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Thomas Jirousek

Thomas Jirousek

JIROUSEK, Thomas (77), passed away on Wednesday June 12,  2024 in Whitehorse, Yukon. Thomas Jirousek was born on May 21, 1947 to Hildegarde and Vladimir Jirousek in Ostrava, Czech Republic. As a child he was a gifted athlete, scholar, and actor. He met and fell in love with Helena, they happily married on November 8th, 1969 in Petrkovice, Czech Republic. Their life was filled with love and soon Daniel and Jakub were born, the family complete. Thomas is survived by his loving wife, Helena; his sons Daniel (Heather) and Jakub (Ann); his grandchildren Tomáš, Hannah, Lukáš, Sáša, and Abigail; and his brother Vladimir (Máša) and his nieces and nephews in the Czech Republic.

Thomas (Tomáš) Jirousek was born and educated in Ostrava, Czech Republic. Prior to university, Thomas was an actor in a theatre group, Waterloo, through which he met his wife and love of his life, Helena. Thomas actively opposed the Communist regime and used his theatre experience as a platform to advocate for the principles he believed in, such as equity and liberty.

Thomas continued his advocacy as a student at the University of Ostrava, Faculty of Education. During this time, Thomas led student protests against the Communist regime established during the Soviet invasion of Czechoslovakia. Thomas’ public criticism of the regime continued after he began teaching in Northern Moravia, ultimately culminating in his signing of Charter 77, a civic initiative which highlighted the ongoing human rights violations in Czechoslovakia.

Thomas and Helena immigrated with their sons, Daniel and Jakub, to Edmonton in August, 1981. Thomas worked several jobs, to support his family while working to re-obtain his teaching certification in Canada. Thomas then succeeded in becoming a principal of a Cree-school in Driftpile, Alberta, in 1989.

Thomas and Helena moved to Ross River in 1990, where he served as principal of the community school. Thomas served as principal in Ross River until his retirement in 2013. During his 23 years in Ross River, he won multiple national teaching and principal awards for his creative and student-centered approach to teaching. Thomas dedicated his professional life to his students and was committed to the success of each pupil.

Following retirement, Thomas and Helena moved to Whitehorse to be close to their children and grandchildren.

Thomas loved to spend his time hunting, writing, canoeing, and hiking with his dog. Thomas was a proud father and grandfather, who enjoyed watching his grandchildren ski and play hockey. He was dedicated to his family, teaching them the value of hard work, courage and resilience. He was loved and will be deeply missed.

Comments (5)
  • 22 June 2024
    Verna nukon

    Condolences from Ross River Yukon. Mr. Jirousek was our principal for many years and a long time member in our community. We are thinking of the family during this time.

  • 25 June 2024
    Ruth Lawrence

    Helena, I am so sorry to hear of Thomas’ passing. I know it has been a hard road for you both and your family. Thomas was a valued colleague and friend. Best wishes and condolences to you and your family. Ruth

  • 28 June 2024

    Dear Helena and family, Thomas left too soon! His passionate committment to the provision of good education in Ross River will forever inspire the children, youth and parents of that Village! Thomas is an example of an accomplished human being! My condolences! Margot

  • 5 July 2024
    Bob & Sharon Hayes, Calgary, AB

    We are profoundly saddened by the passing of Thomas. Our best memories are visiting Helena and Thomas at their home in Ross River. He was a true friend and will be missed.

  • 16 July 2024
    Maggie Mann

    My sincere condolences and sympathy to Helena and his family. Thomas was a caring and genuine man who treated everyone with respect and kindness. He was a dedicated educator and a role model with in his profession. I am honoured to have worked with Thomas with Yukon Education over the years and so thankful for the friendship we shared. I will miss him dearly. Love and prayers of comfort and strength to Helena and family.

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