Obituary

Katherine passed peacefully at home on Sunday, October 11, 2020 into the loving arms of her Lord Whom she served throughout her life. Katherine leaves behind her bereaved children Michael, Ulana, Marta, and Lewko with their families, 13 grandchildren and 2 great grandchildren.  We are especially grateful to the dedicated professional PSWs,  particularly  Senait, Mercedes, and Subaida whose caring hands  and  beautiful spirits supported our mother in her final months. May our memory of Katherine be eternal and may her soul be comforted by the prayers of all her friends and family. She leaves a footprint of generosity, love, and kindness. She strived to make a positive impact in the world, and in doing so, she touched the lives of many. 
 
In lieu of flowers, donations to any of the following charities in memory of Katherine will be appreciated by the family:
  1. St. Nicholas Ukrainian Catholic Church (donation link in the right column further down the web page)
  2. Savelife.in.ua
  3. Heart and Stroke Foundation
  4. Alzheimer Society of Toronto
 
VICHNAYA  PAMYAT!
ETERNAL     MEMORY!

Катерини Яців-Жураківської, найдорожча наша мама, улюблена бабця і прабабця, дорога тета і щира подруга. Застановімся.!!! Хто була Катерина? Хто вона є? Яку спадщину залишає вона нам?

Народилася в селі Тужилів, Івано-Франківської області. Виростала із своїм старшим братом...Павлом, з молодшим братом...Миколoю, із наймолодшою сестрою...Юстиною. На 10-ому році життя, помер її тато, а коли було їй 14, померла її мама. Стала круглою сиротою. Суворо захворіла через повторного зимового відвідування цвинтаря, тісно обіймаючи хрест памятника де її мама і тато були поховані, щоби відчути присутність своєї мами. Люди із села, там її знайшли і під їхньою щирою опікою, одужала. Коли було їй майже 19, була вивезена в Німеччину до робочого табору, була розлучена від братів і сестри. В 1949-ому році переїхала до Канади, вперше до Квебеку де працювала чотири роки. Зачувши що є більша українська громада в Торонті, переїхала і поселилася тут. Завдяки Червоного Хреста, віднайшла Павла, сина тих добрих людей що давно тому опікувались нею. З Арґентини приїхав він. Залюбилися, і вінчалися в 1952-ому році. Разом, розпочали свою сім'ю. Народилося їй четверо дітей. На превеликий жаль, подружнє життя було скорочене і їй чоловік помер майже десять років пізніше. Мама залишилася сама з чотирма дітьми: Левко (Лев), Марта (Франуся), Уляна (Ляля), Михайло (Славко), віком між два до майже десять. Але з Божою опікою не піддалася. Була глибоко віруюча, завжди зверталася до Матінки Божої. Діти пам'ятають, щовечора, на колінах, перед іконою Матінки Божої, молитву, прохання “Залишаю своїх дітей під Твоїм покровом”. Присвячувала багато часу для виховання нас, своїх дітей. Не було це легко, але все приступали добрі люди до помочі. Ходила до цієї церкви, св.