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Born: Feb 14, 1924
Date of Passing: May 27, 2020Send Flowers to the Family Offer Condolences or Memory
Sam is survived by his beloved wife of 61 years, Mary; his children, John (Darusia), Irene (Carl) and Roman (Barb); grandchildren, Alexandra, Nicolas, Daniel (Hannah), Roxanna (Connor), Timon, Kate, Adrian and Madelyn and great-grandson Sammy. Also mourning his passing are Monsignor Michael, Bohdan and Sister Andreja Vladia Buyachok and other nieces, nephews and extended family members and dear friends in Winnipeg, throughout Canada, the United States and Ukraine. He will also be missed by his faithful feline companion, Oreo.
Tato was born on February 14, 1924 to parents, Ivan and Anna Kozelko in the selo Sukha Volia, povit Lubachiv, Lvivska oblast in Western Ukraine. Always true Ukrainian patriot, Sam is the last surviving member in Manitoba of the UPA (Ukrainian Insurgent Army.) This brave, young man fled war-torn Ukraine on foot at the end of the Second World War with the goal of spreading knowledge about Ukraine in the diaspora. He eventually arrived in Germany and entered a displaced persons camp, where he was eventually given the choice of a new homeland. He chose Canada, where he was reunited with his sisters, Mary and Catherine.
Sam worked at Dominion Bridge for 40 years and retired in 1989. He dedicated his life to his family, his community (especially Chytalnia Prosvita) and his church. He freely gave of his time and energy to help others. Tato loved spending time with his family, celebrating the holidays according to Ukrainian tradition and celebrating the many special occasions in our lives (with a glass of brandy or his favourite "Royal Red" wine.) We shared many laughs together and in typically "Dido" fashion, smiles. He genuinely appreciated every moment and treasured its significance.
Tato had little formal education, but was an intelligent man with a thirst for knowledge. He read a variety of materials in many languages including newspapers, magazines (especially National Geographic) and journals. He enjoyed reading the daily newspaper, watching the news and watching documentaries (especially about animals.) He was a teacher by example, demonstrating the virtues of respect, kindness and compassion. Tato was a humble man who never sought attention or praise. Tato was gentle; he tended to his gardens and many strays to whom he offered shelter and care. For Tato, every living thing, even the smallest, should be respected and be able to live freely. Tato worked hard. He loved his "niddrie" where he spent hours building, planting and feeding the wildlife. To him, life was simple; he cherished all that he had and wanted for nothing, realizing that the most important things in life were not things, but moments. For Tato, any adversity was overshadowed by the good. He was always positive.
He was quietly devoted to his faith and attended church regularly at Blessed Virgin Mary Parish. We were blessed to have had him in our lives for 96 years and we are forever grateful to him for his wisdom and guidance.
The family wishes to thank Dr. A. Macaulay, his family physician, the staff in Urgent Care and on the third floor at Seven Oaks General Hospital, the nurses, health care workers and the staff who lovingly cared for him at Holy Family Home. A special thank you to Sister Darlene for her compassion and support in our time of need.
Due to Covid-19 limitations, a private family service has taken place. The family will hold a celebration of his life in the future once restrictions are lifted.
May our beloved husband, tato, dido and great-grandfather rest in eternal peace. Forever in our memory, Vichnaya Pamyat.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in his name to the Oseredok Foundation or to the Winnipeg Humane Society.
Korban Funeral Chapel
As published in Winnipeg Free Press on May 30, 2020
Condolences & Memories (4 entries)
Thinking of you with sincere condolences and prayers on the passing of your dear Father. May your plentiful memories always bring you comfort. With sympathy, Donna Lagace (Mudlo) - Posted by: Donna Lagace (Friend) on: Jun 07, 2020
My most sincere condolences to the family. I had the pleasure of getting to work with Mr Kozelko on the chytalnia prosvita executive. Enjoyed his words of wisdom and sense of humour and we had many great conversations. Especially enjoyed hearing the stories about his cottage and the wildlife that he tamed and fed. He was always such a joy to have around and I will truly miss him. Khay spochywaye z Bohom. Vichnaya pamiat. - Posted by: Martha Shepertycky (Friend) on: Jun 06, 2020
Щирі співчуття. Нехай з Богом спочиває. We are sorry for your loss and feel your heartache. May fond memories give you comfort! God bless you all. Вічна йому пам'ять! - Posted by: Sylvia Todaschuk, Rosemarie & Charlene & Family (Friends) on: Jun 04, 2020
I lived beside Sam and Mary for 23 years. I have nothing but fond memories of Sam. Sam was like the Dido I never had, kind, caring, wise and full of knowledge and stories. If we were both outside, there was always conversation, about what he or I was up to, current topics, the feral cats in the neighborhood, his trips to the cottage, etc. Then Mary would come out and those two were absolutely awesome, she say something about Sam doing something silly and he say something about her, but you knew they loved each other. Sam was the Tomato King in our neighborhood! His garden was rows and rows of tomatoes every year. In early spring you could see the seedlings on his window sill, growing and waiting to be planted. And every fall and spring Sam was turning over the soil with a shovel, not a rototiller. Sam was passionate about his tomatoes and other flowers and plants around his yard, he was passionate about animals and nature too. He fed and gave shelter to the feral cats in the neighborhood, he helped injured animals if he saw them, even bees. Sam was also passionate and very proud of his family, he looked forward to their visits and he always spent quality time with his grandkids, not just sitting and watching them. I always admired his zest for life, Sam always had a project around the house or yard. I miss living beside them, they were awesome neighbors. Rest in peace Sam, you truly deserve it! Mary and Family, I wish you peace, comfort, strength and healing. Sincerely, Bonnie - Posted by: Bonnie Mularchuk and Family (Former Neighbors ) on: May 30, 2020
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