It is with great sadness the family of George Hadikin announces his passing. George, devoted husband to Elma, the love of his life for 65 years, passed away peacefully on January 9th, 2011 at Talarico Place. George was born in the Doukhobor settlement at Ooteshenia on November 4, 1923 to George and Helen Hadikin. George was the second eldest of four brothers. When George was twelve years old the family moved to Pass Creek to begin living in a communal village with extended family members. George completed six years of public schooling, after which time he began working at age-appropriate jobs such as caring for livestock, haying, preparing firewood and assisting the family with household tasks. In his teens, George sought out jobs to assist the family financially. These included riding the rails to the Okanagan with his buddies to work in the orchards.
When he was 15, claiming to be eighteen, he began working at Waldie’s, a local sawmill. The training and experience he gained there ultimately led to his own logging and lumber manufacturing business which he began with his three brothers. Eventually the business employed up to 150 local workers, many who remained with the company for 35 years. Workers treasured his dedication to principles of respect, fairness and integrity. George was a self trained bookkeeper/accountant, acquiring certification through correspondence courses. In his role as lumber broker he oversaw sales locally and to overseas and US markets, subsequently forming many friendships with fellow brokers who frequented George’s home to share meals with the family and learn about Doukhobor cultural traditions. George was admired for his intelligence, integrity, sensitivity and generosity.
After completing a short apprentice-like training at the Boundary Co-op in Grand Forks, George was hired at the Kootenay Columbia Co-op as its first manager. The KC Co-op, located at Brilliant, was established in the early 1950’s. George strongly embraced co-operative values and was ahead of his times in sustainability practices in his endeavors.
George never faltered from his belief in non-violence and remained a life-long pacifist. This deep belief system was the foundation for his being a vegetarian. During the era of the Vietnam draft dodgers coming to the area, George, along with his family members, was known to extend moral and physical support to the brave young women and men, resulting in wide-ranging friendships. More recently, George frequently participated in local peace marches and anti-war protests. George lived by a high ethical standard. He was guided by a meaningful trust in God and the Doukhobor principles of daily life. He was a life member of the USCC. He seldom missed the local United Nations (KRUNA) meetings and last year both George and Elma were honored to receive recognition of their dedicated service to this organization.
George was a lover of books and a reader par excellence. Being very fluent both in English and Russian, George read volumes. He had a diverse range of literary interests. He had a passion for knowledge and a thirst for learning about the affairs of the world. He was very well versed in the writings of the Doukhobor leaders and had an in-depth knowledge of Doukhobor history. George loved the CBC and had no fewer than 5 radios positioned strategically around the house and yard to keep informed of current events.
George was appreciated for his great sense of humour. He never failed to put a smile on the face of his family and acquaintances. He loved to play practical jokes on his children and grandchildren; he was very much cherished for his ability to see a brighter side to life’s trials and tribulations.
George was the devoted father of Hannah, Viola (Steve) Drew and Lorne. He was a proud grandfather to Lyna (Philip) Maxwell of Chilliwack, Wendi (Chris) Postnikoff of Toronto, Heidi (Guido) Postnikoff of Nelson and Cory (Gabriella) Drew of Edmonton. He was a great-grandfather to Deanna and Emma Maxwell, Jasmyn and Scott Drew and their mother Shannon Roach and Sophie and Lilyahna Drew. He is also survived by many nieces and nephews. He was enormously cherished by his wife Elma and will be deeply missed by his family. The void left in our lives with his passing will not be readily filled; we take comfort in knowing that he is at peace in God’s loving realm.
George was predeceased by his parents and brothers Pete, Fred and Nick, his son-in-law Mike Postnikoff in 1991 and his beloved grandson Devon Drew in 2006.
The family would like to extend their heartfelt gratitude to Dr. Lisa Vasil, the medical care providers and the caring staff of Talarico Place; to the relatives and friends who came to the service at the Castlegar Funeral Chapel and at Brilliant Cultural Centre. Special thanks to JJ Verigin, for having braved the severe snowfall and adverse road conditions, to offer his deep words of solace. Thank you to “Teota” Laura Verigin for her condolences expressed by phone; to the psalmists for their prayful, harmonious psalms and songs of comfort. To the Ladies Catering Group, thank you for the preparation of the superb borsht and meal. Sincere thanks to Leonard Voykin for his gracious officiating and to Bill Strilaeff and staff of Castlegar Funeral Chapel. Thank you to those who sent condolences by phone, email and cards, for the flowers and the donations to Iskra. Last, but by no means least, thank to the pall bearers and the grave diggers in preparing George’s final resting place and to Sam Hadikin for the snow clearing.
Tsarstveya Nebesnaya, Vechnaya Pamyat, you will live in our hearts forever.