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VERA MARIE DERENCHUK Obituary pic VERA MARIE DERENCHUK Obituary pic

VERA MARIE DERENCHUK

Born: Oct 24, 1930

Date of Passing: Nov 01, 2019

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VERA MARIE DERENCHUK
October 24, 1930 - November 1, 2019

With Beethoven playing in the background and family at her side, Vera Derenchuk passed away peacefully November 1, 2019 at the Misericordia Hospital.
Vera was larger than life and left her mark on the lives of thousands. Concert pianist, trailblazing educator, wife, mother, grandmother, auntie and triathlete - her legacy will live far into the future.
Vera exemplified the immigrant success story. A young girl born of poor Czech immigrant parents (Mary and Joseph Sopuck), she rose to become one of Manitoba's most prominent leaders in education. Her story is one of struggle, determination and plain old-fashioned hard work. Vera enjoyed remarkable success, excelling at everything she did.
Vera began her career at Nelson McIntyre Collegiate in Norwood as an English teacher with a flair for the Dramatic Arts. She then climbed to become the Superintendent of Schools in Transcona Springfield School Division where she led from 1972-1990. She was a pioneer in the field of education as she became one of the first female Superintendents in Manitoba and in Canada. As an educational leader and visionary in Transcona, she modelled and provided educational leadership to school administrators, resource teachers and special education teachers. Vera was a "people developer". With her team, she was instrumental in planning, building, and developing schools and diverse education programs such as bilingual Ukrainian education programs, Fashion Technology, Aerospace Engineering, and an Adolescent Pregnant Teen Program helping teen moms continue with their education. One can never forget the thousands of lives she touched as an educator. Vera did not do it for the glory. She was strongly committed to the professional development of her team so they could become education leaders in their own right. At the same time, she was able to inspire thousands of students to excel and reach goals that they themselves thought were impossible.
After retiring, Vera continued her commitment to education by consulting for northern school districts. She also served on the Board of Directors for the Winnipeg Regional Health Authority and the Victoria Hospital Board and was even nominated for Manitoba Woman of the Year.
Not only was she a role model in her career, she was also an influential role model for her children, grandchildren, nieces and nephews. Vera's love of education and determination to succeed was evident to her entire family, both immediate and extended. She inspired them all to work hard and become successful in a multitude of professions. Balance was important to Vera. She was extremely generous. Vera and her husband Peter often opened their home on Salme Drive to friends, family, and staff and would host fabulous get-togethers and pool parties with amazing food, love and laughter.
Vera will be greatly missed by her son Laddie (wife Moira Wedekind), daughter Lisa (husband Ben Ganaden), grandchildren Alex, Chase and Capri, sister-in-law Anne Sopuck, nephews Vladimir, Paul, and Lennart Sopuck, Robert and Tim Sopuck, Edward and Brian Rector, Craig Derenchuk and Carlyne, and special niece Joyce Queck. Vera was preceded in death by her husband Peter (1983), brothers Vladimir, Joseph, and Gerald Sopuck and sister Mary Rector.
Who can even begin to measure such a legacy? Vera's legacy remains to this very day. She will be missed by her family and all who knew her, and her accomplishments and achievements will live on forever.
The family especially thanks Joan, Marcia, and Gina and the many other WRHA caregivers that brought joy to Vera's life, including her in many trips to Tim Hortons, drives to Lockport, and welcoming her to their own homes and families.
The memorial service and reception was held this past Thursday, November 7, 2019 at 2:00 pm at the Thomson "In the Park" Funeral Home, 1291 McGillivray Boulevard, Winnipeg, 204-925-1120.
Please consider a donation to establish a scholarship in Vera's name for aspiring young musicians: Winnipeg Music Festival (winnipegmusicfestival.org), 2 88 St. Anne's Rd., Winnipeg, Manitoba, R2M 2Y7.

