The Canadian Institute of Ukrainian Studies is sad to report that Dr. Doris Kule passed away peacefully in Edmonton on March 16 at the age of 99 following several weeks of declining health.
She was born on a farm near Boian, Alberta, to Usten and Maria Radesh, who had immigrated to Canada from the Bukovynian village of Shubranets, now in Zastavna raion, Chernivtsi oblast.
One of ten children (a sibling died in infancy), she was bright and athletic, and quickly became fluent in English. Eager to pursue an education, she completed nine grades at Bojan School and then attended high school in nearby Willingdon, after which she took teacher training at the University of Alberta.
She then taught at rural schools in Derwent and Shalka, before deciding to move to Edmonton after visiting an older sister while on holiday in the city. It was there that she met Peter Kule (Kuleba) in 1943, a Public Accountant, and they married a year later.
As a couple they worked hard together, Peter building a successful and innovative accounting practice and eventually becoming a chartered accountant. In the meantime, Doris pursued a career as an elementary school teacher in the Beverly district of Edmonton, until her retirement in 1974. Blessed with a kind and gentle nature, she was always fondly remembered by her students.
As Peter’s accounting firm grew and his business interests prospered, the Kules began increasingly to turn their attention to philanthropy, focusing in particular on supporting educational endeavours, many in the field of Ukrainian Studies.
In total, they have donated more than $14 million dollars to post-secondary institutions across Canada, including a million dollars to establish the Kule Ukrainian Canadian Studies Centre at the CIUS, along with an initiative devoted to studying the world-wide Ukrainian diaspora.
We extend our condolences to Doris’s husband Peter and family members. May her memory be eternal – Вічна Їй пам’ять!