Anastasia Shkilnyk
1945 - 2014
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Perhaps the fact that she was born in a Displaced Persons camp in southern Germany at the end of the war played a role. Her parents and other relatives were fleeing Stalin's scourge of their Ukrainian homeland when Anastasia Maria Shkilnyk was born near Wasserburg, Germany on August 22, 1945. Her father, the much-respected Judge, Mikhialo Shkilnyk had been renowned for his scrupulous fairness in every matter he adjudicated; not the kind of person the Soviet regime wanted around. His strong belief in absolute justice certainly had an effect on the developing mind of the young Anastasia.

Undoubtedly, the seemingly unlimited caring, compassion and Christian charity that her mother, Maria (Salamon) Shkilnyk gave to the world's downtrodden also played a role. Even as the family eked out a meagre living in Winnipeg, where Anastasia lived from the age of two until she left for the University of Toronto, her parents managed to help others less fortunate than themselves. This capacity for caring and clear concern for social justice certainly made its mark on the young Anastasia.

Her upbringing shaped her life into one which was itself devoted to helping those whose lives had been damaged by others.

Anastasia graduated with honours from the U of T in 1966, where she majored in Eastern European studies. She went on to earn a Master's degree from Yale University (1968) and a PhD from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in the field of Urban Planning (1982). Along the way, Anastasia worked with the Ford Foundation in Santiago, Chile helping to direct scholarships to the most-deserving students and grants to projects which would assist people in need. She also worked in Egypt's Sinai Peninsula, helping with the resettlement along the Suez Canal of those who had been displaced by the 1973 war there. While working on her thesis, Anastasia moved to the Grassy Narrows Reservation on the English-Wabigoon River system in Ontario. Here she saw, researched and wrote about how the insensitivity of the European culture had damaged Ojibwa life there. Her book on the subject, A Poison Stronger Than Love, has seen many printings since its publication in 1985 and still serves as a seminal work for university students trying to understand the forces that have shaped the lives of North America's aboriginal people since the arrival of the Europeans.

Despite debilitating battles with breast cancer and stomach cancer in 2000 and 2009, Anastasia continued to work for social justice. She established and funded The Light of Justice Award which recognized moral leaders in Ukraine, and organized fund-raising events to raise consciousness about the need for moral leadership in the world and to provide scholarships for young people in Ukraine who showed promise as future moral leaders.

And in the midst of a terrible battle with oesophageal cancer, Anastasia continued to work for the downtrodden, this time raising funds to support the child refugees of the conflict in Syria. Her battle with oesophageal cancer could not be won, and she succumbed to the disease on May 13, 2014. She is survived by her sister, Maria Leshchyshyn of Rochester, New York and husband, Jim Kingham of North Saanich, British Columbia.

There will be a sung Ukrainian Requiem Divine Liturgy and Panakyda service at 7:00 PM on Friday, June 6th and an Anglican Funeral Service at 2:00 PM on June 7th, both at Holy Trinity Church, 1319 Mills Road in North Saanich (Corner of West Saanich Road and Mills Road). While Anastasia loved flowers, her recognition of their transient nature and her appreciation that resources could more usefully be directed to humanitarian needs, suggest that contributions be made in lieu of flowers to Save the Children Canada, 4141 Yonge St., Toronto, Ont. M2P 2A8 /

To Plant Memorial Trees in memory, please visit our Sympathy Store.
Published in The Times Colonist from May 24 to May 26, 2014.
Memories & Condolences
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16 entries
January 26, 2015
Jim, although I had lost contact with both of you over the years, I have often thought of you.
It was with deep sorrow that I learned of Anastasia's passing. It was a privilege to have met such an exceptional person. Having known both of you has had a positive impact on my life, and I thank you for the kindness you have shown me.
Please accept my heartfelt condolences.
Francine Whissell
June 1, 2014
We were honoured and priviledged to have known Anastasia for the past five years. She was always so gracious and hospitable and we shared our love of Golden Retrievers. Thank you for the time we spent together.
Newton & Noreen Hockey/Connor
June 1, 2014
Jim, Anastasia, Julie & Tess
Newton & Noreen Hockey/Connor
May 29, 2014
Jim I'm so sorry to hear of Anastasia passing. She was a beautiful person inside and out. It's a tough time for you which I fully understand. Please accept my condolences and positive energy for you. Marjorie Meckbach.
Marjorie Meckbach
May 20, 2014
So very sorry for your loss Jim and Family. Anastasia showed tremendous strength and courage in her journey with Cancer. She was part of our dragonboat team in Victoria and will be remembered by all for her beauty,her grace and her generosity.She is now an angel helping us from the other side. Her spirit lives on.
Norma Christou
May 20, 2014
Although the times we had together during visits were short, owing to the miles of separation, I was able to understand and appreciate the empathy that aunt Anastasia was able to project onto any, and all lives she touched. The news of her passing is met with great sadness. God now receives a new angel at his side.
John G.
John A C Gross
May 19, 2014
So sorry to hear about Anastasia. We had the pleasure of meeting her and Jim at Zorya and Patrick's wedding. She was a very warm, beautiful and elegant lady. Vichnaya Pamyat
The Chumak Family
May 19, 2014
Our deepest sympathy, Uncle Jim. Aunt Anastasia was a beautiful woman, both inside and out.
Ian and Kathy Kingham
May 18, 2014
I had the privilege of meeting Anastasia very briefly in Victoria BC. I was introduced to her at lunch by my long time friend Sylvia Gamble. We discussed her projects and her laser focus on how to bring resources and continued support to those who lacked opportunity to thrive. She was a shining light and an inspiration !
Marsha Lake
May 18, 2014
As one of those students who continues to spread her insightful work with the Ojibway, I am forever grateful to have had a chance to work with Anastasia and get to know her beautiful nature. Dee
May 18, 2014
Jim and family.
My thoughts , prayers and hugs go to all. I always enjoyed the opportunity for gatherings when you were here in Ontario. She was an inspiration to all and will be missed.
Love Lorraine Budreau
May 18, 2014
As a little girl, who was often sent to her father's grocery store, I would be in awe of Anastasia for her beauty and her musical talent. I still remember standing in the doorway, watching her play the piano for as long as I could. May she rest in peace.
Oksana Bondarchuk
May 18, 2014
I met Anastasia at Patrick and Zorya's wedding. She seemed at peace always... Beautiful and elegant. I guess this was because her heart and soul were always in the right place. I am sorry for your loss but know her heart lives on.
Leslie Belanger
May 17, 2014
Thanks for the beautiful summary of your beautiful Anastasia! There is so much more we can all add of the difference she made in all of our lives. Sandi Parshall and Louis Marrero
May 17, 2014
I still remember Anastasia from Winnipeg.
Vichnaia Pamiat.
George Kotovych
May 17, 2014
May she rest in peace.Vychnaya pamiat.

George and Halyna Kotovych
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