In Celebration of

Ihor "Steve" Zajac

March 16, 1935 -  November 28, 2021

It is with great sadness we tell that Steve took his last breath at home on Sunday night, November 28th. He had suffered since June with a hard-to-diagnose small cell cancer. Steve was proudly Ukrainian, born in West Ukraine in 1934. He was also proud to have become a Naturalized Canadian Citizen on May 11, 1959.

Steve was educated in Ukraine, Germany, NY Lower East Side, U.B.C. earning a Masters in Mineralogy and the University of Michigan where he earned a Doctorate in Geology. Steve’s work with Iron Ore Co. of Canada was in Schefferville where he met Jean in 1960. He later worked for Hanna Mining in Pilot Knob Mo. before joining Mine Finders in Denver. In 1963 Steve returned to Sept Iles to be Chief Geologist for IOC, where he discovered two new minerals, one which was named Zajacite. Later with Hanna Mining he moved to Cleveland for four years, and finally came to Toronto. In the 1990s Steve did exploration for gold, iron ore and rare earths in the former Soviet Union, and around the world. In the midst of all the travel Steve played golf and tennis whenever he could. He also had a particular love of warm seas.

The Zajacs are a small family. Steve leaves behind his wife. Jean, a proud Liverpudlian, and two sons, Mark and Paul, Paul’s wife Lynda Curnyn and Kate, much loved by her Dydo. A private family only funeral service will take place in the afternoon of December 7th. Steve still has family in Ukraine with whom he has kept in touch. He had taken a keen interest in events happening in his homeland. Should you wish to make a donation, there is one local charity working for orphans and also soldiers who are returning from East Ukraine (

Slava Ukraini


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