Brian Zacharuk (Zach) passed away on Sunday, December 23rd, 2018 at the age of 72 years. Brian was born in Drumheller, Alberta on April 20th, 1946 to Steve & Francis Zacharuk. Brian graduated from High School in 1965, soon after that he attended Carpentry training in Calgary. He worked for Poole Construction and Greene Construction in 1965. . Brian built his first home in lower Midland in 1967 where he raised his family. In 1972, he began working at The Drumheller Penitentiary. In 1979 Brian started up his own company called Brian Zacharuk Construction Ltd. and in 1983 opened a family business and named it Mom’s Laundry. In 2001 Brian bought the acreage for his family where he and Linda made it their final home. Brain was a volunteer firefighter for many years and always spent his days doing what he loved the most. Brian is survived by his wife Linda of 53 years, his dog Clyde, his two daughters, Mary James (Randy), and Marnie Zacharuk (Bob Ball). His grandsons Dustin Zacharuk (Jennifer) and Ryan Zacharuk. His sister Blanche Laslo, Brother Blaine Zacharuk (Lynn), and nephew Stephen Wilton (Vicki).
Brian’s Family comments are as follows:
Linda Zacharuk: Brian was one of a kind. He knew a lot about everything, plumbing, painting, electrical and of course carpentry. You would not find him in the kitchen unless he was eating not cooking. He was a reader, always had reading material in hand, not to mention he remembered everything that he read. Had the ability to talk to a stranger for hours. Brian loved the valley and told stories like no one else. Strong, intelligent, knowledgeable, hard working and giving were a few of his traits. He will be missed by many. Brian is at rest now, his job on earth is now done.
Mary James: Personal memories of my Father would be one of Jekyll and Hyde. He could be yelling and swearing, throwing things around one minute then whistling the next minute. You just never knew what you were in for when you were in his company. He was extremely honest, would build houses with a handshake no contracts required. He was the best at what he loved to do and that was working with wood. Whenever you needed something built, even if it was for outside and animals would probably destroy it, he built it to perfection, sanding the edges, planing any rough spots down so meticulous about everything he did, his words were “if you are going to do something, do it right”. I sure won't say my Dad was ever boring, many people knew him around our town and when they found out you were related to Brian, well then the stories were remembered, most of them quite colorful to say the least. Dad had to become a provider for a wife and kid(s) when he was quite a young man; he worked away from home a great deal making sure his family was provided for. Dad would help anyone that needed a hand, or lend whatever tools he had to folks with a little bit of free advise on how to accomplish the project the right way. He was a hard man to read, oh for sure you knew when he was mad, but he also had an extremely sensitive side, in his later years I saw him cry more than I ever did throughout his life. It is not so sad that he has passed away being as sick as he was, my greatest sadness is wondering about where did he go when he did.
Randy James: I really enjoyed sitting around with Brian listening to all of the stories he had to tell.
Marnie Zacharuk: My dad was the smartest man I knew. I was in awe of his craft and his ability to build anything. And when he built something it was built to last forever. From a house to a teeter-totter for his grandchildren, we never went without. He was a hard worker and my hero when it came to fixing things. The thing with my dad is he had many personalities. Any one that knew him knows what I mean; you never knew what you would get. One consistency, you were always welcome, there was always food and drink, and there was always conversation. The memory I will always cherish is when he handed the reins over to his family to continue on his hard work and knowledge for generations to come. He will not be forgotten.
Bob Ball: I have known Brian a lifetime and I can truly say he is one of the wisest, smartest men I knew and I feel am a better man for the things he taught me.
Dustin Zacharuk: Grandpa was always an inspiration to me, He taught me to work hard, and to always do your best. In his lifetime, what he has forgotten is more than most people could hope to know. The memories I have of us are too numerous to count. I give him credit for who I am today and will miss him dearly.
Jennifer Zacharuk: I have been able to thank Grandpa Brian for so many things over the time I have known him, and one thing I will be able to continue to thank him for, for the rest of my life, is how much he taught his Grandson, my Husband. Every person that has had the opportunity to talk to Grandpa, whether it was for a minute, or a lifetime, would have learned something. The first time I met Grandpa Brian I beat him at Texas Hold’em, and for that memory I am thankful and anyone that truly knows Grandpa will understand why.
Ryan Zacharuk: My grandpa was a very talented, smart, and strong man. He taught me to be a hard worker, to never give up, and to listen closely. I can’t believe such a strong man could let go so early. He will be forever missed and forever in our hearts, at least I know he will be in mine.