THOMSON "IN THE PARK"
204-925-1120
Condolences may be sent to www.thomsoninthepark.com


Publish Date: Nov 9, 2019

VERA MARIE DERENCHUK
October 24, 1930 - November 1, 2019

With Beethoven playing in the background and family at her side, Vera Derenchuk passed away peacefully November 1, 2019, at the Misericordia Hospital.
Vera was larger than life and left her mark on the lives of thousands. Concert pianist, trailblazing educator, wife, mother, grandmother, auntie and triathlete - her legacy will live far into the future.
Vera exemplified the immigrant success story. A young girl born of poor Czech immigrant parents, Mary and Joseph Sopuck; she rose to become one of Manitoba's most prominent leaders in education. Her story is one of struggle, determination and plain old-fashioned hard work. Vera enjoyed remarkable success, excelling at everything she did.
Vera began her career at Nelson McIntyre Collegiate in Norwood as an English teacher with a flair for the dramatic arts. She then climbed to become the Superintendent of Schools in Transcona Springfield School Division where she led from 1972 to 1990. She was a pioneer in the field of education, as she became one of the first female superintendents in Manitoba and in Canada. As an educational leader and visionary in Transcona, she modelled and provided educational leadership to school administrators, resource teachers and special education teachers. Vera was a "people developer." With her team, she was instrumental in planning, building, and developing schools and diverse education programs such as bilingual Ukrainian education programs, fashion technology, aerospace engineering, and an adolescent pregnant teen program helping teen moms continue with their education. One can never forget the thousands of lives she touched as an educator. Vera did not do it for the glory. She was strongly committed to the professional development of her team so they could become education leaders in their own right. At the same time, she was able to inspire thousands of students to excel and reach goals that they themselves thought were impossible.
After retiring, Vera continued her commitment to education by consulting for northern school districts. She also served on the Board of Directors for the Winnipeg Regional Health Authority (WRHA) and the Victoria Hospital Board and was even nominated for Manitoba Woman of the Year.
Not only was she a role model in her career, she was also an influential role model for her children, grandchildren, nieces and nephews. Vera's love of education and determination to succeed was evident to her entire family, both immediate and extended. She inspired them all to work hard and become successful in a multitude of professions. Balance was important to Vera. She was extremely generous. Vera and her husband Peter often opened their home on Salme Drive to friends, family, and staff and would host fabulous get-togethers and pool parties with amazing food, love and laughter.
Vera will be greatly missed by her son Laddie (wife Moira Wedekind); daughter Lisa (husband Ben Ganaden); grandchildren, Alex, Chase and Capri; sister-in-law Anne Sopuck; nephews, Vladimir, Paul and Lennart Sopuck, Robert and Tim Sopuck, Edward and Brian Rector, Craig Derenchuk; and sister Carlyne; and special niece Joyce Queck.
Vera was predeceased by her husband Peter (1983); brothers, Vladimir, Joseph, and Gerald Sopuck; and sister Mary Rector.
Who can even begin to measure such a legacy? Vera's legacy remains to this very day. She will be missed by her family and all who knew her and her accomplishments and achievements will live on forever.
The family especially thanks Joan, Marcia, and Gina and the many other WRHA caregivers that brought joy to Vera's life, including her in many trips to Tim Hortons, drives to Lockport and welcoming her to their own homes and families.
A memorial service and reception will be held on Thursday, November 7, 2019 at 2:00 p.m. at Thomson "In the Park" Funeral Home, 1291 McGillivray Boulevard.
In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to establish a scholarship in Vera's name for aspiring young musicians: Winnipeg Music Festival (winnipegmusicfestival.org), 2 - 88 St. Anne's Road, Winnipeg, MB, R2M 2Y7.

THOMSON "IN THE PARK"
204-925-1120
Condolences may be sent to
www.thomsoninthepark.com


Publish Date: Nov 5, 2019

As published in the Winnipeg Free Press on Nov 05, 2019, Nov 09, 2019

Condolences & Memories (17 entries)

  • Lisa, Ben and family, Please accept our sincere condolences on the passing of your mother and mother-in-law. Kerry and Sandra Sampson - Posted by: Kerry Sampson (Friend) on: Nov 12, 2019

  • My condolences to Lisa, Laddie and family. When I first met Mrs. D in my childhood she was the assistant superintendant for Transcona-Springfield. I remember being awestruck with her elegance and style. I am so glad I got to know her over the years with memories of Salme Drive, the lake and the shopping trip to Minneapolis with Lisa and our moms. She accomplished so much in her life and to think she had such humble beginnings. It shows her strength and motivation. I know you are so proud of your mother. Rest in peace classy lady! - Posted by: Erica Andree-Norris (Friend) on: Nov 10, 2019

  • Our deepest condolences to Lisa, Ben, Laddie, Moira and families on the loss of your mother and grandmother. Regretfully we were unable to attend the memorial service due to distance. Your mother was an outstanding and highly respected educational leader in our school division over many years. Her passion for education was evident in her creation of various programs, including those for the disadvantaged. She was an inspiring role model to administrators, teachers and students alike with her ultimate professionalism, integrity, confidence and compassion. She truly made a difference in the lives of many! Our thoughts are with you at this sad time. May she rest in peace. - Posted by: Dennis & Lillian Kozak (Retired Teacher and Retired Administrator of the former Transcona-Springfield School Division) on: Nov 08, 2019

