It is with great sadness that the Ukrainian Canadian Foundation of Taras Shevchenko shares the news of the passing on March 15 of Doris Kule, beloved wife, teacher and philanthropist.
“We join Mr. Peter Kule and the Kule family in their grief and sadness” stated Andrew Hladyshevsky, Q.C., President of the Shevchenko Foundation. “We have lost one of our community’s greatest citizens, who demonstrated her belief in the future of Ukrainians in Canada through her philanthropic leadership. May Her Memory Be Eternal. Вічная Пам’ять!”
Doris Kule was born on the family farm near Boian, Alberta, to Usten and Maria Radesh, who immigrated to Canada from Western Ukraine. She completed high school in nearby Willingdon, and trained as a teacher at the University of Alberta. In 1943 she met Peter Kule (Kuleba) who she later married. Doris pursued her career teaching elementary school for 34 years, until her retirement in 1971. In 1977 the Edmonton Public School Board recognized Doris for her long service, and the Alberta Teacher’s Association awarded her with a lifetime membership for the role she played in the growth of Alberta and the educational development of that province.
The Kules were active members of the Ukrainian community. Doris was active in the Ukrainian Catholic Women’s League of Canada, and worked with great pride with her fellow members to create complete sets of church linens and altar boys’ dalmatics. For her steadfast service to the Church, she was conferred by Pope John Paul II with the Cross Pro Ecclesia et Pontifice (For the Church and the Pontiff).
In her retirement, together with her husband Peter, Doris turned her attention to philanthropic activities, with particular support directed to education and Ukrainian studies in Canada for the benefit of hundreds of students, scholars worldwide, and our citizens. At the University of Alberta they made an impact with the establishment of the Peter and Doris Kule Centre for Ukrainian and Canadian Folklore, the Kule Ukrainian Canadian Studies Centre at the Canadian Institute of Ukrainian Studies (CIUS), and the Kule Institute for Advanced Study (KIAS). In 2005 both Doris and Peter Kule became the first joint recipients of honorary doctorates from the University of Alberta.
The Kules philanthropic vision was extended to MacEwan University with the establishment of the Drs. Peter & Doris Kule Chair of Ukrainian Community & International Development, and the Drs. Peter & Doris Kule Visiting Scholars in Ukrainian Studies and Culture Fund. At the University of Ottawa the Kules established the Drs. Peter & Doris Kule Doctoral Scholarship on Contemporary Ukraine. The Kules commitment to Eastern Christian Theology and Spirituality was realized through a major gift – The Metropolitan Andrey Sheptytsky Institute Foundation Kule Family Endowment.