Eugenia Kanchir 1925 - Aug 24, 2016


EUGENIA KANCHIR (nee BILOBROVA) With great sadness, we announce the passing of Eugenia (Zhenya) Kanchir on August 24, 2016 at the age of 90. Zhenya was born on December 25, 1925, in the village of Kalanchak, in Kherson Oblast of southern Ukraine, the daughter of Victor and Marfa Bilobrova and sister to Anna and Nadia. Zhenya was a survivor of the Ukrainian Holodomor famine-genocide 1932-1933. In 1933, the Soviets executed her father and imprisoned her mother in Siberia for seven years merely for hiding a small package of grain from authorities. During the absence of her mother, their grandmother raised her and her two sisters. In 1942 at the age of 17, Zhenya was taken as a slave labourer by the Nazis to work in the German war factories in Rendsburg in northern Germany. There she met Hryhorij from western Ukraine, who the Nazis forced to work as a farm labourer. After the war, they both moved to the largely Ukrainian refugee camp in Heidenau near Hamburg. In 1947 Hryhorij and Zhenya were married and shortly thereafter they, together with Hryhorij's uncle Semen, were sponsored by Hryhorij's uncles Vasyl and Ivan Dytiuk to immigrate to Grassland, Alberta where they lived for two years. In 1949, encouraged by Hryhorij's family, the Wawrynchuk's and the Turko's, the Kanchir's moved to Winnipeg's North End where they lived their entire lives. In 1950, Irka was born and two years later Diana arrived to complete their family. Hryhorij and Zhenya were loving parents, completely devoted to the activities of their two daughters as they were growing up. The family was active in Winnipeg's Ukrainian community especially at the Ukrainian National Federation (UNF). There, Zhenya was a dedicated lifetime member of the women's association OYK. She was extremely proud of both her daughters' cultural activities. The family expanded with Irka's marriage to Vasyl (Bill) Balan in 1974 and Diana married Willy Zaporozan in 1985. Soon afterwards, Hryhorij and Zhenya's lives were greatly enriched with the arrival of three grandsons: Andrij (Balan) in 1986 and Adrian (Zaporozan) 1988 and Nicholas (Zaporozan) in 1990. Andrij was blessed to have his Dido and Baba as regular participants and supporters of his cultural and church activities as he was growing up in Winnipeg. Adrian and Nicholas were enriched with Baba's and Dido's frequent visits to Arlington, Texas where they took a keen interest in their grandchildren's athletic and school activities. Zhenya was extremely proud of her chosen profession as a domestic worker and she made many lifelong friends during her working years. She also took great pride in her own home and looked forward each year to spending her summer planting and tending to her garden. She enjoyed hosting family, friends and many new immigrants from Ukraine at large festive gatherings at her home. Sunday dinners at Baba's were always a great experience for everyone. Zhenya was devoted to her family in Ukraine. After 28 years of separation from her family, she reconnected with her mother and sisters in 1970. Between 1970 and 2004, she visited them 15 times and sponsored visits of her mother and family members to Winnipeg. She also enjoyed her many visits to Texas, where she spent time with family and she loved to share her wonderful Ukrainian dishes with Diana's neighbours and friends. She was predeceased by her husband in 2004 and will be sadly missed by her daughters Irka (Vasyl) and Diana (Willy), her grandchildren Andrij, Adrian and Nicholas, her grandnephew Artem, now living in Winnipeg and his mother Nadia from Ukraine, who was visiting Zhenya, her aunt at the time of her passing. She will also be missed by her dear family in Ukraine and her many friends and caring neighbours. Most importantly she will be greatly missed by her cat Murchyk', her faithful companion for the past 12 years, who she loved to call her boyfriend'. Panakhyda, will be sung by the O. Koshetz Choir at 7:00 p.m., Friday, September 2 at the Ukrainian Orthodox Cathedral of St. Mary the Protectress, 820 Burrows Ave. Divine Liturgy and Funeral Service will be celebrated 10:00 a.m., Saturday, September 3 also at the Cathedral with Very Rev. Fr. Alexander Harkavyi officiating. Following the service interment will be at Glen Eden Cemetery. Friends that so desire, memorial donations can be made to the Shevchenko Foundation - Holodomor Fund, St. Mary the Protectress Cathedral or any charity of their choice. Mama always put her family first. She worked hard and made sacrifices to ensure we never did without. We love her very much and miss her and will forever cherish her memory. Vichnaya Pamyat! CROPO FUNERAL CHAPEL 204-586-8044

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St.Mary the Protectress Orthodox Cathedral

The St. Mary the Protectress Ukrainian Orthodox Cathedral was established almost 100 years ago and until now is serving the Ukrainian Canadian community across the country. The parish is part of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of Canada.  We welcome everyone to join us and grow together in the love of the Holy Trinity.

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