о.Миколая, і стала парохіянкою і членкиньею ЛУКЖ. Мамин робочий день був складний. Ранки присвячувала своїм дітям, опікувалася домом, а вечорами, біжучи до перестанку, трамвайом їхала до праці. Вертаючись вночі, розпочала підготовку до наступного дня. А при кінці тої доби, сидячи на ліжку, розпочинала вишивати. Коли вона спала?...Не знаю, але із свого ліжка я часто зачув що мама відмовляла в повністю вечірні молитви. Катерина завжди думала за свою родину, писала листи і висилала пачки свої цілі родині, до сестри Юстини в Польщі, як і до братів і родини покійного свого чоловіка в Україні, писала і до своїх кузинів в Англії. Хотіла, разом із своїм братом, Миколою, допомогти тим що навіть менше мали. Незважаючи на свої особисті недостатки, все хотіла допомагати іншим, помагаючи сиротам в Бразилії і підтримуючи семінаристів. Вона вщепила в серцях своїх дітей любов до церкви, любов до своєї родини і до всього що її оточувало. Коли ми, її діти, почали створювати свої сім'ї, наша мама помагала, тішилася своєю зростаючою родиною і своїми внуками, розсіяними по всі Канаді. Після емеритури, знову стала другою мамою ще для Юрчика, і Данилка, помагаючи виховувавати їх, тішитися і ними. Переступаючи в останнє десятиріччя свого життя, мама захворіла, і на превеликий жаль стала неспроможною робити все що вона хотіла. Не було легко до церкви заходити. Не було легко виходити в город щоб засадити квітки, помідори, огірки або часник. В кухні ставало щораз тяжче місити тісто, ліпити вареники, пекти торти, варити борщ, і мама соромилася тим. Гарний спомин маминого характеру може бути, що, ще чотири тижні тому, мама в кухні хотіла щоб винести їй стільничку, муку, дріжджі, цукор і воду, тому що хотіла б замісити тісто, щоб спекти булочки і заморозити для родини на Різдво. Дожила наша мама, Катерина, до Богом призначених 100 літ, і ще трохи. Відійшла від нас без страждання, без болю, але з вірою, надією, і любов'ю до Всевишнього Бога. Наша мама пережила багато, різного недомагання, різні недоліки, і зазнала багато пережиття. Скромна жінка, але дуже розумна, з великою повагою до науки. Особа сильної волі, глибоко віруюча, і дуже щедра. Старалася якнайкраще виховати нас в християнському дусі. Старалася втілити в нас пошану і любов до церкви і до всієї родини. Дивлячись назад, хотіла виробити це, не тільки словами але і своїм прикладом. Наша мама залишається світлом добра, правди і любови, те яке хоронить нас від різних прогалин і небезпек. Щиро дякуємо вам найдорожча наша мамо, бабцю, прабабцю, тето і подруго. Віримо що ви нас всіх споглядаєте з неба. Ми молимось за вас, і віримо що ви молитесь за нас.