  • Very grateful to have met this very strong woman, a leader & a pillar in the educational community. She made things happen, she made a difference in our society. Mrs Derenchuk hired me and gave me that awesome handshake which was filled with so much strength and support . I was hired to pioneer the grade 1 English Ukrainian Bilingual Progamme in 1979 in Oakbank. "When we invest in women and girls, we are investing in the people who invest in everyone else." — Melinda Gates I extend my sincere condolences to her entire family - very sorry for your loss. May you find strength in the love of family and in the warm embrace of friends. Eternal Memory! - Posted by: Marta Romaniak Dlugosh (Teacher, Transcona-Springfield School Division) on: Nov 07, 2019

  • Thank you for such a beautiful tribute to a grand lady. The essence of who Vera was, was well captured. She was a role model and an inspiration to all who had the privilege of knowing and working with her. Yes "as an educational leader and visionary", she also pioneered a vibrant French Immersion Program in the Transcona-Springfield School Division. It grew exponentially under her capable leadership. Upon her retirement she could be proud of knowing that there were two Early Years French Immersion schools, one Middle Years school, one Dual Track school and one French Immersion High School . A program which enriched the lives of thousands of students. She was my mentor as I progressed from teacher to administrator in the French Immersion Program. I greatly admired her and valued her professionalism, her work ethic, and insight. I am sure she is now relaxing and watching over all of us as she is being serenaded by angels. - Posted by: Paulette Belot-Dyrda (Retired School Administrator Transcona-Springfield School Division) on: Nov 06, 2019

  • Farewell to an excellent high school English teacher when she taught me at Nelson Mc. in 1964. - Posted by: james wyndels (student) on: Nov 06, 2019

  • Farewell Mrs. Derenchuk. You will always be alive in our fondest memories. As a student in your grade 12 English class in 1965, we all knew, I knew, that we had a very special teacher. You were bright, articulate, kind, and nice, and cared about us as individuals. You inspired us all to excel in your English course. Ours was the "Latin class" , placed together in grade 8 and kept together through to graduation, with exceptionally high expectations. We have often talked amongst ourselves about how you helped us all to strive towards our highest potential. That is what a great teacher does! I am retired now from 48 years as an educator. You were the role model who inspired me to enter this noble profession. I truly loved being in your musical, "Betty Lou". We all had so much fun, and celebrated in style at the after- performance party you threw at your home for a bunch of high school kids. It was no surprise to anyone that you later became the very successful Superintendent of Transcona School Division, as well as serving and inspiring the broader education community. Your soft-spoken, understated elegance, and engaging manner endeared you to people. Thank you for all that you did for me, and for the influence you had on my life. Rest in peace. You will always be remembered by your loving students. Lawrence Herman - Posted by: Lawrence Herman (Student) on: Nov 06, 2019

  • Our deepest and most sincere condolences to Lisa, Ben, Chase, Capri and family! Thinking of all of you during this most difficult time in your life. I will always remember Vera and her smile from the day she hired me to pilot the Ukrainian Bilingual program in grade 7! Her smile and handshake gave me the confidence to embark on this teaching challenge! Vera reminded all the staff in Transcona Springfield School Division that we exist because of the child! I feel fortunate to have reconnected in a small way with Vera in the past couple of years through my daughter and Capri's friendship and our friendship with Lisa and Ben! Vera was always a classy and remarkable leader! Eternal Memory Larisa, Taras and Zenya! - Posted by: Larisa Veryha (Teacher and Family friend) on: Nov 06, 2019

  • To dearest Lisa, Ben, Laddie, Moira and family Please accept our heart felt condolences. You all in our thoughts and prayers! Vera was such a sweet precious caring loving friend and neighbor. We will miss you SWEET VERA! You will be in our hearts forever and beyond. You are leaving lots of sweet precious memories Vera! May you Rest In Peace...May god take care of you in Heaven...We love you so much Vera! ❤️ With much love and blessings!😘🤗❤️🙏🏼 Anoja, Anjana, Ashan and Meghan - Posted by: Anoja de silva (Friend and neighbor ) on: Nov 06, 2019

