Vera (Melnycky) Matwichyna
It is with great sorrow that the family announces the peaceful passing of our beloved mother, baba, and sister Vera (Vee) Matwichyna at her home with her children at her side on January 13, 2022.
Vera was born in a Displaced Persons camp in Gottingen Germany to war refugees Ivan and Anastasia [Lysenko] Melnycky. She arrived in Canada as a toddler and grew up in Winnipeg. She graduated from Gordon Bell High School and studied Home Economics at the University of Manitoba and design at the Lidia Lawrence Fashion Institute in Vancouver.
Throughout her life, Vera was closely involved with the Ukrainian community. She graduated from the Ukrainian National Federation Ukrainian School - Ridna Shkola and participated in the Plast Ukrainian Youth Association. Vera was an artistic and creative spirit involved with costume design for Ukrainian community theatre and produced the fashion shows featured at Folklorama’s Kyiv Ukrainian Pavilion. Through her love of cinema, she became an initiator of Winnipeg’s Kino Ukrainian Film Festival.
While at the University of Manitoba she was an active member of the Alpha Omega and Obnova Ukrainian student societies and a singer with the Karlycky Trio. It was there that she met the love of her life Bill Matwichyna and formed her lasting partnership in life. Vera and Bill were married in 1970 and raised four children. The couple were pillars within their community especially supporting the Blessed Virgin Mary Sadochok Nursery School and Plast Ukrainian Youth Association. Together they launched a number of businesses including Slinks, Vera’s Fashion Cinema, and Chocolate Chocolate. Their crowning achievement was Vera Agency. With her vision and passion, she took to the road with one clothing line and the family station wagon, building a very successful sales business with several offices in western Canada, making her an icon in the fashion industry.
Vera was predeceased by her beloved husband Bill in 2000 and her parents Ivan and Anastasia.
She leaves to mourn her passing, her children Daniel (Stacey), Darya (Florian), Tanya (Tony), Kristya (Paul); grandchildren Billy, Katie, Anastasia, Nicolas, Amadeus, Christian, Andrew, Alexis, Sofia, and Evan; siblings Peter (Nadia) and their children Julian and Natalka, Nina (Ihor) and their children Olena and Taras, numerous nieces and nephews and extended family in Ukraine.
As the firstborn of immigrant parents, she became a pathfinder for her entire family. She loved her family more than anything in the world and took great pride in the achievements of her children and grandchildren. She was nurturing and supportive to all who crossed paths with her and was a gracious host whose house and Winnipeg Beach cottage was the scene of countless celebrations.
Vera steadfastly fought an insidious cancer for decades. She took her health into her own hands, managing it in her own private way with her children and siblings by her side. She led a relentless search for alternative treatments when conventional options were insufficient. Vera worked with Dr. Chris Turner, and she traveled to Mexico, Latvia, and China to access treatments that allowed her to continue living independently for many years.
She lived a passionate life and knew where her compass always pointed. Through power and strength, she accomplished many great things and it was through her amazing accomplishments we know she lived her life to the fullest. She remains an inspiration not only to her family but to every person with whom she connected. She was the strongest-minded person and remained positive even in the most difficult situations imaginable. She was our tireless Queen Bee, blessing us with her graces and will be sorely and forever missed, yet every time the sun shines bright, we are reminded that she is always with us.
The family would like to extend a special thank you to Vera’s home care attendants and nurses, especially Tamara as well as to Dr. Chris Turner for his commitment to Vera’s health and wellbeing, friendship, and guidance he offered over the years. He was her right-hand man, her ally, and fellow soldier in her battle. His care and support are what granted her decades of life to enjoy and be a continuous gift to the world.
The funeral liturgy will be celebrated Tuesday, January 25th at 10:00 am at St. Joseph’s Ukrainian Catholic Church, 250 Jefferson Ave. followed by interment at Holy Family Cemetery. Due to Covid restrictions, attendance will be limited and by invitation only. For those unable to attend, the events will also be recorded and uploaded through the Korban Funeral Chapel by visiting http://www.korbanchapel.com/
In lieu of flowers, donations in memory of Vera can be made to the Canadian College of Naturopathic Medicine - Boucher Campus Vancouver at https://ccnm.edu/donate
“We love you to the stars and back”