Eva Marie Shewchuk (nee Epton)
It is with great sadness that the family of Eva Shewchuk (nee Epton) announce her passing on Thursday October 20th, 2022 at the Lions Prairie Manor, at the age of 90 years.
Eva was predeceased by her loving husband Orest of 50 years and her parents Lilian and Arthur Epton of England, and brother David.
Eva will be lovingly remembered by daughter Dorinda (Murray) Holmes of Portage, and son Tim Shewchuk of Calgary; grandchildren; Gillian (Christian), Tiffany (Mark), Braden and Briann; great grandchildren; Liam, Logan, Rylan and Jace. She is survived by her brother Harry (Ann) Epton of England, sister-in-law Sylvia Snow, sister-in-law Jeanette Shewchuk, brother-in-law Ray Chernecki, sister-in-law Margaret Grace Epton and cousin John Epton, as well as many nieces, nephews and friends.
Mum was born on September 17th, 1932 in Erith, Kent, England. Towards the end of her schooling, when she was 15 years old a teacher offered to set up pen pals and Eva started exchanging letters with a Canadian girl, Eleanor who was from Cobden, Ontario. Eva was made “Head Girl” at the school, and when she left, she became a Library Assistant in Bexley Heath, England. The friendship with Eleanor continued to grow over the next 12 years and Eva planned to visit Canada. Coincidentally a tall Canadian Air Man, Orest, called at their home in England and asked whether Eva Epton lived there. He had been told by a house mate Eleanor from Portage, that if he was ever in England that he should call on Eva. Over the next 10 days they toured London and the South East till he had to drive back to Germany, where he was a meteorologist for the Canadian Armed Forces. A couple of months later he returned back to Canada and in several weeks the postman delivered a ring too Eva. The rest is history.
Eva and Orest were married in Ethelbert, Manitoba in 1957 and directly moved to Churchill, Manitoba. Dorinda was born while they were in Churchill, and after 2 years of Churchill they moved to Ottawa, where Tim was born. In 1961they moved to Portage and have remained there ever since.
Her passion for libraries continued in Canada as she volunteered at Crescentview School to help set up a school library. She followed this with a Library EA position at Arthur Meighen High School which she did for many years. She was instrumental in establishing the Portage City Library, and setting up a similar cataloging and borrowing system that was used in England’s Libraries. To assist with the development of the Portage City Library she took a volunteer position on the Library Board in 1972, and moved to the Chair persons position in 1976, and retired from the board in 2001. In that time frame the City library grew from having 8,000 books to over 50,000 books for the City to enjoy.
Mum was very much involved volunteering in the Koko Platz community where she worked at the rink canteen, canvassed for many different charities. She and Dad were very much involved with the Ukrainian Orthodox Church making cabbage rolls and pyrogies to raise funds for the church. She loved to go fishing and berry picking with her family, and spent many summers enjoying going to Jessica Lake Lodge in the Whiteshell. Mum and Dad enjoyed travelling with family and friends to England, Ireland, Scotland, Australia, New Zealand, Europe and throughout Canada and the USA. They made many friends during their travels.
She enjoyed her bowling with friends, gardening in her English garden and spending time in the afternoon with family and friends over a cup of tea. She spent a large amount of time and travelled to England and Ireland to discover more of her family history. She and Dad spent a lot of time with their grand children watching them in their numerous activities.
A sincere thank you goes out to Dr. Kinnear, the staff of DOC, the staff of The Portage District General Hospital/Gladstone Hospital and the staff at The Lions Prairie Manor.
In lieu of flowers, should friends and family so desire, donations can be made in Eva’s memory to the Orest & Eva Shewchuk Bursary Fund, ℅ Community Foundation of Portage and District Inc., 206 Saskatchewan Ave. E., Portage la Prairie, MB, R1N 0K9 or Eva Shewchuk & Friends of the Library Fund, ℅ Community Foundation and District Inc., 206 Saskatchewan Ave. E., Portage la Prairie, MB, R1N 0K9 or St. Mary’s Anglican Church, 36 2nd St. SW, Portage la Prairie, MB R1N 2A1 or Saint Nicholas Ukrainian Orthodox Church, 43 Brookside Crescent, Portage la Prairie, MB, R1N 3W8.
A celebration of Eva’s life will be held in the spring of 2023.
Messages of condolences can be made online at www.omegafuneralhome.com
Omega Funeral Home is entrusted with the arrangements.