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Date of Passing: Jan 13, 2022

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It is with great sorrow that the family announces the peaceful passing of our beloved mother, baba and sister Vera (Vee) Matwichyna, at her home with her children at her side, on January 13, 2022.
Vera was born in a Displaced Persons camp in Gottingen Germany to war refugees Ivan and Anastasia (Lysenko) Melnycky. She arrived in Canada as a toddler and grew up in Winnipeg. She graduated from Gordon Bell High School and studied Home Economics at the University of Manitoba and design at the Lidia Lawrence Fashion Institute in Vancouver.
Throughout her life Vera was closely involved with the Ukrainian community. She graduated from the Ukrainian National Federation Ukrainian School - Ridna Shkola and participated in the Plast Ukrainian Youth Association. Vera was an artistic and creative spirit involved with costume design for Ukrainian community theatre and produced the fashion shows featured at Folklorama's Kyiv Ukrainian Pavilion. Through her love of cinema she became an initiator of Winnipeg's Kino Ukrainian Film Festival.
While at the University of Manitoba she was an active member of the Alpha Omega and Obnova Ukrainian student societies and a singer with the Karlycky Trio. It was there that she met the love of her life Bill Matwichyna and formed her lasting partnership in life. Vera and Bill were married in 1970 and raised four children. The couple were pillars within their community, especially supporting the Blessed Virgin Mary Sadochok Nursery School and Plast Ukrainian Youth Association. Together they launched a number of businesses including Slinks, Vera's Fashion Cinema and Chocolate Chocolate. Their crowning achievement was Vera Agency. With her vision and passion she took to the road with one clothing line and the family station wagon, building a very successful sales business with several offices in western Canada, making her an icon in the fashion industry.
Vera was predeceased by her beloved husband Bill in 2000 and parents, Ivan and Anastasia.
She leaves to mourn her passing, her children, Daniel (Stacey), Darya (Florian), Tanya (Tony), Kristya (Paul); grandchildren, Billy, Katie, Anastasia, Nicolas, Amadeus, Christian, Andrew, Alexis, Sofia and Evan; siblings, Peter (Nadia) and their children, Julian and Natalka, Nina (Ihor) and their children, Olena and Taras; numerous nieces and nephews and extended family in Ukraine.
As the first born of immigrant parents she became a pathfinder for her entire family. She loved her family more than anything in the world and took great pride in the achievements of her children and grandchildren. She was nurturing and supportive to all who crossed paths with her and was a gracious host whose house and Winnipeg Beach cottage were the scene of countless celebrations.
Vera steadfastly fought an insidious cancer for decades. She took her health into her own hands, managing it in her own private way with her children and siblings by her side. She led a relentless search for alternative treatments when conventional options were insufficient. Vera worked with Dr. Chris Turner, and she traveled to Mexico, Latvia and China to access treatments that allowed her to continue living independently for many years.
She lived a passionate life and knew where her compass always pointed. Through power and strength, she accomplished many great things and it was through her amazing accomplishments we know she lived her life to the fullest. She remains an inspiration not only to her family, but to every person with whom she connected. She was the strongest-minded person and remained positive even in the most difficult situations imaginable. She was our tireless Queen Bee, blessing us with her graces and will be sorely and forever missed, yet every time the sun shines bright, we are reminded that she is always with us.
The family would like to extend a special thank you to Vera's home care attendants and nurses, especially Tamara, as well as to Dr. Chris Turner for his commitment to Vera's health and wellbeing, friendship and guidance he offered over the years. He was her right-hand man, her ally and fellow soldier in her battle. His care and support is what granted her decades of life to enjoy and be a continuous gift to the world.
Funeral liturgy will be celebrated Tuesday, January 25, at 10:00 a.m., at St. Joseph's Ukrainian Catholic Church, 250 Jefferson Ave., followed by interment at Holy Family Cemetery. Due to Covid restrictions, attendance will be limited and by invitation only. For those unable to attend, the events will also record and be uploaded through the Korban Funeral Chapel Facebook page or by visiting
In lieu of flowers, donations in memory of Vera can be made to the Canadian College of Naturopathic Medicine - Boucher Campus Vancouver at

