We are profoundly saddened to announce the passing of our dear father, Dido, and “Super-Dido” Marko Kozorys, on March 3rd, 2019, peacefully, in his sleep.
Marko was born in Svekiw, Ternopolsky Oblast, Ukraine on August 25th, 1925. World War II separated Marko from his family, and in the fall of 1947 he arrived at Pier 21 along with hundreds of other displaced persons. With nothing than a bag of belongings and a great deal of determination he travelled by train to Fort William where he would eventually complete a one-year contract at a Great Lakes logging camp near Marathon. Having paid for his passage to Canada, he settled in Fort William and found work as a labourer and truck driver for the Gamble Robinson Warehouse. The Ukrainian immigrant community was thriving and it was by chance at a gathering that he met his future wife, Anastasia (Nadia). It was truly a chance meeting since Nadia was never destined to live in Fort William. She was enroute to Montreal from Lethbridge, when the train pulled into the Syndicate Avenue station and Nadia decided to disembark. Marko and Nadia were married at the Church of Transfiguration in January 1950 and the first year of their married life was spent living above a pool-hall on Simpson Street. This always made for a very colorful conversation.
In August of 1951 their family expanded with the birth of their daughter Yaroslava (Geraldine). Marko worked very hard and was able to purchase their first home on Dease Street. In 1958 their second daughter, Mary, was born. The Dease Street home was a hub of activity with many neighborhood children playing in the large back yard.
Marko had a tremendous work ethic, working two jobs, at the Canadian Pacific Railway, and delivering furniture for Gilbert’s Furniture Store when his railway shift finished. With some prompting from his second-cousin John (Ivan) Iwanec, Marko and John became partners in the Lakeland Hotel. Along with their spouses, they would operate the hotel until ‘urban renewal’ would have the hotel demolished. Marko spent the next 20 years at the Airlane Hotel, retiring from his position as maintenance manager in 1985.
His family, his church, and his Ukrainian community were at the centre of Marko’s life. He had a love of the outdoors, from fishing to gardening, to mushroom and blueberry picking, Marko was the happiest when he could ‘putter’ around and share the ‘bounty’. The birth of each of his grandchildren brought Marko great joy and as they grew older, so did their accomplishments. When Nadia died so suddenly, “Dido” Marko took on Baba’s role in the kitchen, where his family discovered his true culinary talents. Dido could not cease pyrohy production as the “cousins” competed in pyrohy-eating contests. It did not stop at pyrohy. Dido was known for his potato pancakes, cabbage rolls and chicken soup. The pyrohy-making extended to working alongside his favourite group of friends and St. George’s Society members at the Church of the Holy Cross.
Left to mourn Marko’s passing are his daughter Geraldine Kozorys-Smith, son-in-law Larry Smith, grandchildren Stephan Smith (Carolina) and their children John-Paul and Alexander, and Andrew Smith (Ei Phyu) and their children Caleb and Theodore, and daughter Mary Kozorys, son-in-law Alex Hardiejowski, grandson Marc (Kate) and only granddaughter Krystyna (Cody). Marko was predeceased by his wife Nadia in 1994 and he longed to be reunited with her.
Funeral services for the late Marko Kozorys will be held Saturday March 9th, 2019 at 9:30 a.m. at Blake’s Funeral Chapel, May St. South celebrated by Father Stepan Didur. Interment will take place at St. Andrew’s Cemetery with a reception to follow in Blake’s reception hall.
The family would like to express their heartfelt thanks to the staff of Chartwell Retirement Residence (Arundel), and most recently to the staff of Southbridge Roseview Manor (Champlain Wing) for their care, compassion and insight. Also a special thank you to Marko’s Bayberry Crescent neighbours who kept a watchful eye over him.
In lieu of flowers, donations to Church of the Holy Cross Memorial Fund would be appreciated.
A life well lived; a rest well deserved.
May your memory be eternal
Marko Kozorys will be remembered in the Blake Funeral Chapel Memorial Grove. Annual dedication service Sunday, June 14, 2020.