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Eva and Nicholas Krawchuk on their 50th Wedding Anniversary
in 1973.

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Life Statement
Legacy Project
Eva and Nicholas Krawchuk


September 20, 1898 to
February 21, 2001

Born Eva Karpynka
Polova, Radehiv, Lvivski Oblast, Ukraine

Resided Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada

Walter, Nadia (Bosak)

When asked how she was feeling on any given day, one of Eva Krawchuk's favorite responses was "102%." That was her life philosophy – give everything you can, and a little more.

Eva came from a family of poor peasants. They worked hard to make a life for themselves. A major historical event changed the course of Eva's life: the Russian Revolution of 1917 and the conflict that followed. She recalled soldiers coming to her family's home one day, taking away all the vegetables they had grown and their livestock, and beating her with the end of a rifle. "I tried to hide, but I couldn't escape. They found us. I was terrified. If you only knew." She learned firsthand about violence and seemed to make a personal promise to herself that she would practice kindness and compassion.

Her family wanted a safer, better future. They made a big decision. As the eldest child of five, Eva was chosen to travel with her father to Canada in 1923 to start the family's new future. She was a strong woman. While earning money in the Ukraine for her family by working for another local family, she gamely took on feeding their pet bear. In her new country, the first man her father suggested she marry she rejected as "not good looking enough."

Eva's dedication to her husband and family was a major defining theme in her life. On August 12, 1923, she married Nicholas Krawchuk and they had two children, Walter and Nadia. Eva would live long enough, 102 years across three centuries, to enjoy five grandchildren, five great-grandchildren, and one great-great-grandchild. She supported all their accomplishments. Eva would say that it's the little things that make you love someone – all the things they do over your lifetime that add up to them caring about you, and you caring about them.

Eva was also very supportive of her husband in his business, Custom Built Upholstering. A self-taught cook, she would entertain local furniture buyers with her amazing baking and traditional Ukrainian foods to help win contracts.

Her greatest hardship was seeing her husband develop Alzheimer's. When it became impossible for her to care for him at home, she reluctantly went against family expectations and put him in a nursing home. But the caring she showed in visiting him every day, often bringing him the foods he loved, was a model of compassion for her family.

Eva's greatest source of personal pride was the fact that she and her husband worked hard to raise enough money to bring the rest of the family from the Ukraine to Canada. Though she was a proud Canadian, she never forgot her roots. One of her great joys was attending concerts in her beloved Ukrainian culture, and she passed down much of this culture to her children and grandchildren. Each time one would visit, she would give a small keepsake, often a Ukrainian handicraft, as "a little something to remember me by." She inspired the bestsellers A Little Something/Something to Remember Me By, written by her granddaughter Susan V. Bosak.

Eva believed that life is about being your best and helping others. Though she only received an elementary-level education, Eva read the newspaper every day and was eager to discuss current events. Through her own search for knowledge and her great need to leave something of herself behind, she taught her granddaughter Susan many of the values that led to the founding of the Legacy Project. At the same time, Eva deeply understood the strength of community, often commenting that "you can't do much with a single straw, but a bundle of straws makes a broom with which you can do much work."

Eva's greatest hope for the future was that her children and grandchildren would make the most of the educational and career opportunities open to them.

Eva Krawchuk was strong, warm, and loving. In the face of hardship and challenge, she found strength that even she didn't think she had. In her smile and laugh, you could see the warmth of her soul. And she freely gave gifts of herself – a hug, a little candy treat, something she made herself – so that her love would stay with those she cared about.

Baba, you have certainly left us much to remember you by.

Contributed April 8, 2012
By granddaughter Susan V. Bosak

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