"We love you to the stars and back"
For those who wish to sign the online guest book please visit

As published in Winnipeg Free Press on Jan 22, 2022

Condolences & Memories (11 entries)

  • Vera Matwichyna was a force to be reckoned with! She was a loyal, loving and dedicated friend, a brilliant fashion stylist and buyer, a stellar fashion show producer and show director (always forthcoming with advice to the models on how to show an ensemble or gown to it's best advantage), a warm and welcoming hostess and an all around outstanding and and compassionate human being. Vera loved her family FIERCELY and they always came first in her life! She managed that ferocious love with a calm and determined organization and she seemed to be able to juggle 15 balls in the air at any given moment. She never dropped one of them and she never sought any recognition or celebrity. Her children and later her grandchildren were the love of her life and she was a devoted mom and Babba. Her family must have such rich memories of times together because the times that we were lucky enough to celebrate with them, or to be in their company, the love in that family was absolutely tangible! Our evenings together with Vera, Krysta and Paul every year for several years at the Plast Malanka celebrations at the Fairmont were as good as it gets and all of her family and friends welcomed my husband and I with warmth, hospitality and lots of polkas! Those evenings have become precious and treasured memories! While running her fabulous boutique at Eaton Place, she managed to also produce fashion shows for many charitable organizations in the city and dedicated all of her artistic skill and fashion savvy wealth of knowledge to bring the latest and the best to every project that she undertook. She made money for almost every charity in town, always with a humble and willing heart and all of her investment of talent. I was a model for Vera in those days and eventually became a member of "Company V", the name we called the regulars who usually did the shows that Vera produced. Vera gave us all team names and even went out and purchased a specific T-shirt for each one of us, with our show name on it. That name reflected some aspect of our personality or referred to the way that we modelled in shows. There was "Private Dancer", "Black Beauty" and "Blonde Bombshell" and many more! We all were so proud to be a member of that team! As we were all young women and young moms raising little kids at that time, those shows were the highlight of our lives and we all looked forward to doing them week after week for years! After every show the hotel would invite the models to enjoy a glass of wine and a meal together. The laughter and commaraderie were "out of control" fun and those were wonderful times together! With Vera at the helm, Nina as her right hand man and Gayle as the Lady of the House, all of us will remember those glorious days for the rest of our lives! I never took home a cent from any of those shows because everything I earned was devoted to the purchase of one of her gorgeous and timeless Wayne Clark blouses, dresses or pieces of unique other words, I worked for clothes and had the best wardrobe in town! Vera and I remained friends long after the fashion shows ended. We connected regularly and I watched her courage and bravery when she became sick. She battled that cancer with her usual determination and fearlessness. She became friends with her doctors in China and always told us how much she valued the advice and cousenl of Dr. Chris Turner in the fight for her life. Vera cheated that dreadful disease for over ten years and always with a positive attitude and self-effacing manner, never claiming any accolades or applause. She was a Warrior Queen and my admiration for her has influenced forever how I will live my life, and the end of it, when my time comes. I am so glad that we shared a faith that promises us that the love that we have for someone in this life will continue into the next one. Rest in peace, beloved will be remembered forever. - Posted by: E. JANE CAMPBELL (life friend and former member of "Company V"!) on: Feb 15, 2022

  • Dear Kristya & Paul: My deepest sympathy to you and your family in the loss of your mother. Thinking of you at this difficult time. Many warm thoughts are with you and your loved ones. - Posted by: Laurel Kazan (Lethbridge,AB) (Friend) on: Jan 25, 2022

