OLENA KOSZARNY-SEMENIUK

Obituary
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  • "Victor and Tamara, Our sincere condolences for your loss."
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OLENA KOSZARNY-SEMENIUK Passed away peacefully July 17, 2015 at 12:28 p.m. at Oakville Trafalgar Memorial Hospital. She had just celebrated her 92nd birthday in her own home surrounded by family. Born in a village in Khryshtopivka, Ukraine on July 7, 1923, Olena lived a truly extraordinary life. Thrown out of her home with her family at the age of 6 during the forced collectivization in Ukraine that displaced millions of Ukrainians, she survived the unspeakable horror of the Holodomor (Famine-Genocide of 1932-33) as a young girl of 9 years old. She later experienced extreme hardship during World War II when she was deported, together with her infant son Victor, to Germany to work in a Nazi forced-labour camp. Reunited with her husband Hryhoriy in Hannover and escaping forced deportation back to the Soviet Union, they then began their journey together as displaced persons in post-war Europe. Together, her young family finally found freedom in Belgium in 1947, where their second son Paul was born and they later established a new home and brighter future in Canada in 1951. They settled in London, Ontario, building and becoming active members of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of Canada and their local community, supporting the Ukrainian language and culture, the plight of Ukrainian dissidents and the fight for Ukraine's independence throughout their entire lives. Olena lost her husband Hryhoriy at the early age of 54, after 37 years of matrimony, but found love in a second marriage to Wasyl Semeniuk that lasted nearly 25 years. Despite hardships that would have broken many, Olena's deep faith, her gratitude for every day spent on this earth, her generosity, her positive, indomitable spirit and determined disposition prevailed over her difficult circumstances. Her strength, wisdom and optimism compelled her toward a future of freedom and promise and a legacy of love for her family and her beloved Ukraine. She was adored by her grandchildren and lovingly doted on them with a luminous twinkle in her eyes. Yet she was also a pillar of her community - a commanding presence and a powerful speaker that exuded strength and spirit. She will be sorely missed. Her legacy will be carried on by her son Victor Koszarny, his wife Tamara, grandchildren Olena, Katherine, Victor, Greg and Tyler - together with their spouses Andrius, John, Maria and Christine and great-grandchildren Cassandra, Levko, Ivasyk, Naomi, Sofia, Felix and Stefan, as well as her brother Ivan Haivoronsky and his family in Ukraine. She is predeceased by her parents Fedir and Maria Haivoronsky, her husband Hryhoriy Koszarny, her beloved son Paul and his wife Marina and her second husband Wasyl Semeniuk. Her legacy will live on through the many Ukrainian projects that she supported and through her memoirs "My Life's Journey" and "The Living Truth", a movie documenting her life which was lovingly produced by her grandchildren. Visitation will take place Tuesday, July 21st from 3:00 - 5:00 and 6:00 - 9:00 p.m. with a Panakhyda (service) at 8:00 p.m. at the Turner & Porter Funeral Home - Neweduk-Erin Mills Chapel, 1981 Dundas St. W., Mississauga. Funeral and interment will take place on Wednesday, July 22nd at 12 noon at the St. Volodymyr Ukrainian Cultural Centre Chapel, 1280 Dundas Street West, Oakville. Donations in honour of Olena and her support for the brave heroes continuing to defend Ukraine may be made to Ukrainian Canadian Congress Toronto (www.ucctoronto.ca), please specify "EuroMaidan - Ambulance for Ukraine" project. May God welcome Olena in His loving arms May she soar with the angels May her memory be eternal Vichnaya Pamyat.

Funeral Home
Turner & Porter Neweduk-Erin Mills Chapel
1981 Dundas Street W
Mississauga, ON L5K 1R2
(905) 828-8000
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Published in the Toronto Star on July 20, 2015