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Date of Passing: Aug 17, 2012

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DONNA GRESCOE (DOJACK) In Richmond, BC, August 17, 2012, at age 84. Widow of Bjorn Gullichsen and Charles Dojack. Born in Winnipeg and renowned as a child prodigy on the violin, Donna later performed in New York's Carnegie Hall and on Ed Sullivan's TV show. After a concert career, she taught music, supported young musicians, and commissioned 14 classical music compositions. She is survived by a son, Eric Gullichsen in Sausalito, CA, and siblings Eleanor Webb in Winnipeg, Lorraine Grescoe and Paul Grescoe in B.C. and their families.

As published in Winnipeg Free Press on Aug 22, 2012

Condolences & Memories (12 entries)

  • In January of 1979? I saw an ad for violin lessons. Already in school and working part time. I still jumped at the chance. I rented a violin and spoke for the first time with my teacher. Over the phone was a melodic calm voice radiating good cheer and already a bit of homework. "please remember GDAE", she said. And when we met in person I drew my first bow for her and her jaw almost dropped. Politely she said "In thirty years of teaching she had never heard a natural arm before." I was told that I still would be learning for pleasure. For I was not a matched set. My right hand was not the shape or "stretch" that needs to be molded from early on. "Stretch" she would encourage me during lessons. I learned so much in those few, all too short weeks. About reading music for the first time. Life and her outlook. And that a teacher should "inspire" that she did it will always be with me. - Posted by: LM (former student) on: Dec 30, 2013

  • I got to meet Donna one year back in school I believe I was 10, it was for a music class. My teacher at the time was starting a school orchestra, at which he succeeded. Miss Grescoe was asked to speak to the class. really enjoyed the experience only to find out later from my grandfather that she was a distant relative. I couldn't wait to go back to school and tell everyone. I also got to meet her one sister Chrissy because she attended my grandfather's funeral back in 1987. She will be sadly missed. - Posted by: Audra Rosentreter (Granddaughter of a distant cousin, the late Bruno Roscoe) on: Apr 06, 2013

  • Donna was a wonderful and extremely caring mother of her son Eric, and I share my long memories of her caring and lovely zest for so much of what life would offer. She was dedicated as in her music to her family. Mostly I remember a very caring 'Auntie' My sincere sympathy to Eric. - Posted by: Darrell Grymonpre (Close ) on: Sep 11, 2012

  • I was a student of Donna's when I was approx. 20 years old. I studied and played the violin earlier at school and with other teachers but I was ready to take on private lessons again and my mother put me in touch with Donna with whom she had had a connection with. My lessons were taught in Donna's home in Wildwood Park in Winnipeg and I enjoyed them very much. She thought my fingernails were too long to play the violin so after her constant reminders for me to trim my fingernails, she went out and thoughtfully bought me a pair of fingernail clippers. I still have them in my violin case to this day and they have always reminded me of her and our lessons together. I am in my late 40s now and have just recently taken up violin lessons again at the Manitoba Conservatory of Music & Arts and I again have a fantastic violin teacher who also remembers Donna. We have often talked about Donna and how fabulous she was. I wish I had stayed in touch with Donna after she left Winnipeg. I will never forget her. - Posted by: Deborah Capek (Prior student) on: Sep 04, 2012

  • Donna was fortunate to have had full financial support, from Winnipeg, throughout her musical education, as a young student in New York and therefore did the right thing to return to Winnipeg (when there was very little work in her field in New York) and encourage other aspiring violinists in her home town. That is her legacy. She will Rest in Peace! - Posted by: Cornelia Gayowsky-Kuchmy (childhood friend and musical colleague and apartment sharer from 1948 top 1951) on: Aug 31, 2012

  • Donna and I have been dear friends for many, many years. Donna and I performed at the American Ukrainian Folk Festival in 1939. She truly was a beautiful and amazing prodigy. Donna performed Sonata A Major and Bolero. She and I have remained friends for a long time as I am now 93. She married my dear friend Charles Dojack, when living in Richmond where I still reside with my daughter Marcia. Donna we will miss your love of music and your joy of life. Meros Leckow - Posted by: meros leckow and marcia (daughter) (long time friend) on: Aug 30, 2012

  • Inspired by her ability and early stardom; thankful for her musical contributions; saddened by her passing. May she rest in peace. - Posted by: Dan Huzyk (admirer) on: Aug 23, 2012

  • We greatly admired Donna not only for her incredible musical talent but also for her warm personality. She was very much a lady and we are sorry she is gone. Our sympathy to all. - Posted by: Gail and Brian Reilly (Charles'cousin and Donna's friends) on: Aug 23, 2012

  • We first became acquainted with ¬†Donna a dozen or so years ago, though of course we were well aware of her childhood story. We had wonderful long conversations on the telephone. She knew so much about the Canadian music scene. Vichnaya pamyat. Tricia and Denis Hlynka - Posted by: Trica and Denis Hlynka (Friends) on: Aug 23, 2012

  • My sincere condolences to Donna's family. She was my favourite teacher. I can't begin to say how much she taught me in technique and practice discipline. She demanded so much and at times I was so discouraged, but her no-nonsense style just expected that I would rise above my challenges, and I did! Almost everything that I tell my students now stems from something she demonstrated to me. I treasure those lessons. I started teaching at the Manitoba Conservatory of Music and Arts at its beginning, as well as my own lessons with her. Now, my own students are benefiting from the knowledge she imparted, as well as financial support from the scholarship award in her name. - Posted by: Karen (Klassen) Warner (former student (mid-80s)) on: Aug 23, 2012

  • You were always so thoughtful... Luke felt so inspired by your bow and vibrato suggestions. Thank you for your contribution to all of our lives. You will be missed. - Posted by: Tom Dojack (nephew and friend) on: Aug 22, 2012

  • Sincere condolences to each and everyone. In 1971, my Grade 6 teacher read us "The Little Magic Fiddler", the story of Donna Grescoe. She later invited her to come speak to our class here in Winnipeg. I asked for her autograph and convinced my parents to buy me a violin. She has been a true inspiration in my life. - Posted by: Denise Paill√©-Jones (admirer) on: Aug 22, 2012

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