   Низький, доземний Вам уклін

   Вічна вам пам’ять.

В імені всіх дітей, Славка з дружиною Лесею і внуками Таня і Євген , Уляни з внуками Юрій і Данило, Марта з чоловіком Олегом і внуками Тамара, Матейко із правнучкою Одеса, Орест і Ляриса, і Левко з дружиною Angela з внуками Рената, Наталка із правнуком Broderick, Андрійко, Іванна і Лука, наперед дякуємо вам за ваші молитви коли ви згадуєтe маминий відхід у вічне життя в небі з Богом.
 

Katherine Zurakowski, dearest mother, beloved grandmother and great grandmother, dear aunt, and true friend.

Who was Katherine?   What is her lasting legacy?

    Born in the village of Tuzhyliv, Ivano-Frankivsk province. She grew up with her older brother Paul, and younger brother Mykola, and her youngest sister Justyna. When Kateryna was 10 years old, her father died, and when she was 14, her mother died. Thus she became an orphan without both parents. During the winter following the death of both of her parents, she became gravely ill as a result of multiple repeating visits to the cemetery, tightly grasping the cross of the monument where both her parents were buried, attempting to feel the presence of her late mother. She was found there, weak and nearly frozen by the villagers and thanks to their care she was nurtured back to health. When Kateryna turned 19 years old, she was taken as a laborer to Germany, therefore separated from her brothers and sister. In 1949 she immigrated to Canada. She settled in Quebec for the first four years. Having heard that there was a larger Ukrainian community in Toronto, she moved and settled here. With the help of the Red Cross, she was able to locate Pavlo, the son of the good family that had taken care of her in Ukraine. He was located in Argentina, and subsequently came to Canada. The young couple fell in love and was married in 1952. Together they started their family – the Good Lord blessed them with four children. Sadly, their married life was cut short after only 10 years, when Pavlo died on October 31, 1962. Kateryna became a widow, alone with four children, between the ages of two and ten – Leo, Martha, Ulana and Mychajlo. Kateryna was very religious and her faith sustained her, and prevented her from giving up. She had a great devotion to the Mother of God, and turned to her in prayer for help. The children remember her praying on her knees to the icon of the Blessed Virgin Mary, pleading Her in prayer: “I entrust my children to Your all holy and powerful Mantle”. She dedicated a lot of time to give us, her children, the best possible upbringing. It wasn’t easy, but with the help of good people that stepped up to help, all turned out well. Kateryna was a devout parishioner of our St. Nicholas Ukrainian Catholic Parish. She was an active member of the Church and the St. Nicholas Ukrainian Catholic Women’s League. Kateryna’s days were full and complex. She dedicated her mornings to her children and taking care of the household. In the afternoon she would run to catch the streetcar to take her to work downtown. Returning, after work, in the late evening she would begin preparations for the next day. Late at night, sitting on her bed she would embroider. When did she sleep? The children were and are at a loss to answer. Late in the night, before falling asleep they could hear her fully reciting her evening prayers. Kathryn always thought of her family back home. She would write letters and send parcels to all her family: her sister Justyna in Poland, to her brothers, and to all the family of her late husband in Ukraine. She also corresponded with her cousins in Great Britain. With her brother Mykola, she strove to help those who had even less then her. Despite her very limited financial means, she still managed to support orphans in Brazil and seminarians studying for the priesthood. She instilled in the hearts of her children a love for their family, their Church, and taught them to do good to all those around them. When Kateryna’s children married and began starting their own families, she helped them, rejoicing in her ever expanding family. She loved her grandchildren, though they were scattered throughout Canada. She nurtured them and was proud of them. In the years of her retirement she became a second mother to her grandchildren Jurchyk and Danylko. She actively participated in their upbringing – they were the joy of her life. Upon entering the final decade of her life, she became limited by her illness, and sadly, could not accomplish all that she would have liked to. It was not possible for her to visit her Church regularly. It wasn’t easy for her to tend to her garden; to plant some flowers, tomatoes, cucumbers, or her favourite garlic. It became progressively more difficult to prepare the delicious meals that she had used to do, to bake her sumptuous tortes or to make borscht. A very fond memory will remain: Just four weeks ago she still attempted to bake and freeze traditional sweet baked rolls for her family for Christmas. God’s Providence allowed Kateryna to reach the 100 year milestone in her life. She fell asleep in the Lord, peacefully, without pain, with faith, hope, love and trust in the Almighty Lord. Kateryna’s children witnessed the challenges, suffering and lack of material means that she endured. They remember her as a humble person, intelligent, one who greatly respected education and studies. She was a person of strong will, determined, with deep faith, and very generous. She nurtured and brought up her children and grandchildren not only with words, but especially by example. She will forever remain for her children a guiding light of goodness, truth and love, traits that enable us to withstand our individual trials and tribulations. The family feels truly indebted to their late mother, grandmother, great grandmother, aunt and friend.   Now we are praying for You, and we know that You are praying for us.  

We offer a Deep Respectful bow to You 

Your Memory will be Eternal

  On behalf of all the children, Slavko with his wife Lesya, grandchildren Tania and Yevhen, Ulyana with grandchildren Yurij and Danylo, Marta with her husband Oleh and grandchildren Tamara, Mateyko along with great-granddaughter Odessa, and Orest and Laryssa, and Levko with his wife Angela with grandchildren Renata, Natalka with great-grandson Broderick, Andriyko, Ivana and Luke, we thank you in advance for your prayers when you remember our mother's departure to eternal life in heaven with God.  
 

