loving family.
Paul was predeceased by his wife, Mary on March 6, 1988; his older brother, Michael who died in infancy at one year of age; his parents, Paul and Nastia; and his younger brother, Nick.
Paul is loved and will be forever missed by his sons: Bernard (Millie), Paul (Lil) of Grand Forks, and Ted (Linda) of Vernon; grandchildren: Michelle, Terra, Tessa, Paul, Christopher, Sarah, and Tim; great-grandchildren: Taysha, Harland and Armon; sisters, Helen Katasonoff and Tilda Sherbinin; his very special friend Anne Perepolkin; and by many nieces, nephews, and other relatives.
We will always remember Paul as a loving father, grandfather and great-grandfather who was always willing to help in his gentle, peace-loving and hard-working manner.
A funeral service was held on Monday, September 20, 2010, in the Chapel of the Grand Forks Funeral Home with burial in the Sion Cemetery. Grand Forks Funeral Home had care of arrangements.
In lieu of flowers the family would like donations to the Boundary Hospital Chemo Unit in Paul’s memory. May he rest in peace in God’s kingdom.