Orest Zarsky, son of Oleksa (Alex) and Catherine (nee Haworko) Zarsky, was born in Edmonton, Alberta on August 10, 1914. When he was seven years old, the family, which by that time included a younger sister, moved to Boyle, Alberta. His parents homesteaded there till 1930 when they returned to Edmonton.
After graduating from St. Joseph’s High School in 1933, Orest attended McTavish Business School where he studied commerce and shorthand. In 1937, he earned a Teaching Certificate from Normal School in Camrose, Alberta. He then taught for one year in a single room country school, Prosvischinia #1476, in Smoky Lake County, Alberta.
In 1934, Orest joined the 2nd Battalion, Edmonton Fusiliers, (R) CA where he played the clarinet with the brass band. In 1942, he was discharged from the militia so that he could join the Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF). He served as a radar technician along the coasts of Labrador and Canada’s eastern coast till his discharge in 1945.
On October14, 1939, Orest married Emilia (Minnie) Manoski at St. Josaphat Church in Edmonton where they remained active, devout parishioners their entire lives. They had a family of three daughters and one son.
Emilia was born on February 15, 1920 in Beverly, Alberta to Josephine (nee Krezanoski) and John Manoski. She attended Highlands School and Eastwood High School in Edmonton where she completed Grade 12. In 1938, she graduated from Alberta College with a Diploma in Stenography. During WWII, she volunteered to sell Victory Bonds War Savings Certificates at the Edmonton Post Office. She was a Charter and lifelong member of St. Josaphat Good Will Club (Ukrainian Catholic Women’s League). From 1948 – 1950, she served as President of the Club. Through the 1950s and 1960s, she worked for eight years as a receptionist in a medical office. She was an avid homemaker and gardener. Emilia was a loving mother and a devoted wife who supported Orest in his career and and volunteer work.
Although his career was interrupted by his RCAF service, Orest worked at the Edmonton Post Office for 35 years (1938-1973). He held a variety of positions including that of Supervisor, Acting Postmaster and Public Affairs Officer.
During his retirement, he was instrumental in the opening of the first permanent office of the Edmonton Ukrainian Catholic Savings and Credit Union. He worked at the office full time for many years. Prior to that, he had worked on a part time basis for the Edmonton Ukrainian Catholic Savings and Credit Union from his home office
Throughout his life, Orest was actively involved in many organizations at the Post Office (Federal Service) and within the Ukrainian community. He was usually on the executive as either treasurer or secretary. He emceed many functions. He belonged to the Knights of Columbus and other men’s groups at St. Josaphat Parish. He was an original and continuing member of the Norwood Legion. He was a Director of the Post Office Credit Union. He volunteered with the MS Society. He was highly regarded for his work ethic and integrity.
Orest died at the age of 94 in Edmonton on February 10, 2009. On December 22, 2014, also at the age of 94, Emilia died. They had celebrated 69 years of marriage.