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NASTIA (NAN) YURKIW Obituary pic


Born: Jan 07, 1925

Date of Passing: Mar 15, 2021

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It is with great sadness we announce that on Monday, March 15, 2021, Nastia (Nan) Yurkiw fell asleep in death at the age of 96.
She is dearly missed by her three children: Karl (Darlene) Yurkiw, Brenda (Darrel) Laidlaw and Heather (Joseph) Brasher; two granddaughters, Marisa and Jenna; two great-grandsons, Braeden and Brody; and many nieces and nephews.
She was predeceased by her parents, Nicholas and Tillie Kasian, husband Fred (1986), son Jeffrey (1969), and her sisters, Anne Bodner, Mary Maksimchuk, Olga Villeneuve, and brothers, Paul and Jarvis Kasian.
Nan was born on January 7, 1925 in a little house on a farm in Ridgeville, Manitoba. She was the third of six siblings. Living on a farm was hard work, and she learned to do all the work associated with farm life. Over the years Mom often spoke of the time she spent growing up on the farm, which also instilled in her a love of gardening, something she continued to enjoy until late in life.
Mom always loved school, and from a young age it was her desire to become a schoolteacher. In 1943, she finished her schooling at Teulon Collegiate in a girls' residence. She started teaching at a school north of Tyndall, Manitoba, where she taught 38 students from grades one to eight. Over the next 10 years she taught at schools in Portage la Prairie, Homewood, Dauphin, and Winnipeg. She often reminisced about her days as a teacher. Interestingly, for the last seven years she lived on the same block as Royal School on Grant Avenue, where 69 years earlier, she taught grades five and six.
In 1952 Mom started attending Ukrainian Sunday meetings with her mother. There she met her future husband, Fred, and on December 19, 1953, they were married in the Elmwood Kingdom Hall. They spent the next 33 years together and raised four children. Family was everything to her, and she worked tirelessly to look after her family - gardening, cooking, and sewing clothes for her girls. Mom wanted her children to learn to play the piano and would sit next to each one as they practiced, sometimes "persuading" them with a wooden spoon. She loved being a grandmother, and showered affection on her grandchildren. Known for her hospitality and generosity, Mom loved to cook and entertained countless guests at her large dining table - usually a turkey dinner - which would not be complete without all the Ukrainian side dishes.
In 1953 she made a dedication to her God Jehovah and served him faithfully as one of Jehovah's Witnesses until her death. Her love for teaching instilled in her a desire to teach others the wonderful truths found in God's Word. The family home was used for decades for bookstudy meetings and service groups. Mom was zealous and fearless in preaching the good news of God's Kingdom and had a particular love for business territory. In her later years she was just as zealous as she continued to witness to her home care providers and anyone she encountered. She looked forward to Jehovah's promise of an earthly resurrection in paradise, when He will "wipe out every tear from their eyes, and death will be no more." (Revelation 21:3, 4) Over the years Mom was able to attend many International Conventions and theocratic tours, including New York (1953 and 1958), Germany, Brazil, Prague, and Israel. She also enjoyed the occasional tropical vacation.
We would like to thank all the family and friends for the love and support they provided Mom over the years, as well as her home care providers who helped her live independently in her apartment.
A virtual memorial service is planned for Monday, April 19, 2021 at 7:00 p.m. (CDT, Winnipeg). Please contact a family member for a Zoom link, or email

Condolences may be sent to

Publish Date: Mar 27, 2021


On Monday, March 15, 2021, Nastia (Nan) Yurkiw fell asleep in death at the age of 96.
A virtual memorial service is being planned for April.
A longer obituary notice will follow.

Condolences may be sent to

Publish Date: Mar 20, 2021

As published in Winnipeg Free Press on Mar 20, 2021, Mar 27, 2021

Condolences & Memories (5 entries)

  • Nan was a very dear friend, going back decades. What a blessing!! The past 3 decades, distance has separated us, but the friendship was unending. When we moved to Brahms Bay, after the book study, Nan came over to welcome us, hence, she was our first visitor. About 10 minutes later, Heather, with her sweet smile, is at the front door - our 2nd visitor. That was the beginning of our friendship with the Yurkiw family. They were very special to our family. Many memories, both laughed and cried together. One more recently, a very special memory, for Warren and I. Our visit with Nan, Brenda and Darrel, at Assiniboine Park, just prior Covid. Thanks Brenda and Darrel for helping to make that happen. It saddens us, tears of sorrow today, tears of joy very soon, when we can hug our dear friend Nan again. Our thoughts and prayers are with you, Karl (Darlene), Brenda (Darrel), Heather (Joseph) and family. Love you. Pat Green-Jones and Warren Jones - Posted by: Pat Green Jones (Friend) on: Apr 11, 2021

  • To Karl, Darlene and all Nan's treasured, loving family. I extend my deepest condolences and sympathies in the painful loss of your Mother, Mother-In-Law, Grandmother, Great Grandmother, Aunt and friend to so many. I recall, as I grew up such fond memories of spending time enjoying the beautiful Twin Beaches at Mary and Alex Maxsymchuk's lovely lake house, where Nan and her family were regular visitors and where we all enjoyed great association in an upbuilding atmosphere. I remember Nan's happy attitude and her love for others, especially her dear family. I look forward to welcoming her back in the near future during the resurrection when those in memorial tombs will soon be called. Much love as I remember your wonderful Mother, Mother-In-Law, Grandmother and Great-Grandmother, Aunt and friend. Jill Greenwood (formerly Jill Smerchansky). - Posted by: Jill Greenwood (formerly Jill Smerchansky) (Spiritual sister) on: Mar 28, 2021

  • Many memories of Nan. Her faith and endurance together with encouragement she gave to many, will always be remembered. Looking forwsrd to seeing her again when "He Will call, and Nan will answer". Once again Nan will enjoy gardening on the Parasise earth under Jehovah's Kingdom Rule. - Posted by: Shirley Nicholson (Long time friend and babysitter for her children.) on: Mar 27, 2021

  • Nan will always have a special place in our hearts. I personally can relate how she always took the time to show her care, either by her attention, or kind gestures. Nan was like a Mom to me, in many ways over the years. By her example of hospitality, her steadfastness in faith and loyalty. We were so happy to have her with us at our Engagement party & Wedding. Even when she wasn't feeling her best, she was always trying to make others feel welcome & sharing her special sense of humor. I never knew anyone who could remember scriptures as well as her! We long for the day to have her with us again. (Revelation 21:3-5) Our love to the family & other friends. Thank you for letting us share our thoughts Laura & Glenn Partridge, Claremont NH - Posted by: Laura & Glenn Partridge (Friends of the family) on: Mar 27, 2021

  • Nan was a very good friend and hospitable host to my mother, Betty Morris. I believe they met on a convention tour either in Brazil or Europe and became good friends thereafter. My mother looked forward to visiting Nan any time she travelled to Winnipeg from Vancouver and Nan was extremely kind and treated my mother with utmost respect. I accompanied my mother to Winnipeg on several occasions and I also met Nan and her daughter. The visits were enjoyable and as the book study was at Nan’s home at the time, I was able to meet many others who attended. Nan was an outstanding example of faith and she will be missed I’m sure. My mother passed away in 2017 but I look forward to seeing her in the resurrection along with Nan and their whole generation of faithful ones. - Posted by: Marilyn Mayer (Friend in the faith) on: Mar 20, 2021

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