Ada Chapman

Ada Chapman

October 12, 1928 – March 28, 2019
In many ways a woman ahead of her time, our mom taught us the importance of growing our own food, minimizing what we consume, recycling what is still useful, speaking up when injustice is obvious, that nature is to be cherished, and that family is central to life.

Born in Symoniv, Ukraine, she immigrated to Canada as an infant with her older siblings and parents. Feodor and Vierra Sadownyk were wise enough to know that if they stayed in their homeland, they would likely perish under Stalin’s forced famine in Ukraine (Holodomor).

After arriving in Canada, they settled northeast of Edmonton where Feodor and Vierra worked on various farms until they were able to buy their own. Mom told many stories from her childhood including walking long distances to school in all seasons and on occasion in a horse driven cart, picking low bush blueberries in the summer, sleeping in the granary in the summer, and being part of a close-knit Ukrainian community.

Our parents attended school together but did not fall in love until many years later after a chance encounter in Vancouver, where Dad was working, and Mom was on a holiday with her girlfriends.

Our paternal grandfather Volodymyr Kupchenko was our mother’s high school teacher and according to him (and Dad), Mom was an exceptional student (and the prettiest girl in the class).

Prior to her marriage to Dad, Mom was employed as a clerk at the Alberta Legislature. After marriage she devoted herself to creating a stable and loving home life for her children and husband. A huge garden and wonderful meals were a normal part of life and amongst mastering many Ukrainian, Chinese and other dishes, Ada become a champion of the most incredibly difficult and delicious beet leaf holubtsi.

In her forties, Mom went back to school at Selkirk College and completed her early childhood education diploma. She was instrumental in starting what is now Kootenay Family Place. Volunteering with the Red Cross, and with the Lady Lions, Mom had a deep sense of giving back to the community. She wrote many letters to the City of Castlegar when she thought a new policy or taxation scheme seemed unfair.

Mom was 90 years old when she died. Living at the time in the home that she and Jim built, a fall in the kitchen, and a broken femur precipitated her end. Mom’s eldest daughter, Lynda had been living with her for the past year and a half, making sure she was eating wholesome and nutritious meals, reminding her to wear her hearing aids and to keep mobile, and to enjoy the turkeys that wondered across the front yard. Ada’s family will forever be in Lynda’s debt for taking time out of her life to care for Mom.

Memories of Ada will be cherished by her family: Lynda Chapman, Bill (Louisa) Chapman, Diane (Steve) Byford, Carol Andrews, and by her six loving grandchildren: Laticia, Oleh, Roman, Amelia, Arthur, and Heather.

Ada was predeceased by her husband Jim Chapman, her sister Nancy (Swirhun) and her brothers Jack, John and Peter. Ada is survived by her sister Dorothy Danyluk of Edmonton, Alberta.

The family is grateful to the wonderful staff of the surgery wing at Kootenay Boundary Regional Hospital who worked valiantly to try to restore Mom after her fall and to the kind and compassionate staff at Talarico Place who provided a warm and caring place so that Mom could return to Castlegar to die in the beautiful valley that she and Jim chose as their place in the world in 1966.

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