Mike Yaremko, 97, of Correctionville, passed away on Saturday, October 15, 2016 at the Good Samaritan Society of Holstein.
A funeral service was held on Saturday, October 22, 2016 at 10:30 a.m. at the Nicklas D. Jensen Funeral Home of Correctionville. Burial will be at the Correctionville Cemetery of Correctionville, with Canadian military rites conducted by the VFW and the American Legion. Online condolences can be made at nicklasdjensenfh.com.
Mike Yaremko, the eldest of three children of Samuel and Anna (Bryksa) Yaremko, was born September 27, 1919 on the family farm near Model Farm, Saskatchewan, Canada. He was raised in the Ukrainian Catholic faith in his early years and attended country school.
From 1939 to 1945 Mike served in the Canadian Army as a logistics support specialist, delivering food and supplies to troops throughout the provinces of Saskatchewan and Alberta. His regiment was preparing to deploy to Europe just as the war ended.
Following his discharge from active service, Mike enrolled in a vocational training program to become a barber. During this time period, Mike learned to play the violin and was the band leader for a small group of men who entertained locally. His love of music continued even into his later years.
Mike managed a small café, which resulted in the hiring of Ida Jane Wood to serve as a waitress. They were later married on December 1, 1951. Mike and Ida became involved in several business endeavors. One of those endeavors was being operators of the Monarch Grocery Store in Regina, Saskatchewan.
After visiting with an aunt and uncle — Leonard and Nellie Collins from Le Mars, Iowa — Mike and Ida decided to expand their business opportunities by moving to Iowa in 1963.
This move eventually led to the purchase of the Hillside Motel and Café, located 1.5 miles west of Correctionville. At the time of purchase, the Hillside Motel was newly constructed and the café was in the process of being built. Through hard work and determination, Mike and Ida built their dream into a reality that served the public for nearly 50 years.
The idea of Highway 20 being expanded into a four-lane highway across the state of Iowa was tossed back and forth for decades. In 2012, state funds for the four-lane expansion were secured. This resulted in Mike and Ida selling their long-time business, with retirement in mind.
Unfortunately, Ida — his partner in life and in business — would not move forward with him in this new journey. She passed away on January 4, 2014.
Numerous soil samples and surveys were taken of the surrounding land where Mike and Ida had their business. Mike always knew that this area was special, but he had no idea that an earlier civilization of Native Americans also shared his views. State archeologists later discovered two primitive sites, one of which would later be referred to as the “Yaremko site,” throughout the world.
Mike enjoyed spending time with his family especially the grandchildren and great grandchildren. He loved the outdoors, and he would frequently take hikes into the wooded area around his home and business.
Mike had an interest in current events and a passion for learning new things. Radios and eight-track players would hum with music from the big band era — Guy Lombardo, Lawrence Welk, country western. And in his later years, polka and even music with a Latin beat were added to the list.
Mike will always be remembered for being independent and for his positive outlook on life and his willingness to serve others.
Those left to honor his memory include a daughter, Karen (Chris) Weinreich and a son, Gerald (Penny) Yaremko, all of Correctionville; four grandchildren: David (Traci) Weinreich, Virginia Weinreich, Whitney (Adam) Buettner, and Bradley (Kessiah) Yaremko; eleven great-grandchildren: Kaylyn, Morgan, Jacob and Briggs Buettner; Faith and Ashton Malcom and Kessleigh Weinreich; Michael and Daniel Weinreich; and Easton and Parker Yaremko; a sister, Olga (Nestor) Klewchuk from Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada; two nephews: Greg Klewchuk with a son, Jackson, and Rob (Michel) Klewchuk and daughters Kelsey and Kaylie; a niece, Marlis Slater with her children Erika, Brett, and Bond; two brothers-in law: Harry (Kay) Wood from Kipling Saskatchewan and Allan (Sharon) Wood of Moosomin, Saskatchewan; and the beloved staff at the Good Samaritan Society.
He was preceded in death by his parents; his wife Ida; his mother and father-in-law, Allan and Grace Wood; a sister and her husband, Mary (Bill) Kuprowsky; a nephew, Eugene Kuprowsky; two sisters-in-law, Georgina Doucette and Florence Owen; three brothers-in-law: Arnold Doucette, Harold Doucette and Tom Owen; and two nieces, Brenda Wood and Michelle Wood.