With hearts filled with deep sorrow, the family of Olena Kanevets announces her passing on Monday, October 20, 2014, at the age of 46, following a courageous battle with cancer.
Beloved wife of Mykola and cherished mother of Sasha, Olena will be sorely missed, and held dearly in their hearts forever.
Olena was born in Koloyema, Ukraine on July 10, 1968. She attended the Kyiv National University of Culture & Arts and then the Kyiv Polytechnic Institute, graduating from the Faculty of Linguistics. Following graduation, Olena worked as an editor in Kyiv.
In 1995 Olena met Mykola Kanevets in Kyiv, Ukraine (while he was there on a business trip). They were married on December 28, 1996 and Olena began her life in Canada. Olena and Mykola’s daughter “Sasha” Alexandra was born in April, 2000. Olena dearly loved her daughter and took great pride in watching Sasha grow and mature into a beautiful young lady.
A believer in the value of education, Olena shared her love of the Ukrainian language at the Ivan Franko School of Ukrainian Studies (Kursy) where she taught Ukrainian language, geography and history classes on Saturdays. Olena enjoyed friendships with her co-workers there, and the students at Ivan Franko benefitted from a kind and patient teacher. Olena worked for the Edmonton Catholic School Board in administrative support at a number of schools, most recently at Holy Family Elementary/Junior High School. She will be missed by her friends and colleagues there. As an active member of her faith community, the parish of St. John’s Ukrainian Orthodox Cathedral has also lost a dedicated member.
Fashion, beauty and esthetics captivated Olena and her passion for them was reflected in her personal style and her home. The new home that Olena and Mykola recently purchased gave her an opportunity to express herself in a new way. She was proud of the life they had made in Canada; but Olena also cherished her roots, and the traditions of Ukraine. She recognized the importance of spending summers in Ukraine during Sasha’s early years to enable Sasha to get to know her family in Ukraine and to develop an appreciation of her roots. Olena kept herself informed on what was happening in Ukraine politically, and was concerned for (but proud of) her family members who took part in the Euromaidan protests.
Olena was a woman of beauty, grace and calmness, and as the wife of the Artistic Director of the Cheremosh Ukrainian Dance Company, she carried out her role in Cheremosh with great support for Mykola, and kindness to those around him. Those whose lives she touched consider themselves fortunate.
Olena is survived by her husband Mykola, her daughter “Sasha” Alexandra, her sister and brother-in-law, Natalia and Voldemer Hronsky of Kyiv, Ukraine; her brother- and sister-in-law, Vasyl and Anna Kanevets of Edmonton; and her niece Uliana (Matthew) Chadder of Calgary. Olena was predeceased by her parents, Aleksandra and Aleksey Komarove.
Prayers – Monday, October 27 at 7:00 p.m. at St. John’s Ukrainian Orthodox Cathedral, 10951 – 107 Street.
Funeral Rite – Tuesday, October 28 at 10:00 a.m., St. John’s Ukrainian Orthodox Cathedral. Rev. Fr. Cornell Zubritsky officiating with interment at Rosehill Cemetery. If desired, in lieu of flowers, donations may be made to an educational trust account for Sasha. Donations can be made at CIBC (904 Parsons Rd.SW Edmonton, AB, T6X 0J4).
Vichna ii Pamiat — May her memory be eternal.
To send condolences, visit www.parkmemorial.com