  • Dear Nina, Peter, on the passing of your dear sister Vera. Dear Daniel, Darya, Tanya, Kristya on the passing of your dear MAMA. We pray for your peace and comfort. When we lose a loved one here on earth, we gain an angel in heaven that watches over us. May you take comfort in knowing that you have an angel to watch over you now. Vera was a very kind, gentle, generous, smart & funny lady admired by all of us. Наші щирі співчуття цілій Вашій Родині! Світла пам'ять! Нехай Земля буде їй пухом. Вічная Пам’ять! Марта, Юрко з родиною - Posted by: Marta Romaniak-Dlugosh & George Dlugosh (Winnipeg friends ) on: Jan 25, 2022

  • My heartfelt sympathy to family, friends and loved ones. Vera was a true fashionista, my stylist and such fun to be around. She always helped me select just the right Lundstrom outfit to take me into the next season. - Posted by: Chrissie (friend) on: Jan 24, 2022

  • Thank you my friend. For everything. - Posted by: Ihor Pona (Friend) on: Jan 24, 2022

  • In the 51 years of knowing Vera Matwichyna, we experienced many wonderful and creative times together. Vera was firstly a dear friend, who went on to become a key factor in the success of the Linda Lundstrom Brand. It started when she started ‘Slinks’, selling the LL fashions in her basement, then she went on to design an award winning Fashion Cinema boutique in Eaton Place. Highly respected in the Fashion Industry, she then went on to establish Vera the Agency, selling multiple brands to retailers across all of Western Canada. Vera went on to become our Sales Manager for North America, a role she embraced with her usual sincerity and passion for the brand. Vera was a true trailblazer…she welcomed challenges in business and with her good humour and loyalty, we worked through them together. All this while prioritizing her family. I still wonder how she did it all, but she did. It has been a privilege to know Vera, to work and travel with her, to witness the high regard people had for her and now to say goodbye. Thank you Vera for the journey. Bless, Linda - Posted by: Linda Lundstrom (Friend and Business Partner ) on: Jan 23, 2022

  • Vera introduced to me and many others, great Canadian designers like Linda Lundstrom, Christopher Carduxxi, wayne Clark, and so many others. My agency, Greenwood Modelling used Vera’s clothes for many fashion shows, including at Hy’s. I will always remember he nursing her babies at Vera’s in Eaton Place. She loved to laugh and if you needed fashion advice, no one was better! Godspeed V - Posted by: Jocelyn Greenwood (Friend ) on: Jan 23, 2022

  • I first met Vera when my mom modelled in a couple of "Vera's Boutique" fashion shows. We reconnected a few years ago in Gimli/Wpg Beach. She had an amazing sense of style and a huge heart. Vichnaya Pamyat, Vera. - Posted by: Patricia Simcoe-Rosenbaum (former customer) on: Jan 22, 2022

  • My sincere condolences on your loss. I pray that memories of happier times will see you through your time of grief! "God gave us memory so we might enjoy roses in winter. " I was a university classmate of Bill, and believe I/we met your mother at a Commerce function over the years. - Posted by: Bob Strong (University classmate) on: Jan 22, 2022

  • Deepest sympathies to Dan, Daria, Tanya and Kristya and their families. Your mom was an inspiration to all the girls in our neighborhood. She was a force to be reckoned with, running multiple businesses, working with top fashion designers and models with the same down to earth attitude as she had sitting at her dining room table showing us how to make Ukrainian dough figures. She balanced family, career, culture and belief with a quiet dignity that was impressive. From the Volvos to the mini poodles, Chester and Frank the cats who welcomed people on the street and the regular stream of visitors being welcomed warmly at the front door, Enniskillen Ave won’t be the same! You’re in our thoughts and prayers Leslie (nee Laa at no) - Posted by: Leslie Fiorino (Former neighbor) on: Jan 22, 2022

  • Vera was such a gift to our world and everyone she met. Her strength, commitment and attitude will be embedded in me forever. Love to all the family. - Posted by: Sonja Lundstrom (Aquaintance) on: Jan 22, 2022

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