January 22, 1927 - September 18, 2021


In 1927, Vera was born in Krychylsk, Ukraine to Mother Palagia and Father Wasyl Pytel.


She was fourth in line of seven children - Diana, Pearl, Mary, Vera, Olga and twins Michael and Dorothy, who were later born in Canada.  In 1929, she arrived on Canadian shores at the age of two, along with her Mother and four other siblings.


Vera attended Norquay, Aberdeen, and Isaac Newton Schools.  As a family, the Pytels attended the Federation of Russian Canadians (FRC), where Vera participated in Russian Language classes, played balalaika in the orchestra, and sang in the choir.  At age 16 she met Walter Weremiuk at a dance, and they began courting.  Vera and Walter were wed on October 4, 1947.  They first resided on Burrows, then on Redwood where they lived for over 50 years raising three children, Linda, Lorraine and Larry.  The last few years Mom resided at Fred Douglas Lodge.


Vera was never a loner - she thrived in community.  She was always involved with school sports, playing softball and excelling on the volleyball team, and was nurtured in her cultural community, being a life long member of the FRC.  With a growing family, Vera and Walter volunteered on Community Centre Boards, and served as Executive Members of many organizations.  Vera was a capable volunteer and expert organizer.  These traits were passed on to each of her children.  She was involved with Folklorama since its inception, and was instrumental in opening the first Russian Pavilion.  Vera served on the first Folk Arts Council Board of Directors.  During her life she was employed at People’s Co-op Dairy, CNR Telecommunications Union, Folk Arts Council and Workers’ Benevolent Association.


Singing was Vera's passion; She always had a song in her heart whether she was harmonizing with her sisters doing dishes, joining in the sing songs at Fred Douglas Lodge, or just humming to a tune.  A highlight for Vera was when her choir performed for Queen Elizabeth in a televised Gala Performance.  Though Alzheimer’s diminished her abilities, the skill of singing was with her until her last days.  Her alto voice was still strong and she knew the words to every English song she ever heard.


In retirement, the McPhillips Casino became Vera’s new hangout with family or old and new friends.  Many family celebrations were held at the buffet.  Vera enjoyed bingo over the years at Northwood Community Centre, the Ukrainian Labour Temple (playing & volunteering), and Sinclair Park.


Vera was predeceased by husband Walter, and survived by children Linda Henderson, Lorraine (Stephen) Kraichy, Larry (Diana) Weremiuk; grandchildren Walter (Kellie) Henderson, Michael (Danielle) Kraichy, David Kraichy, Brett (Ashley) Weremiuk, and Katee Weremiuk; and great-grandchildren Roman Henderson, Kinsley and McKenna Kraichy; her cousins, nephews and nieces.  She loved us all unequivocally.


Vera said of herself that she lived a good life.  She survived to age 94, and couldn’t believe that she was that old.  All who knew Vera remember her wearing a smile.  Always pleasant with everyone she met, she loved to have conversations, and enjoyed a good laugh. Vera was a gentle soul whose positive nature never wavered,  always finding the best in people.  She was one in a million.  


A donation to the Alzheimer Society of Manitoba (120 Donald St., Winnipeg, MB, R3C 4G2) in Vera’s name, or to a charity of one’s choice, is appreciated.  Private burial will take place at Brookside Cemetery.  Due to COVID restrictions, a gathering to honour Vera will be held at a later date.  


Our Mother Vera was the matriarch and last of an era in our family.  Mom was a capable woman and loyal person, and her presence will be missed.  She will be remembered with love and admiration.

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