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Born in East Selkirk, Manitoba in 1926, Boris grew up in the ethnically rich Ukrainian neighbourhood in north Winnipeg. During boyhood, Boris developed a deep work ethic, working alongside his father at the family pharmacy soda fountain. Early in his youth, Boris met Helen, later marrying her in 1950 during Winnipeg's Red River flood. Boris made lifelong friends at the University of Manitoba Medical School. After graduating, he left for small-town practice 200 miles away in Dauphin. There, Boris and Helen raised five small children, and Boris made house calls driving through Manitoba blizzards caring for families regardless of ability to pay. He reminisced about those years being some of his most rewarding.
In 1962, Boris and Helen moved the family across the border to Minneapolis, where Boris took up a specialty in anesthesiology at the University of Minnesota Medical School. He went on to become a highly regarded anesthesiologist at Fairview Southdale Hospital, undertaking the most complicated of surgical patients. His circle of Canadian doctor friends remained dear and were special to the entire family. If anything characterized Boris' life, it was a quest for lifelong learning and a passion for mastery. The breadth of life fascinated him, and he became an avid student of everything from Western Civilization to his favourite sports of golf, hockey and baseball. Boris' memory was so reliably strong, that weeks before passing, he recalled the molecular weight of oxygen.
More than all else, Boris put family first. What he gave to his children is invaluable. They all survive him (Janice, Yampa, CO; Holly, Bloomington, MN; John, Minnetonka, MN; and Margo and Mark, both of Minneapolis, MN; along with five grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.) Boris was predeceased by his father, brother Ivan, mother, and his wife Helen.
Services will be private with interment at Lakewood Cemetery.
Memorials to Doctors without Borders.
Special family gratitude goes to Allina Home Hospice and CareAParent.
As published in Winnipeg Free Press on May 15, 2021
Condolences & Memories (2 entries)
My condolences to all of Dr. Symchych's family. I was your neighbour when you lived in Dauphin. I especially remember Margo and still come across pictures of us from those many years ago. - Posted by: Lori Haverluck-McGraw (Friend) on: May 20, 2021
My sympathies to the family..met Boris thru e-mail about 5 years ago after he asked some genealogy questions that were related to my family..we spoke a number of times via email and telephone..He was a great help to my research Al - Posted by: Al Drohomereski (friend) on: May 15, 2021
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