Visitation

Date
October 18, 2020
Location
Cardinal Funeral Home Bathurst Chapel
Time
04:00 PM - 07:00 PM
Memo

Panachyda at 6:00 p.m. Gatherings will be limited to up to 50 people at a time in a visitation suite. When coming for a visitation, guests are asked to pay their respects to the deceased, acknowledge the family from a safe distance and exit the suite. Guest seating has been arranged to maintain physical distancing and will remain in place for all services and visitation in the funeral home. Once guests exit the visitation suite, we kindly ask them to exit the funeral home to allow other guests the same opportunity.

Service

Date
October 19, 2020
Location
St. Nicholas Ukrainian Catholic Church
Time
10:00 AM
Memo

Provincial Covid-19 precautions limit the number of people inside the Church at a time.

Burial

Date
October 19, 2020
Location
Prospect Cemetery
Time
 
Memo

Burial will follow immediately after the church service. Cemetery restrictions allow a maximum of 25 people in attendance at the graveside, inclusive of family, clergy, and guests.

*

October 19, 2020
Luke Jaciw-Zurakowsky
Babcya was the most hard working strong woman I have had the honor to witness in my life, and she will continue to be. Her life story is incredible, and she leaves her legacy through the lives of her Children, Grandchildren and Great Grandchildren. It gives me comfort knowing that heaven welcomed a new angel last Sunday. One of the fondest reoccurring themes of Babcya must have been the food. She taught me and my siblings that there is simply not limit to how much one can eat. I was always a 'growing boy' and if I was too stuffed then it was always 'do you not like?'. This is evidence to the love and care that Babcya always perpetuated to her loved ones. However, her care and affection did not end there as Babcya always made friends and made an effort to get to know others. After her second stroke (again...tough lady) in the rehab center she was learning a new language from her new found friend. Babcya fortunately got to pass away in peace surrounded with the love of her family. I promise to live Babcya's legacy in my own life to make her proud. Until we meet again and never forgotten with lots of love - Luke
October 19, 2020
Yuryj Alexander Kostirko
My grandmother was my mentor, my confidant and my dearest friend. She played an instrumental role in my upbringing and I will never forget her or the lessons she taught me. She always taught me to treat others with kindness and empathy, to help those in need and to practice forgiveness regularly. Humility was equally as important. Above all, she taught me to love the Lord and to pray often. My grandmother loved to cook, garden and embroider. During the summer, she loved to spend her days outdoors gardening, hidden amidst the ferns. I have fond memories calling out to her to come in for dinner, and while she rarely came quickly it was always a joy to sit and eat with her at the dinner table. In her later years she loved to sit outside on her front porch peacefully and admire the natural world around her. Until recently, she regularly took walks up and down Rusholme Road with her walker, and in doing so often stopped to talk to neighbours as well as those simply pasting by. My grandmother took pride in her Ukrainian cultural roots and worked very hard to pass down the many religious and cultural traditions once bestowed onto her. Christmas and Easter were two particularly poignant holidays that served this purpose. During Christmas dinner, I have fond memories of my mother and grandmother preparing (and counting just to be sure) twelve dishes to commemorate the 12 apostles. At Easter, they would similarly take turns preparing and decorating several Easter baskets which we later took to church to be blessed. Among the “paska” (Easter bread), “kielbasa” (smoked sausage) and sliced eggs, my grandmother’s beautifully handmade embroidered serviettes lined each basket. I am grateful that my grandmother took the time to share her heritage with us, and I look forward to doing the same with my own family down the road. My grandmother was also a proud Canadian. In fact, the Canadian national anthem was one of her favourite songs. Tim Hortons’ honey crullers were also one of her favourite tasty treats, and I always enjoyed surprising her with one in hand when I visited. My grandma made the best homemade tortes and she was always eager to share her culinary skills with others, including her local church, Saint Nicholas Ukrainian Catholic Church where she volunteered as part of the The Ukrainian Catholic Women's League of Canada (UCWLC) for many years. My grandmother loved her family and friends dearly and she never hesitated to lend a helping hand. She took great pride in her children and