March 2, 1937 – August 21, 2021
Mariya’s life took a huge turn when her daughter, Zoryana and son-in-law, Eric, helped her immigrate to Canada. She moved with them and two grandsons, Steven and Kevin, to several locations in Canada, finally ending up in Port Alberni. Sadly, Zoryana was diagnosed with cancer and in 2009, she died.
Mariya lived a long life, which started in a small village in Ukraine with her mother, who instilled in her a strong work ethic and a positive outlook, which stayed with Mariya to the end.
Learning a new language in later stages of life is a challenge. When her daughter died, her son-in-law arranged for her to join ‘English as a Second Language’ classes. By far, the best outcome of the classes was her close and long-lasting friendship with many of her classmates – Raj, Vandi, Gloria, Morgan and many others.
During her years in the valley, she enjoyed visits from her son, Martin, and daughter-in-law, Ira and oldest granddaughter, Dara, all the way from Ukraine, and then, Mariya returned to Ukraine for one last visit. Mariya didn’t meet her second granddaughter, Katya, but she saw many photos and was able to talk on the computer.
The kindness of many people helped make Mariya’s life in the valley happy – attending garden parties with her friends, helpful bus drivers, Wheels for Wellness, Friendly Phone Service, helpful and patient apartment managers, very kind neighbours, Debby and Terry, the ambulance drivers, who came to know her quite well in the end, her doctor, Dr. Van Zyl and the receptionist who always managed to understand her needs, and in the end, a calm and respectful last stay in our wonderful hospital.
She mentioned often how much she enjoyed a walk to the Salvation Army thrift store and food bank, where she knew she would be greeted by name with smiles.
A graveside service was held on Monday, August 30, at 11 am where she was laid to rest beside Zoryana.
Memorial contributions, if desired, may be made to the Port Alberni Salvation Army.
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