Kay was born in a village near Konotop, Ukraine November 12, 1927. Her early childhood memories were of her family being evicted from their home, a grandfather who was arrested and then died, of her father leaving them. These were a child's memories of collectivization in the Soviet Union from 1929-1932. Eventually, she and her older sister Maria and their mother were re-united with their father and for a time they lived quietly in the town of Snovsk. She recalls these few years as a happy time until her mother died. Again there was displacement and frequent changes until WWII started. As she recalls, it was the last day of school and then the war started. Eventually, at the end of the war, they arrived in Austria where she took classes in dressmaking. She was slated to emigrate to South America but at the last minute the Canadian clerk processing displaced persons suggested that Canada was a much better choice. She agreed and traveled to Canada alone, without her family.

On her second day in Toronto she went to work as a seamstress and from then on she was always working - outside the home, inside the home, supporting her church, St. Volodymyr Cathedral of Toronto and the Ukrainian community.Her experiences growing up shaped her into the intelligent, resourceful, hard-working and resilient person that she was. Nothing was more important to her then her family and their well-being. She created a stable, loving home for her husband, John and their two daughters Marta and Lily. . Her home and her garden were immaculate and tastefully decorated. She could sew anything and did. Clothes for her daughters and herself, costumes for her daughters' dance troupes, bridesmaid dresses, Lily's wedding dress, winter jackets for her son-in-laws and every type of small or large home decor item. You could always hear the hum of the motor of her industrial sewing machine. Her daughters did their homework beside her as she worked on that machine.

She adored her grandchildren Mathew and Anne, and she and John were a loving and coordinated team when they looked after their grandchildren. Kay made sure that every family birthday was celebrated with a special meal that you could select and she made different birthday cakes. Our favourite was her black forest cake. All the holiday celebrations centred around her excellent cooking and days of preparation.

After her husband died, Kateryna adjusted to a new way of living. Her garden with her kalyna tree was a favourite place. When it became difficult for her to continue to live in her home, she left it only very reluctantly to move into the Ivan Franko Senior Residence in Mississauga. There she enjoyed a rich cultural and social life for almost two years. She told her granddaughter that it was good that she moved out of her house, but her daughters only heard this second hand.

She leaves her daughters Marta (Walter), Lily (Steve), nephew and godson Walter (Zina) and granddaughter Anne.

In lieu of flowers, donations in Kateryna's memory would be appreciated.

St Volodymyr Cathedral of Toronto

Ivan Franko Homes (see the Donation Opportunities bubble part way down the main page)

Support for Ukraine - medical kits / humanitarian aid / do consider selecting helmets and vests, they are needed. There are many ways to donate, below are some trusted links.

Ukrainian Freedom Fund

Kyiv School of Economics

Come Back Alive

Unite with Ukraine (Ukraine World Congress)

Ukrainian Canadian Congress



Burial / Entombment / Cremation


May 02, 2022
Dear Marta, your mother was a formidible woman to endure and yet succeed in creating many memories to sustain your heart. My thoughts are with you.
April 26, 2022
Daria Kowalyk
Dear Marta and Lily - Sincere condolences on the loss of your mother. I will always remember her as a loving woman, as your inspiring story describes her so well. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your whole family during this difficult time. Vichnaya Pamyat'!!
April 22, 2022
william r bartle
Marta: I just learned of the death of your mom and your son within weeks of each other. I cannot possibly imagine your grief and any words to convey anything beyond this acknowledgement would be impossible. My thoughts are with you and your family at a time when Ukrainians have so much to worry about beyond personal loss.
April 21, 2022
Veronica Stella
My condolences on the loss of your mother. My thoughts and prayers are with you all during this difficult time. Lots of love.
April 21, 2022
Chrystia and Bohdan Kolos
Щирі співчуття родині! She will be fondly remembered. Vichnaya Pamiat!
April 21, 2022
Beautifully remembered in words and in hearts. We cannot remove the heartache you're suffering but can surround you with love and support.
April 21, 2022
Fatima Habib
Dear Lily & Family, please accept our deepest condolences. Our prayers and thoughts are with all of you during this very difficult time. Sending you love, hugs and continued prayers for healing and strength.
April 21, 2022
What a brave life! Marta, may your memories sustain you in this time of loss and mourning for a generation gone. I send my deepest condolences to you and your sister. I look forward to the time when you can tell me more about your amazing mother, the woman who produced such a caring daughter.
April 21, 2022
George Rewa
Vichnaya Pamyat. Oksana and I send out condolences at this trying time. We share your loss and send out prayers. A remarkable Ukrainian journey.
April 21, 2022
Janice Brooks & Kevin Duffy
Marta, Walter & family. The story you shared of your mother paints such a full picture of a remarkable woman. May she rest in peace. Much love and sympathy.