It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of Dr. Patricia (Pat) Poluha of Bloomington MN on May 15, 2019 at the age of 67. Pat was born in Fort William on July 2, 1951. She will be remembered with much love by her mother Jennie (Jean) Poluha, brothers Donald of Woodbury MN and Eugene and sister-in-law Laurie of Woodbury MN, niece Dr. Lauren (Will) Poluha-Madrid of Los Angeles CA, niece Dr. Kate (Nick) Matthias of Greenville SC, niece Sarah Poluha of Bloomington MN, nephew Sean Poluha of Orlando FL, great niece Daphne Matthias, great nephew Santiago Madrid, one aunt, cousins throughout Canada and Ukraine and friends around the world.
Pat was predeceased by her grandparents Theodore and Paraska Poluha (Ukraine) and Steve and Katherine Dereniwski and her father William (Bill) Poluha.
Pat attended Fort William Collegiate Institute (FWCI) and won the Gold Medal for top scholastic achievement in Grade 13. She continued her education with a BA in Languages from Lakehead University and then an MSc in Speech Pathology from the University of Minnesota. Pat worked in health-related fields starting in High School and through university at senior care facilities in Fort William. After she received her degree in Speech Pathology, she worked in hospitals in various cities, including Boston, Calgary, Vancouver, and London, Ontario, assisting people who had suffered strokes, brain injuries, and other problems to regain their ability to speak and communicate with their loved ones. She then decided to further her education by returning to the University of Minnesota for her Ph.D. in Speech Pathology. Pat became an Associate Professor at the University of Wisconsin (Milwaukee) and then returned to clinical work at various facilities in the Twin Cities, while still teaching classes part-time at the University of Minnesota and Minnesota State University (Mankato).
When Pat’s father, Bill, suffered a serious brain injury from a bicycling accident, Pat spent much time over several years caring for him in Thunder Bay with her mother Jean. After Bill passed away, she returned to full-time work in the Twin Cities.
Pat was a generous and caring person who was always committed to helping others throughout her life, which led her into the medical field. All who knew her and worked with her appreciated her inner kindness, commitment to fairness, and strong work ethic. Pat was a member of the Eastern Orthodox Church throughout her life and truly lived a Christian life with her compassion for others. She loved to travel and made several trips in the U.S. and to Europe, including visiting family in Ukraine. Pat loved her nieces and nephew deeply and shared her interest in travel with them by taking each of them on various trips with her.
Pat was a proud Ukrainian. At the age of 16, Pat was one of the original members of the newly formed Vesnyanka Dance Group in Thunder Bay and also sang in a Ukrainian Girl’s Ensemble. She enjoyed cooking and baking and entertaining friends and family in her home. Pat learned well from her parents and grandparents to be a good gardener and always enjoyed planting and caring for beautiful flowers and plants in her garden and in her parent’s garden.
Pat displayed great courage and fortitude during her difficult battle with cancer, displaying her love of life and for her family.
The family would like to thank Dr. Michael Morris of the Allina Richfield Clinic, Dr. David Monyak of Minnesota Radiation Oncology, and the doctors and staff of Abbott Northwestern Hospital and Fairview Hospital in Minneapolis and the Mayo Clinic in Rochester MN for their assistance and care.
Funeral services will be held on Wednesday, May 22, 2019 at 10:00 am at St. Volodymyr’s Ukrainian Orthodox Church on Mountdale Ave. in Westfort with R.T. Mitred Pawlo Berezniak officiating. Interment to follow in Mountainview Cemetery. Prayers will be held Tuesday evening in the Blake Funeral Chapel, 200 S. May Street at 7:00 pm.
In lieu of flowers, donations are encouraged to the Canadian Cancer Society.
Patricia Poluha will be remembered in the Blake Funeral Chapel Memorial Grove. Annual dedication service Sunday, June 14, 2020.
Canadian Cancer Society
55 St Clair Avenue West Suite 300, Toronto ON M4V 2Y7