Michael (Mike) Varabioff
March 24, 1935 – August 30, 2008
A Gentle Man
A caring man, so good and kind
Few folks on earth like him we find
For all of us, he did his best
May God grant him eternal rest.
His life was full of thoughtful deeds
And helping hands in times of need
A pleasant smile, a patient heart
A gentle man who did his part.
Michael (Mike) Varabioff was born March 24, 1935 in Verigin, Saskatchewan to Nick and Laura (Kazakoff) Varabioff. They returned to Grand Forks, B.C. shortly afterwards. Michael’s mother passed away when he was four years old. He continued to live with his loving Kazakoff grandparents and extended family.
He attended public school in Grand Forks and, as a teenager, had many jobs to help him stay in school. He obtained
employment at the Grand Forks Co-op, thus launching his career in retail. He moved to Nelson to join the Simpson-Sears staff there; then, settled in Castlegar, where he managed the Castlegar Sears store. Eventually, after
managing the Trail Sears store, he took an early retirement at age 56.
While still in Grand Forks, he met Kate Tomilin, whom he married in 1959. Together they raised a family of three
children; sons Michael and Jon and daughter Eva. Seven grandchildren blessed their lives. Kate’s parents Jack and Helen were a loving influence on the Varabioff family.
Michael enjoyed singing in choirs and fellowship with members. He loved to sing and play his guitar. His musical talents inspired his children to sing, play, and pursue musical studies.
He especially loved woodworking and Deda could fix anything! He also spent time outdoors. Helping and spending time with
family and friends brought him great happiness.
Mike became ill in August 2007 and, with family close by, passed away August 30, 2008 at the age of 73. Services were
held at the Castlegar Funeral Chapel, and burial was at Park Memorial Cemetery. Left with broken hearts are his wife Kate Varabioff; son Michael (and wife Maura) Varabioff; son Jon Varabioff; daughter Eva (and husband Tony) Cortens; grandchildren Sophie, Nicholas and Natasha Varabioff; grandchildren Olivia, Daniel, Timothy and Christopher Cortens; brothers Norman, Edward and Peter, sister Vera and mother Mary Varabioff; nieces, cousins and friends. Dear Meesha, you will always be loved and missed.
We are grateful for your devotion, love and care, and for making all our lives better. May God bless and keep you and
grant you Eternal Peace in His Heavenly Kingdom.
THANK YOU family and friends for your presence, prayers, hymns and condolences during this sad and painful time. THANK YOU for the food, flowers, cards, e-mails, phone calls, visits, child care, hospital visits, donations and
shoulders on which to shed our tears. THANK YOU Fred Makortoff for officiating and guiding us through the service;
speakers Peter Varabioff, Jon Varabioff, Elmer Verigin and Koozma Gorkoff; pall bearers; Tri-Choir for their powerful
tribute to Mike. THANK YOU to our children for the thoughtful slide presentation and moving renditions of “His Eye is on the Sparrow” and “I’m So Lonesome I Could Cry”.
We love you all.
Monetary donations to Iskra and Cancer Society gratefully accepted.