Margaret Yurkiw

Obituary of Margaret Yurkiw

Born near Cole’s Island NB March 25, 1925 – died in Halifax, NS on March 23, 2022. Margaret is survived by Peter, her beloved husband of 74 years, children Mary Anne Yurkiw (Stan), Joan Lovell and Peter Donald Yurkiw (Susan). She was Baba to grandchildren Nicholas Mikhail (Donika), Peter David Yurkiw and Jennifer Yurkiw and Great Baba to Dia and Teo Mikhail. She is also survived by innumerable nieces, nephews and cousins. Margaret was predeceased by sisters Marcelle Fanjoy and Alice Wheaton, brothers Robert, Donald, and Aaron “Buddy”. Born on a farm in New Brunswick, Margaret attended the local school and moved to Sussex to complete high school. At 16, she met Peter when he was training with the Royal Canadian Artillery in New Brunswick. While Peter served overseas, Margaret moved to Ottawa where she worked for the Federal Government. Margaret and Peter were married in Edmonton in 1947. Margaret worked at the Bank of Nova Scotia, supporting him through university. Together they raised three children: Mary Anne, Joan and Peter Donald. In 1967, the family’s Centennial Project was to move across Canada so Peter could open Materials Testing Ltd in Halifax. What started as a 5-year commitment to their new province lasted the rest of their lives. She participated in the VON, Meals on Wheels, Women of Rotary, and the Halifax Engineers Wives Club. Margaret was multitalented! Her interest in finance was lifelong: she kept the books for the Halifax company; BNN was constantly on the TV, and her favourite reading was the G&M Report on Business. She was a very skilled craftsperson, sewing and knitting her own clothes and those of her daughters. She loved textures, using mohair, silk, cottons of every variety, most often in bright “jewel” colours. Marrying into the Ukrainian culture, she embraced their handcrafts, embroidering with such skill that she helped create altar cloths for St Basil’s in Edmonton. Over the years, she also learned millinery, copper work, weaving and many other crafts. Margaret was an excellent, creative cook. Family meals included green salads and whole wheat bread long before they became fashionable. Margaret always loved reading and learning, she was ahead of the curve in joining a Book Club. At home, a book-magazine-newspaper was never out of reach. Family and friends knew Margaret by her green thumb, she was a member of the Orchid Society of Nova Scotia and coaxed a grocery store coffee plant to touch the ceiling and produce beans With her husband, Margaret was a great traveler, visiting Russia, Italy, Holland, Greece, Egypt, Turkey, Japan, Hong Kong, the United States, Mexico and Jamaica. But a favourite was Cuba, where she and Peter visited more than 20 times. With two of their children (and two of their grandchildren) living in Edmonton, she maintained her ties with Alberta. A side-effect of knee replacement surgery at 85 changed Margaret forever. From that time on, it was obvious that she had dementia. As much as we missed the mother/ Baba that we knew, we found another side to her—one who liked singing, was open to talking to new people and who made jokes. And we were grateful that she was happy. Thank you to Eleanor Molnar, who joined Peter and Margaret as a caregiver in the last decades of their lives. She shopped for Mum, sang with her (“Those were the days, my friend”) and shared many cups of coffee. And to Amanda who joined her care recently. Thank you to 2nd floor staff at Shannex/ Parkland at the Gardens who cared so well and lovingly for our mother, grandmother and great-grandmother. Thanks Mum/ Baba. Although we’ll miss you, you and your talents live on through all of us. As per Margaret’s wishes, a cremation has taken place, a ceremony will be held later. If you wish, contribute in memory of Margaret to something that brings you joy.
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