Natalie Soukoroff was born at Grand Forks on August 27, 1958, to proud parents Fred and Mary Soukoroff. The youngest of five children, Natalie was admired by siblings Marge, Fred, Mary and Sam, who were thrilled to welcome home their new baby sister. Natalie was raised in the Doukhobor faith and in her younger years attended USCC Sunday Meetings for Children, as well as Russian language classes.
Upon graduation from Grand Forks Secondary School in 1976, she pursued further studies in Vancouver at the University of British Columbia. Natalie moved to Edmonton, Alberta in 1982, where she obtained employment with the Student Finance Board. In the 14 years she spent there, she became a respected, trusted, and valued employee. The life long friends she made there always remained a very important part of her life to the very end.
Natalie decided to move back to Grand Forks in 1996, after her mother suffered a heart attack. That allowed her to be closer to her mother and provide her with much needed support. The two had a wonderful relationship. Due to their quick wit, humour, and endless laughter they lovingly became known to family and friends as ‘Dorothy and Sophia’ of Grand Forks.
Natalie thoroughly enjoyed her ‘auntie’ status and, in turn, was treasured by her nieces Lara, Shawna, Lisa and Sara, and nephew Christopher. She loved them unconditionally and was always there for them, from the diaper stage to adulthood and the birth of their children. Being such a proud and doting aunt, her continuous involvement and support played a large part in all of their upbringings and helped shape them into the people they’ve become.
While in Grand Forks, Natalie obtained a clerical position with Pope and Talbot in 1997 and she was offered a position with International Forest Products Limited in September 2008. She was an avid reader and looked forward to the moments when she could curl up with a good book.
Unfortunately, Natalie was diagnosed with lung cancer, which she bravely faced with God’s strength and courage. She was admitted to Grand Forks Boundary Hospital, where she passed away peacefully on June 23, 2011, with her family by her side.
She was predeceased by her father, Fred Soukoroff; her maternal grandparents, Sam and Tina Strukoff; aunt Annie Strukoff; her paternal grandparents, George and Annie Soukoroff; uncle Bill Soukoroff; uncle Bill Rilkoff; uncle George and aunt Mabel Soukoroff; cousin Fred Soukoroff; and cousin Bill Rilkoff.
Left to mourn her loss are her loving mother, Mary Soukoroff of Grand Forks; sister, Marge Perepolkin and her husband Peter of Glade with their daughters, Lara Perepolkin and Steve Whitehead of Castlegar and their sons Ayden and Ethan, Lisa Perepolkin and Kirk Bauming of Fort St. John; brother, Fred Soukoroff and his wife Cheryl of Surrey and their daughters: Shawna Soukoroff and her husband Dan Hughes-Games of Nanaimo, and Sarah and Tim Hawke of Maple Ridge, with their twin sons Dominick and Tristen; sister, Mary Shave and her husband Larry of Calgary, Alberta and their son Christopher Shave and Robyn Zadravec of Calgary, Alberta; and brother Sam Soukoroff of Grand Forks; and many aunts, uncles, cousins, relatives and friends.
Natalie will be remembered for her witty comments, her great sense of humour, and her ability to always make people laugh and feel welcome, her appreciation for life, her compassion for others and her love for her family and friends.
The family of Natalie Soukoroff would like to express our sincere gratitude to everyone who attended the service, friends and relatives who traveled from afar, and the Grand Forks community; our relatives, friends, neighbours for their kind expression of sympathy, phone calls, cards, donations, food and visits. Thank you to John Verigin Jr. and Laura Verigin and family for your kind and comforting words. Thank you to Jerry Semenoff for guidance and officiating the service. Thank you to Harold Strukoff- your tribute to Natalie was heartwarming and very much appreciated. A special thank you to Shirley Sookochoff, Tammy Jacobs, Laverne Semenoff and Faye Malins for your loving support. Thank you to the psalmists and singers for your wonderful singing, to the ladies cooking group for the preparation and serving of the delicious meal, to the bread committee and the lapsha committee, to Grand Forks Construction and the hard working men who prepared Natalie’s final resting place. Thank you to Everett Baker and the staff of the Grand Forks Funeral Home for their professional service and assistance. Thank you to the staff at the Grand Forks Boundary Hospital for the tender care they gave Natalie during her stay there. We love you and miss you, Aunt Natasha. May God accept your soul into His heavenly kingdom. God bless you. May you rest in peace.