Sam Kozelko passed away peacefully on Wednesday, May 27, 2020 in the presence of his family. Sam is survived by his beloved wife of 61 years, Mary, his children John (Darusia), Irene (Carl), and Roman (Barb), grandchildren Alexandra, Nicolas, Daniel (Hannah), Roxanna(Connor), Timon, Kate, Adrian, and Madelyn, and great-grandson, Sammy. Also mourning his passing are Monsignor Michael, Bohdan, and Sister Andreja Vladia Buyachok and other nieces, nephews, and extended family members and dear friends in Winnipeg, throughout Canada, the United States, and Ukraine. He will also be missed by his faithful feline companion, Oreo.
Tato was born on February 14, 1924 to parents Ivan and Anna Kozelko in the selo Sukha Volia, povit Lubachiv, Lvivska oblast in Western Ukraine. Always true Ukrainian patriot, Sam is the last surviving member in Manitoba of the UPA (Ukrainian Insurgent Army). This brave, young man fled war-torn Ukraine on foot at the end of World War II with the goal of spreading knowledge about Ukraine in the diaspora. He eventually arrived in Germany and entered a displaced persons camp where he was eventually given the choice of a new homeland. He chose Canada where he was reunited with his sisters, Mary and Catherine. Sam worked at Dominion Bridge for 40 years and retired in 1989. He dedicated his life to his family, his community (especially Chytalnia Prosvita), and his church. He freely gave of his time and energy to help others. Tato loved spending time with his family, celebrating the holidays according to Ukrainian tradition, and celebrating the many special occasions in our lives (with a glass of brandy or his favourite “Royal Red” wine). We shared many laughs together and in typically “Dido” fashion, smiles. He genuinely appreciated every moment and treasured its significance.
Tato had little formal education but was an intelligent man with a thirst for knowledge. He read a variety of materials in many languages including newspapers, magazines (especially National Geographic), and journals. He enjoyed reading the daily newspaper, watching the news, and watching documentaries (especially about animals). He was a teacher by example, demonstrating the virtues of respect, kindness, and compassion. Tato was a humble man who never sought attention or praise. Tato was gentle; he tended to his gardens and many strays to whom he offered shelter and care. For Tato, every living thing, even the smallest, should be respected and be able to live freely. Tato worked hard. He loved his “Niddrie” where he spent hours building, planting, and feeding the wildlife. To him, life was simple; he cherished all that he had and wanted for nothing, realizing that the most important things in life were not things, but moments. For Tato, any adversity was overshadowed by the good. He was always positive.
He was quietly devoted to his faith and attended church regularly at Blessed Virgin Mary Parish. We were blessed to have had him in our lives for 96 years and we are forever grateful to him for his wisdom and guidance.
The family wishes to thank Dr. A. Macaulay, his family physician, the staff in Urgent Care and on the third floor at Seven Oaks General Hospital, the nurses, health care workers, and the staff who lovingly cared for him at Holy Family Home. A special thank you to Sister Darlene for her compassion and support in our time of need.
Due to Covid-19 limitations, a private family service has taken place. The family will hold a celebration of his life in the future once restrictions are lifted.
May our beloved husband, Tato, Dido, and great-grandfather rest in eternal peace. Forever in our memory, Vichnaya Pamyat.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in his name to the Oseredok Foundation or to the Winnipeg Humane Society.
Services will be live streamed from this page on saturday, May30, 2020 at 10;30 am. You may access it by going to to Korban Funeral Facebook directly, or by clicking on this link below:
https://www.facebook.com/korbanchapel/ You do not require a Facebook account to participate.
To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Sam Kozelko, please visit our floral store.