Kuyek, Donald Peter

Rest-in-peace Donald Peter Kuyek (1943-2022). It is with great sadness that the family announces his passing in Sudbury on Saturday, June 4, 2022. Donald was raised on a farm in the Ukrainian community of Bankend, Saskatchewan, with his sister Arlene and by his loving, Canadian-born parents Peter and Lena. He is survived by his two sons, Devlin and David, daughter-in-law Hajra Waheed, grandchildren Una, Fanon and Esa, sister-in-law Leslie Keck, niece Jordan, nephews Clark and Warren and first wife Joan. His life partner Jennifer Keck passed away in 2002. Donald came to Sudbury in 1970 from Kingston, Ontario where he had been doing pioneering work on poverty law while studying at Queen’s University. Over the next five decades, Donald would make an enormous contribution to the Sudbury area through his legal practice and his involvement in numerous community organisations and initiatives. He lectured at Laurentian University, served as President of the Sudbury and District Law Association, and co-founded the Sudbury Workers’ Education and Advocacy Centre, as well as the community newspaper, The Mucker. He provided free legal advice to the legal clinics at the local Mine Mill Hall and Steelworkers’ Hall and served many Indigenous clients in Sudbury and Manitoulin Island. Donald was a member of the board of directors of the N'Swakamok Native Friendship Centre and the Sudbury Art Gallery, as well as a founding member of Art Gallery 6500 at the Steelworkers’ union hall and sponsor of the Jennifer Keck Memorial Lecture Series. In 1997, the Law Society of Upper Canada awarded him with its Bicentennial-Certificate-of-Merit for his “contribution to public service in his community.” Donald had a particular fondness for the French River area where he and Jennifer built a family cottage on the West Arm of Lake Nippissing. He was also active in sports, coaching minor hockey and serving on the Board of the Sudbury Tennis Club, as well as within the Ukrainian Canadian community through the Association of United Ukrainian Canadians. He was a lifetime member of the New Democratic Party and a proud patron of Gus’ Restaurant. Most of all, Donald will be remembered as a devoted and selfless partner, father, grandfather, uncle, brother, son, and friend by all who knew him. He died peacefully after a long struggle with cancer at the age of 79. The family wishes to express its gratitude for the care given by the staff of Health Sciences North and Cancer Centre. Donations in his honour can be made directly to the N'Swakamok Native Friendship Centre https://www.canadahelps.org/en/charities/nswakamok-native-friendship-centre/. An intimate remembrance will be held outdoors for him on Saturday, June 11, 2022, between 2 and 5 p.m. in his cherished backyard.


7 Condolences

  1. Deepest condolences from all of us and family in Ukraine to Don’s family and to the extended Kuyek family. Nial let me know about Don’s passing. Sunday, June 19 a special church service was requested by relatives in Ukraine (by Olena and her family, great-great-granddaughter of Vasylyna Kuyek, who was the sister of Don’s grandfather). They will always remember and appreciate timely assistance and support when the war began. We are all very saddened by the news.
    Don, Rest In Peace.
    By: Svitlana & Yaroslav Chebri

    By: Svitlana and Yaroslav Chebri
    June 20, 2022
  2. Our deepest condolences to Don’s family, who meant a great deal to him. We wish to salute his multiple achievements. Don was a skilled lawyer, who achieved common sense resolutions. He was a teacher at heart, and the legal community has much to learn from his legacy. Don also excelled outside the law, on the boards of community and charitable organizations, and in his thespian adventures in Twelve Angry Jurors and the Caine Mutiny and Court Martial. He will be deeply missed by everyone who knew him.

    By: Elizabeth Kari and Ron Swiddle
    June 10, 2022
  3. Devlin, David, and family; played hockey, football and baseball with Don. Always a serious competitor. Especially when we played a ball game against the Wishart ball team that he played on from time to time. I recall one time during a game in Wishart he came up to me and said, “If you strike me out, I’m going to beat you up.” It was said all in fun, because Donald and I were good friends and got along very well. R.I.P. my ol’friend.

    By: Lloyd A. Anderson
    June 10, 2022
  4. My condolences to the extended Kuyek family. Don was a good man all around. He was motivated by a search for justice for those less fortunate. He was empathetic and caring.
    I particularly appreciated his connection to and hard work on behalf of Indigenous peoples in the Greater Sudbury/ Manitoulin territory.
    Don was also a teammate of mine on the infamous Monday night lawyers hockey league games against the doctors and lawyers. He was a resolute player.

    I will miss him.
    With respect – Stephen O’Neill

    By: Stephen O’Neill
    June 9, 2022
  5. Our condolences to Devlin, David, and all of Don’s family. Don took great pride in all of your accomplishments. Don was a respected member of the Sudbury bar, and a highly skilled lawyer. He was a pillar of our community. Not only did he have strong views on how to improve society, he acted on them. Most importantly for us, Don was a true friend. He will be missed.

    June 7, 2022
  6. On behalf of the Sudbury Workers Education and Advocacy Centre, we are deeply saddened by the loss of a founder of the organization. Don’s passion, wisdom and knowledge around worker’s rights was enormous and inspiring. We would not be where we are as an organization without Don’s guidance and leadership. Our condolences to all whose lives were enriched by Don, and who feel this loss. We will continue to carry his legacy through our work.

    By: Scott Florence
    June 7, 2022
  7. Don, Rest in Peace

    You were among the best of us. Your commitment, knowledge, and willingness to help were exemplary!

    Thank you for everything you taught us!


    By: Stefan
    June 6, 2022

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