prayed for them regularly. Her love for her husband was similarly unwavering, and I can recall visiting his grave site along with my mother and brother on many occasions. While she faced many adversities in her life, she always managed to persevere. As a young girl she lost both of her parents. Not long thereafter, World War II broke out and she found herself living in Germany where she worked for a family whom owned a large property. After the war, she arrived in Canada. Here, she worked as a nanny for a family living in Quebec for a period of time before relocating to Toronto and marrying her childhood sweetheart. Unfortunately, her husband passed away not long thereafter, and she was left with the monumentous task of raising four young children on her own in a country that was very different from the one she left behind. Her perseverance and resilience is a testament to the human spirit and the power of the Almighty. One day, while sitting next to her, I asked her how she managed to overcome the obstacles she faced. Her answer to me was appropriately simple and eloquent, “God”. My grandmother was the kindest and hardest working person I have known. She always placed others ahead of herself and I am proud to have been called her grandson. I will miss seeing her face, giving her a big hug, or sharing with her the latest news in my life. While her loss brings me great sadness, I find solace in knowing that she has now been reunited with our maker, our Lord Jesus Christ. Our life on this earth will too one day end and I look forward to reuniting with her then. Until that time, I will strive to live my life in a manner that would make her proud and embodies the lasting legacy she has left on this earth. I love you so very much, babcia. We will never forget you. Until we meet again. Your loving grandson, Yuryj Alexander Kostirko
October 19, 2020
Sabrina Brueggemann
My deepest sympathies to your family. I only knew Mrs. Zurakowski later in her life but I can you you that she was still fully witted and had a spark in her eye. She was a kind soul; always trying to take care of everyone around her. She loved flowers and singing her favourite songs - namely one in particular, Oh Canada. She meant the world to her family. I only ever heard the kindest words spoken about her. I’m so happy I was a part of her life until recently; even if it was a small part, as she touched my heart with her generous nature. Rest In Peace, Katherine. The angels are awaiting you in heaven. Sabrina Brueggemann
October 18, 2020
Walter and Anna Bilchak
Our deepest condolences on the loss of your mother and grandmother and great-grandmother. Our love, Walter and Anna Bilchak and our children Larissa, Andrew, and Alexandra.
October 18, 2020
Your Grandson, Danylo
Dear Babcia, I love you very much. You were always kind and compassionate to the ones you loved. You brought joy, happiness and laughter even when things were hard. You demonstrated a great deal of humility and contentment with your life. I know that these traits came from your principles and strong faith in God. As a result, I have learned to not only live a principle based life, but to also know myself. As such, I am happy to say that your life has influenced me positively. I hope to share these principles throughout my life by working on myself to develop a strong, resilient, pure, spiritual, kind, fair, and principled character. Although, you have passed, you are still very much alive: emortilized in my heart and burning brightly. May your spirit guide all those you have cared about and guide them through there lives.
October 17, 2020
Laryssa
There are no words that fully capture all of the qualities my Babcia embodied - resilient, hardworking, strong, empathetic, and completely selfless are only a few. From her, I learned to cherish my Ukrainian heritage, to be giving and humble, and to always help others in need. She was the most patient woman with a heart of gold. I will forever cherish our last visit, spending our days simply talking about her life and soaking up as much of her wisdom as I could in our short time together. The world was a brighter place with her in it, and her light will forever be seen in all of the lives she touched. Vichnaya pamyat Babcia, ya vas duzhe lyublyu. You will be very missed.
October 15, 2020
Tom and Roseanne Koelle with daughter Michelle Koelle
