14 March 1926 – 17 March 2021
It is with heavy hearts that we share news of Wladyslaw (Vlad) Michalik’s death. He passed away peacefully just after his 95 birthday. He will be lovingly remembered by his lifelong partner and best friend Sally and son Bartosh, and his family abroad.
Born in 1926 in Poland, he lived his early years in Bielsko and Grybów. He survived WW2 and Nazi occupation by living with his mom and brother in the forester’s lodge. His father was murdered along with tens of thousands of Polish political prisoners in the Katyń massacre. His dearest Mother passed away soon after the war, leaving Vlad on his own.
Thanks to his perseverance, he never gave up and pursued his goals. He graduated from the Jagiellonian University and then obtained a PhD in technical sciences in the field of chemistry. For many years he lectured in Poland at the Academy of Mining and Metallurgy in Krakow. He became known not only as a great educator but also as an effective organizer. He was the author and co-author of several patents and the university still benefits from his work.
For the first time, he came to Victoria in 1972 traveling by ship from then communist Poland. Later he visited British Columbia twice as a guest of the University of Victoria. He remained in Canada since 1981 and worked at the University of Victoria until retirement.
For most of his life, Vlad was very active and strong. He practiced skiing, cycling, swimming, kayaking, mountain hiking and even boxing. He was always full of initiative and enthusiasm for work. In order to support himself during his studies, he worked physically at night washing railway carriages, while studying during the day. He carried out project after project, putting all his knowledge and skills into it. He was not afraid of any challenges and was always ready to learn new things to be able to complete tasks by himself.
Vlad was a charming and wonderful person. Great husband, partner, father, father-in-law and amazing grandfather. His wisdom, kindness, great heart and unique sense of humor touched many lives. He devoted himself completely to the people he loved. Everyone could count on him. He was attentive and caring. He never refused to help anyone.
He will be dearly missed also by his extended-family and many friends in Canada, United States and Poland.
Vlad completed his long journey, but he will live forever in our hearts and memories.
The World lost one of the best men.