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Olha was predeceased by her husband Wasyl, of 74 years in February of 2021, her father Myhaylo Bagan, two brothers, Bohdan and Artim, her mother Paraskevia and sister Orysia Zyla. She is survived by her daughters, Motria Koltek (Terry), Bohdonna Donald (Peter), and grandchildren, Timon Koltek (Christiane), Chrisant Koltek (Stephanie), Maxim Koltek (Jennie Smirl), Christy Donald (Mackenzie Ritcher), Katrina Donald (Kevin Duncan), Nikki Donald (Kurt Scherle), nine great-grandchildren and family in Ukraine and USA.
Olha was born in Ternopil Oblast, Ukraine. She often shared with us fond memories of helping her parents in the family business. She loved to work, and whatever the job, she took pride in doing her best. She trained as a Heath Care practitioner and especially loved her work in hospitals assisting physicians.
As the war was devastating their homeland, she was forced to flee to a displaced person's camp in Austria with her husband, mother and sister, leaving her brothers behind.
She immigrated to Canada with her husband Wasyl and daughter Motria, arriving at Pier 21, Halifax in 1948. They settled in Winnipeg, starting a new life in a foreign country with few possessions, as did many others after the horrors of the war. In 1949 Babcia Bagan arrived in Canada in time for the birth of their second daughter Bohdonna.
Olha was the epitome of the perfect Mama and Baba, totally devoted with unconditional love for her family. Whatever she had she shared with them. She could often be heard reminding us to love each other, be the best of friends and always praying for our good health. Her actions were congruent with her beliefs, a rare quality with what we see happening in the world today.
Mama's fierce Ukrainian national pride was expressed in her beautiful soprano voice that rang throughout our childhood homes with melodic Ukrainian folk songs as well as Opera. She loved singing in choirs, and travelling to Rome with the Millenium Choir was a highlight. She embroidered, loved to waltz and tango, and encouraged her children in the arts, Ukrainian dance, ballet, piano and violin. She insisted on a university education for her daughters and was relentless in her caring and support.
Mama was a doer and a giver, not one to sit on the sidelines or expect someone else to take care of her. She was the ultimate caregiver. Whether it was at home, as a community volunteer, healthcare practitioner, talented seamstress or hairdresser for 25 years, she had a warm, affectionate smile for everyone. She loved people and they in turn loved her.
Mama's primary focus was her children, six grandchildren and nine great-grandchildren. She was delighted, energized and fulfilled with each family member's accomplishments. She cared deeply for us, encouraged us, spoiled us all and gently held us accountable. In return we passionately loved her. Gatherings for Sunday dinner, family celebrations and Ukrainian holidays were an opportunity for Baba Olya to selflessly spend countless hours days ahead, preparing food for us to share. It was her pleasure.
In those final days, her thoughts were that we would be safe and that our lives would be as full of luck, love and caring as hers. She also expressed her longing for her native Ukraine, the brothers she left behind and childhood friends.
Mama was proud to be a Canadian always reminding us how fortunate we are to live in Canada.
A family funeral has been held. Pallbearers were her grandsons, Chris Koltek, Maxim Koltek, granddaughter Christy Donald, sons-in-law, Terry Koltek and Peter Donald and godson Myroslaw Strembicki. Honorary pallbearers were grandson Timon Koltek and granddaughters, Katrina Donald and Nikki Donald.
In lieu of flowers, donations to Heart and Stroke Manitoba or a charity of your choice would be appreciated.
Korban Funeral Chapel
As published in Winnipeg Free Press on Jun 12, 2021
Condolences & Memories (3 entries)
Dear Family: May your dear Mother rest in peace. We missed your parents' presence at Cambridge Towers. My husband Vladimir liked his daily contact with your dear dad who would share anecdotes about his life and beloved wife. We miss your Mom's very warm smile that would brighten our days when we met her on her way. I was happy to meet your parents at Holy Family Home, at the Christmas celebration, before the world changed. May your dear Mother's memory be eternal and continue to inspire your family! Vichnaya Pamyat. Sincerely, Carol Hryniuk-Adamov from Cambridge Towers - Posted by: Carol Hryniuk-Adamov (friend from Cambridge Towers) on: Jun 18, 2021
Condolences to the family. - Posted by: Valerie Alderson (homecare nurse) on: Jun 12, 2021
Dear Motria and family Wishing you comfort in the beautiful memories you hold. I remember you sharing some beautiful stories of pyrohy/varenyky making -your mom was a loving soul and her spirit lives on through each of you . Vichnaya Pamyat Cheryl - Posted by: Cheryl (Ex colleague) on: Jun 12, 2021
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