Obituary of Helen Melichercik
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Dr. Helen Melichercik (neé Swediuk) passed away peacefully, surrounded by family, at Grand River Hospital on Sunday March 13, 2022.
Born in 1935, in Zaporizhzhia, Ukraine, Helen (Olena) prevailed through a difficult childhood. Alongside her mother and grandmother, Helen fled the Soviet Union, spending several years of her childhood living at a Ukrainian displaced persons camp in Germany, eventually emigrating to Canada in 1949. Upon arriving in Canada, Helen continued to live and work alongside her mother and grandmother most of her life.
Helen had a love and a gift for languages. As young adult she could already speak Russian, Ukrainian, German, French and English fluently. Her passion and aptitude for language brought her to the University of Toronto where she eventually completed a PhD in German language and literature. Helen enjoyed a long career teaching at Wilfrid Laurier University for over 25 years.
Helen also held a great passion for dance. As a young woman, she briefly considered pursuing a career in ballet and modern dance. Helen carried her love of dance throughout her life. She also enjoyed the theatre, traveling and gardening, all of which she enjoyed well into retirement alongside her husband John. The two met later in life, and shared a loving relationship filled with many joys and travels.
Helen was predeceased by her husband John, her son John Andrew, her mother Maria, and grandmother Paulina. All were greatly beloved by her and she will find peace in joining them now. She will be greatly missed by her daughter Lirondel, son-in-law Ramsey, and her loving grandchildren Saul, Alia, Roan, Ivan, Maia and Luka, all of whom she was very proud.
A special thank you to the caring nurses and doctors at Grand River hospital who cared compassionately for Helen throughout the last week of her life.
Visitation will be held on Wednesday, March 16, 2022 from 2-4pm & 7-9pm at the Erb & Good Family Funeral Home, 171 King Street S., Waterloo. Funeral Service will be held in the Chapel of the Funeral Home on Thursday, March 17, 2022 at 11am. with a reception to follow in the Fireside Reception Room of the Funeral Home. Interment will be held at Woodland Cemetery, Kitchener.
Should you wish to donate in Helen’s honour, we suggest donations to CARE Canada, Doctors without Borders, or Nature Conservancy of Canada, organizations that she supported and can be arranged through the funeral home www.erbgood.com or 519-745-8445.