Blanche Laslo: It’s not difficult to describe my brother Brian. He was kind, generous, knowledgeable and extremely hard working all his life. He had a memory I’m sure all of us would have greatly appreciated. There wasn’t much he couldn’t do. He tackled jobs big and small and each project was completed with pride. Brian loved country music the likes of Johnny Cash, Hank Snow, Willie Nelson, John Denver etc., and his favorite song was “from a jack to a king” and it suited him perfectly. I will miss our singsongs he and I had together at our camp outs and especially you Brian. Rest In Peace. Forever loved.
Blaine and Lynne Zacharuk: Tough as nails and had the heart of a marshmallow. I enjoyed fishing with my brother and when he lost a fish he got mad.
Stephen and Vicki Wilton: During our busy lives we don’t often take the time to reflect on how we ended up where we are or how we truly became the person we are. Since the passing of my uncle Brian I’ve had a chance to reflect on my uncle’s life and how much of an influence he had on my life and on the lives of others. Brian is my mom’s youngest brother and as a kid he insisted that I just call him Brian, don’t worry about the uncle stuff. He was one of the first people I ever hunted with and I still remember going out with him and being amazed at the great lunch he would bring to get us through the day. He made the adventure interesting and he had an amazing story about everything you’d encounter, whether it was about the old abandoned farm, a fossil or the wildlife. Everything has a story and nothing is just to be passed over without some thought. Brian taught me about being compassionate and to share. In his world what you see is what you get, everyone was worthy of a greeting some time, a talk, a drink or heated discussion. Everyone was welcome even strangers and he always shared, be it at the campsite for a group of canoeists from Red Deer he’d never met, who would spend the night at our family campout, eat the roasted pork have a cold beer and make sure you stay for the fireworks. So many that he hardly knew, were always welcome. Someone from a crew or from the bar who needed advice and had to borrow a tool for a project, Brian would always give. He never sat still and if you worked beside him you quickly learned that this guy puts out a 110 percent, give it your all and do it the right way. Having learned how to work from the Zacharuk boys meant that there isn’t anything you couldn’t do, put your back into it and get it done. No quitting and do it with everything you’ve got. Many people have worked with Brian and were affected by what he could do in a day. Brian had a short fuse and could get his back up in a flash but also before the day was done he could have a tear in the corner of his eye, He was compassionate and very emotional. I’d say his emotions were right on his shoulder. You saw that and it didn’t take long to get it after spending some time with him. I could go on about Brian. In a lifetime we only get to know a few people who are larger than life, some of us never ever meet any. Brian was one of them and he had a huge impact on my life and my family. We miss you Uncle Brian you really were the big brother I never had. Love Stephen and family.
Kendra Orton: What I will remember the most about my Uncle Brian is his generosity, growing up he always had a special treat for us. I remember on one occasion he brought my sister and I Santa slippers in July. He gave us each one slipper because he thought they were puppets, we loved them anyways. Another time that stands out in my mind was when my great grandma was in the hospital he tried for two days in a row to bring her chocolates but both days he ended up giving the chocolates away to someone who looked sad in the hospital waiting room. He was always thinking of how he could make someone feel better. The world will be a darker place with out Uncle Brian’s bright smile and generous heart.
Justine Wilton: My uncle was a jack-of-all-trades. I remember him helping my father with many projects around our house while we were growing up. All he ever asked for in return was some Black Label beer. I have many memories of him growing up, but my favorite is when I joined a volunteer fire department, and hearing the pride he had in me. I always looked forward to coming home and listening to his fire fighting stories. It was wonderful to have something in common with the caring uncle I loved.
Joey Dietrich: Brian has played a significant role in my life for as long as I have known him. He has taught me so much and mentored me through all of my years so far.
Jeffrey Guidolin: Brian Zacharuk was a man who among Dustin’s friends held an almost fearsome reputation. When it was time to work, Brian was king and we were his subjects. Strong and hardworking though he was, a visit to the Zacharuk’s wasn’t all work and manual labour. Brian treated each and every one of us like family and one could not help but feel genuine warmth that came from knowing such an honest and genuine person. Though he may be gone, there’s a spot in the shop that in our minds will forever be occupied by the man himself ready and willing to offer his own brand of Zacharuk wisdom and guidance.
Ayden Gaboury: 12 years old, I loved him.
Elayna Gaboury: 8 years old he was my grandpa.
Those who wish, Memorial donations may be made to the Humane Society. A Celebration of Brian’s Life will be held on the July 1st 2019 long weekend at his acreage as per his wishes.