IVAN WOLODYMYR ZENCHUK
APRIL 15, 1961 - JUNE 24, 2020
It is with great sadness that we announce the death of Ivan Wolodymyr Zenchuk, who passed away suddenly, at home, on Wednesday, June 24, 2020, at the age of 59.
Ivan was the youngest child of Mary and Theodore Zenchuk, both of whom immigrated to Canada from Ukraine after WWII. He was born in Toronto, Ontario, but grew up in Violet Hill, a country hamlet north-west of the city, where his family owned a general store and gas station. In his teenage years Ivan went to Shelburne High School, played football, learned Ukrainian dancing, enjoyed working on cars, and was instrumental in running the family business.
After graduating from high school, Ivan worked at the Nottawasaga Inn in Alliston, Ontario, gaining valuable experience in customer service. In 1980, he packed up his sporty black Trans Am and moved to Winnipeg to begin a 32-year career with VIA Rail, first as a porter and waiter, then gradually working his way into positions as chef and service manager. He took cooking classes and studied French to better serve his on-board guests.
Six years later, Ivan met the woman who would become the love of his life. In 1988, Ivan and Rosemary Doslea married in St. Nicholas Ukrainian Catholic Church and began their lifelong commitment to one another.
Ivan was a movie buff. He collected hundreds of films, which he catalogued and stored in alphabetical order. An avid fan of the NFL and the MLB, Ivan closely followed the stats and standings of the New England Patriots and the Toronto Blue Jays, which he regarded as “his” teams. He enjoyed sharing and discussing these passions with others. His other interests included reading history and spy novels, playing and coaching baseball, puttering around the yard, tinkering in the garage, and debating the issues of the day.
Ivan was a generous man who loved helping others: you could find him clearing snow from the neighbourhood driveways; volunteering with Special Olympics; offering up his services to fix, clean, or drive; dressing up as Santa for Michael’s day program; or picking up the tab and giving thoughtful gifts.
He was also outgoing and liked nothing more than getting together with family and friends for a BBQ cook-out, a swim in the backyard pool, or to celebrate a holiday or special family occasion. At these events Ivan always did the cooking, and the spread he could lay out for any number of guests was fantastic.
Ivan enjoyed camping and planning the family’s vacations. Aboard his prized motorhome, Ivan, Rose and the boys toured North America from coast to coast, as the countless photos and memorabilia hung on the walls of their home will attest.
Ivan was a devoted husband to Rosemary and father to his sons, Ivan Jr. and Michael. He was step-father to Dale Skwarchuk, brother to Orysia Demchuk, Jaroslav, and Zenia, and uncle to many nieces and nephews. Though he is gone, we are grateful that he lived long enough to realize a lifelong dream. In September of last year he became a proud “dido” (grandfather) when Ivan Jr. and his wife, Stephanie, blessed him with a grandson, Ezra, to carry on the Zenchuk family name.
We will all miss him greatly, as will his many co-workers, neighbours and friends whose lives he touched during his brief time with us.
In keeping with Ivan's wishes, cremation has taken place. A private celebration of his life was held on July 8, 2020 at 2:00 PM. Ivan’s family kindly requests that all of his friends and relatives take a few minutes to honour his memory by watching the photo-biography and the video recording of the celebration of life service above. Please, also consider sharing your own photos and/or sharing your own memories and stories using the comment section on this page.
The family would like to extend a special thank you to Ivan’s nieces, Andriana Demchuk and Daria Zenchuk, for all their help and support during this difficult time, and to Bobby McDaniels for preparing the eulogy.
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