Thoughts from our family The first time I met Mrs. Zurakowski was when I was in 1971 and I was in my early 20's. My wife Ro and I were looking for a new apartment in Toronto for ourselves and our very young daughter, Michelle. Although Mrs. Zurakowski seemed a bit apprehensive at first about renting to us, she gave us a smile and said yes. I think Michelle's presence helped. The apartment fit our needs and we moved in. I had lived in apartments all my life so I prepared for the potential of a somewhat adversarial relationship with our new landlord. The first sign that I was wrong happened when we were painting the apartment which was made doubly difficult by Michelle who wanted to explore everywhere - especially anyplace that had wet paint on it. Mrs. Zurakowski dropped by, saw our dilemma and offered to look after Michelle, who immediately seemed happy to leave her grumpy parents and go with the nice lady. Michelle's affection for Mrs. Zurakowski grew so much that she referred to her as 'Mama next door'. Not only was Mama next door loving and kind to Michelle but we soon discovered that Mrs. Zurakowski had four children, including two lively and intelligent teenage daughters. They lavished a lot of attention and love on her but they didn't spoil her. Living next door to the Zurakowski family allowed us to see the resilience and strength that they shared. No stranger to hard times, Mrs. Zurakowski held the family together through some difficult years. She was an old school mama. 'Feed what you love' was clearly her motto. I personally never left the Zurakowski apartment feeling hungrey. It didn't matter when you walked in, there was always big pots of food cooking in the kitchen —Pirogi, halupska - all the flavours my own Slovak mother taught me to love. And of course, her cooking made Ro and Michelle love Ukranian food also. We have always held the time in our life when we felt we were part of the Zurakowski family as a very special time. Witnessing the start of Marta and Oleh’s journey together, playing euchre and sharing holiday feasts. Its a testament to the type of person Mrs. Zurakowski was, that after 50 years, my family still remembers her and her family with love. Please convey our warm thoughts and wishes to all the Zurakowski family. Love, The Koelle Family
October 15, 2020
Alexander Roman
My most heart-felt condolences go out to Babcia Kateryna's daughters who loved her, visited and looked after her until her final days on this earth. Her long-suffering and self-sacrificing daughter Ulana Zurakowski, together with her sons, Yuryj and Danylo, who were also very close to their grandmother, having been practically raised by her throughout their lives. And her beloved daughter, Marta Kuzma, together with her children, and especially Dr. Tamara Kuzma who always made time to visit her grandmother during her demanding medical schedule which included her many travels to other continents. Babcia Kateryna will be sorely missed by you all. Your grandmother leaves behind a brilliant legacy of motherly love and devotion that was born of the challenges of having to raise you as a single mother following the untimely death of your father and grandfather. Despite those challenes, you stood together being continuously inspired by Kateryna's deep religiosity and nourished by her spirituality and devotion to the Ukrainian Church as well as the rich Ukrainian cultural traditions that your mother and grandmother imbued you with. Kateryna was the foundation stone upon which you built your lives and flourished as the singularly spiritual, loving and strong characters you are today. Kateryna leaves this earth upon which she was blessed to sojourn for 100 years, having been blessed to have had you as her children and grandchildren who now proudly carry on the Ukrainian spiritual and cultural identity and family traditions which were her mainstay throughout her life and which she bequeaths to you as her undying legacy which transcends all passing, temporal material things! With the Saints give rest, O Christ, to the soul of Your servant, Kateryna, where there is no pain, no worry, no sighing, but Life Eternal. Amen. Dr Alexander Roman and Tanya Roman
October 15, 2020
Halyna Parypa
Slavko, Leo, Ulana & Marta, please accept my deepest condolences. Your mom was a very special person to me and I will always remember her kindness, her joy in life, and her wonderful smile. One of my favourite memories of Teta was when she came to help my mom and me to bake tortes for my brother's wedding. When your mom and my mom got together that day it was nothing but riotous laughter for almost the entire day. I will miss her very much. I am glad to have gotten to know her the way I did and I will remember her in my prayers.
October 14, 2020
Irene and Ted Purnis
It doesn't seem that long ago you came into our lives. Remembering the good times and the sad times. The laughter's we had together. The wonderful memories of picnics, and sleepovers. I will always remember the wonderful cook you were and the excellent cakes you made. You will be dearly missed, but always in our memories. God Bless you for your 100years. Always in our memories Irene and Ted Purnis