March 16, 1916 – July 26, 2021
At 105 years of age, Dorothy Chura passed away peacefully at Heritage Square in Vernon, B.C.
Born in Witko, Saskatchewan to Ukrainian immigrants from Galicia, Dorothy’s childhood was difficult. At 5 years of age her mother Waslyna died, and her father Nick Kohut remarried and moved to the States. Dorothy was placed in 8 different foster homes and finally on a farm where she did heavy physical labour.
Thankfully on August 6, 1938, at 21 Dorothy married Peter (Pat) John Chura, a teacher in Krydor, Saskatchewan. During their early years together, in Krydor, North Seech, and Clearsprings, Dorothy attended dances, took part in the local theater where she was a gifted actress, taught crochet and embroidery.
In 1942, Dorothy moved with her husband to Toronto, Ontario where at Tip Top Tailors, as a seamstress she was quickly promoted despite attending hairdressing school at night. But her husband bought a light lunch and confectionery so Dorothy next proved to be a natural businesswoman who procured items other stores couldn’t find during wartime.
Soon one business became two until the long hours plus an armed robbery took their toll and her health suffered. Then they purchased the Empire Hotel, in Hamilton, Ontario and lived upstairs where in 1949 their only child, Diana was born. Finally, they owned the Strand, a prohibition era hotel in Brantford, Ontario, though following a major fire, Dorothy’s husband returned to teaching, this time on the Six Nations Reserve.
As a key member of the Ladies Auxiliary at St. John the Baptist Ukrainian Catholic Church in Brantford, Dorothy kept the financial records, sang in the choir, hosted weddings, bazaars, and contributed greatly to International Villages, an annual citywide event. Meanwhile her yard at home became a gardener’s showpiece.
In 1980 Dorothy’s beloved husband of 50 years died of prostate cancer. Although devastated she remained in their home and created a new life. Eventually in 2007 she joined her daughter, Diana and son-in-law, Wayne Wilson in Vernon, B.C.
At 100 years of age Dorothy bowled weekly, beautified the outside of her condo with flowers, attended church, and took long walks. At 102 years, despite failing sight in one eye, a heart condition and having only 10 percent hearing, she still read newspapers, magazines, avidly watched the news and got her hair done on Saturdays. Shortly before she turned 103 however, she fell and broke her hip. And following an operation to repair it, needed to enter care.
Fortunately for Dorothy she then became a resident at Heritage Square, in Vernon, B.C. She loved the staff at Heritage Square, its residents and her room which housed her large collection of stuffed animals, pictures, and hand-embroidered treasures. The staff and its residents loved her too. Last spring, she became the oldest Canadian to survive two pandemics.
Dorothy was a beautiful, hardworking woman who resolutely overcame the many challenges of her life with enormous strength of will and courage. She was and will always remain a true inspiration to others. May her soul be greatly blessed as it continues its infinite journey.
Her children Diana and son-in-law Wayne Wilson, thank: Father Stepan Dovhoshyia (St. Josaphat’s Ukrainian Catholic Church, Vernon), and her beloved long-time physician Dr. Francois Deetlefs. In addition they will never forget the kind, professional support of Melinda Hambly, the Residential Care Manager; the wonderful care aides; the compassionate assistance of her nurses, particularly Sheena Emund; and the recreational staff at Heritage Square. Who all contributed enormously to her quality of life, and to her final peaceful transition.
In lieu of flowers you are invited to donate to the Canadian Red Cross (2719-44th Ave., Vernon, V1T 7P4) whose generosity in lending medical equipment assists so many local seniors and their families.
Parastas (with no reception) will be held on Monday, August 9th at 7 pm. On Tuesday, August 10th there will be a final viewing at 9 am. The funeral service of Divine Liturgy and Panahera will take place the same day at 10 am and a reception will follow. Everything will take place at St. Josaphat’s Ukrainian Catholic Church, 2210-49th Ave., Vernon, B.C.
After cremation, Dorothy’s ashes will be interred at St. Joseph’s Cemetery, in Brantford, Ontario with her husband’s. An Announcement will appear in the Brantford Expositor at that time.
Funeral Arrangements have been entrusted to Pleasant Valley Funeral Home, Phone: 250-542-4333
Condolences may be offered at www.pleasantvalleyfh.com
Pleasant Valley Funeral Home
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