  • Sending a big hug to you Carlyne. Your sister looks as beautiful as you from that picture. My condolences to you and your family. From a ol' friend from school. Jill Palmer nee McWhinney☮️♥️🕊️ - Posted by: Jill Palmer nee McWhinney (school friend of Carlyne) on: Nov 06, 2019

  • My deepest sympathy Lisa, Ben, Chase, Capri and family, on your loss, your mother was an extraordinary educational leader, as a teenager I remember your mother running for school superintendent of Transcona-Springfield School Division and knocking on doors to introduce herself. When I became a teacher in 1981 it was your mother that hired me. I remember her saying: “We want to hire strong and courageous people who will lead our children into the future and into the next generation”. She definitely had very high expectations for anyone she hired. She was a very social person and would always make the beginning of the school year a ”Superior Social Event” where all school employees would gather together to celebrate the start of the year at one of the larger schools in the division. It was so amazing, reconnecting with our colleagues after a summer away and welcoming all new staff. She never segregated always welcomed “all staff” who worked for the division. We were a “Transcona-Springfield Educational Family”. She had a great sense of humour and as an educational leader; she was always ahead of her time with her visions and what our children needed to do to go forth. She was an innovator too; never a dull moment, our division was always looking to the future and it was your mother who definitely gave “Transcona-Springfield School Division” many accolades for being innovative within the province. In closing, your mother was an amazing woman, who was always beyond her time and an exceptional educator whom I respected very much. It was also honour to have worked for her. Sincerely, Shawn Nykoluk - Posted by: Shawn Nykoluk (Teacher) on: Nov 05, 2019

  • Extending my heartfelt sympathy to the Derenchuk family on Vera's passing. I was deeply saddened to hear that your mom's journey on earth had ended. Vera endured her ongoing health issues these past few years and was fortunate to remain in her home with dedicated care. When I think of Vera I think of the lady across the street who loved her summer gardens. Thank you for sharing this beautiful tribute of a life committed to family and community. She leaves an amazing legacy. One of my favourite quotes from Maya Angelou: 'I would like to be known as an intelligent women, a courageous women, a loving women, a woman that teaches by being'. Please know that my thoughts are with you at this very sad and difficult time. Lynda Ruban (neighbour) - Posted by: Lynda Ruban (neighbour) on: Nov 05, 2019

  • Lisa & Ben and family, Our sincere condolences. Lisa, your mom was a remarkable woman. May fond memories of your mom live on in your hearts. Sincerely, Joanie, Rob and Ashley Smalley - Posted by: Joanie (Peiluck) Smalley (Friend of Lisa) on: Nov 05, 2019

  • Dear Lisa, Laddie and family, My deepest sympathy in your loss of a great lady. Vera was my teacher, drama/music coach, mentor, leader and my friend. As a teacher, she was exacting and had high expectations for us all. We enjoyed her love of learning, her musical talents, her subtle sense of humour and her special post-performance parties which she hosted to honour our high school accomplishments. As a leader and boss, she was an inspiration to all who worked with her, challenging us with her vision, intellect and yes, sometimes overwhelming us with her incredible tenacity and work ethic. She put Transcona-Springfield School Division on the map as ‘an innovative and progressive child-centred school division‘ and we all learned so much from her. As a friend in later years, Vera continued to be a mentor as she kept asking the tough questions, always urging us to strive towards excellence. She so loved her family and my heart goes out to each one of you. Sincerely, Diane Phillips - Posted by: Diane Phillips (Former student, co-worker and friend) on: Nov 05, 2019

  • My sincere condolences to the Vera's family and extended family members. I hope for all of you, peace will come early and your reflections of the wonderful woman she was, will bring a smile to your faces, and a warmth in your hearts. Rest in peace, Vera - Posted by: Vicki Lazaruk (Former School Trustee River East Transona School Division) on: Nov 05, 2019

  • Our deepest condolences Lisa to you & your family. Your Mother’s obituary reads so beautifully as to the wonderful woman she was. You were so blessed to have her in your life. - Posted by: Ron Craig & Carol Ingimundson (Friend to Lisa) on: Nov 05, 2019

  • I have always been grateful to have had Mrs. Derenchuk as my grade 12 English teacher. She made a difference in my life. Rest In Peace Mrs. D. - Posted by: Glenna Zetaruk(Drake) (Former student) on: Nov 05, 2019

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Thomson In the Park Funeral Home and Cemetery

Thomson In the Park Funeral Home and Cemetery

1291 McGillivary Blvd. (Map)
Ph: 2049251120 | Visit Website

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