Obituary of Nina Byca
Our beloved Mother passed away peacefully in her 97th year, at home and surrounded by family, on the morning of May 30, 2023. Nina was predeceased by her dear husband Omelan in 1989. She was the cherished mother of Bohdanna (d. 1950), Jerry (Dorota), Michael (Sandra), Taras (Gail), and Oksana Lacroix (Benoit). Loving Baba of Annie (Hayden), Kate (Quintin), Luke, and Aleksandra (Johan). In addition to her husband and first born daughter, Nina was predeceased by her parents Bartholomey and Vasylyna Teleha, and by all six of her siblings - Ivan, Stepan, Tanya, Mykola, Nadia and Volodomyr, all of Ukraine.
She was born in the village of Topory, Zhytomyr Oblast, Ukraine. Nina overcame many challenges at an early age. She survived The Holodomor (1932-1933). When she was 16 years old, on February 17, 1943, she was abducted by German soldiers and sent on a two week journey in a train boxcar to a farm labour camp in Germany. This is where she met Omelan, a fellow Ukrainian labourer, and her future husband.
After the war, Nina and Omelan spent three years in a displaced persons camp in Ingolstadt, Germany. In 1948 they emigrated to Canada. They married in Rossburn, Manitoba on January 8, 1949, and subsequently Mama joined Tato in Chapleau, ON. Their first daughter (Bohdonna) was born under challenging circumstances on March 28, 1950, and unfortunately lived less than a day. Shortly afterwards, our parents relocated to St Catharines, where they would spend the rest of their lives.
Nina was an active and devoted original member of the Sts. Cyril & Methodius Church, the Ukrainian Catholic Women's League, and Myrhorod. She was a passionate volunteer, loved embroidering (vyshyvanka), and was the maker of legendary homemade pickles. She will be dearly missed by all who knew her.
Visitation and Panachyda will be held at George Darte Funeral home on Thursday, June 15th (Visitation 5-8pm, Panachyda 6pm). Funeral Liturgy at Sts. Cyril & Methodius Church, St Catharines, beginning at 11am on Friday, June 16th. Interment to follow at Victoria Lawn Cemetery, also in St. Catharines. In lieu of flowers, donations in memory of Nina may be made to either the Sts. Cyril and Methodius Church or the Ukrainian Catholic Women's League.
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