Dorothy Chernoff

September 22, 1930 – April 24, 2015

Dorothy Chernoff was born on September 22, 1930, in Grand Forks, BC, to parents Sam and Tina (nee Plotnikoff) Strukoff, in the Sion Community village referred to as the Horkoff/Lazeroff Village. She was the youngest of three children having an older brother, Nick, and sister, Mary, each of whom were four years apart in age. Dorothy attended English school at Fructova School and was proud that she went as far as three weeks in to grade five. She also attended Russian school and as most children of her generation, learned the Russian language through village life from her parents, grandparents, and elders. As a child as was the custom of the time, Dorothy was nurtured in the Doukhobor communal way of life where she worked alongside her parents and grandparents (who lived together in one home) in the gardens and fields, helped in the household with cooking and house work. She also learned how to spin, weave, sew and embroider, all skills that served her well in her later life. In her early teen years, Dorothy joined her sister and friends in attending evening youth meetings, choirs, walking into town to see a movie, swimming in the nearby Kettle River at the Carson Bridge and outdoor winter activities. When Dorothy was old enough she went to work in the fields and cannery in Grand Forks, and then spent several years working in the Okanagan in the fields, orchards and packing houses in the Osoyoos area, and a tomato cannery in Kelowna. In 1943, a young man, Peter Chernoff, from Verigin, Saskatchewan, moved to Grand Forks and eventually Peter and Dorothy would meet and a courtship began. They were married on December 21, 1947, and for the first couple of years lived with Peter’s parents in the Almond Gardens area until they were able to build their own home nearby, where they lived for 50 years. They had a small four acre hobby farm with milking cows, chickens, a large garden, small orchard and Dorothy’s favourites – flowers. She used to grow some of the most beautiful dahlias and gladiolas. Eventually a greenhouse and a root cellar to store vegetables for winter were added. Dorothy was happiest when she was working with the soil. Peter and Dorothy were blessed with three children, Steve, Fay, and Irene. She taught her children as she was taught in her youth to cook, clean, work in the garden and flowers, help with the harvest, feed the chickens, gather eggs, prepare food for winter, canning, needlework and sewing. Peter worked away from home sometimes during this time so Dorothy was left to look after the family, home and farm, but was eventually able herself to go to work in local vegetable fields and packing house, and finally McLeod’s Hardware Store. Dorothy was on the committee that was instrumental in outfitting the kitchen in the then new Grand Forks USCC Community Centre. She also served on the Ladies Organization committee and many years in the cooking groups, retiring only when she was no longer physically able. Besides growing a bountiful garden and beautiful flowers, Dorothy had a unique talent of painting Doukhobor shawls, including the one she was buried in. She was always on the lookout for the perfect greeting cards or pictures of flowers so that she could make patterns to present to her customers. Peter and Dorothy had the opportunity to travel both before and after retirement, on a cruise, Hawaii and Mexico, a bus trip to Reno, and across Canada where they were able to spend some time in New Brunswick and other points in the Maritimes with Peter’s cousin and family. After a good 50 years on the farm Peter and Dorothy sold it and built a new home in 1997, near Hutton Elementary School where Peter still resides. One of the greatest joys in Dorothy’s life was the arrival of her only grandchild, granddaughter, Sara, in 1980. Baba took great pleasure in spending as much time as she could with Sara and in doing things for her like making Cabbage Patch dolls and clothes and sewing tiny clothes for her Barbie dolls, (Deda even built a Barbie clothes closet complete with handmade tiny wire hangers), to watching her ski, piano recitals, school concerts, softball games and more. And her joys became even greater with the birth of her two great grandsons, Bryce in 2005, and Jaeden in 2006, and Sara’s family moving back to Grand Forks where Baba was able to see her great grandsons often. Dorothy had a lot of health challenges throughout her life with a lifelong back injury, to battling and beating cancer in the early 1980’s, where the cancer specialist called her ‘his miracle girl’; to a bus accident in 2006, which left her with injuries which worsened over the years. But her biggest challenge was the loss of her son, Steve, on February 15, 2014. After this her health began to decline even further and on January 9 of this year Dorothy went to live in Ivy House at Silver Kettle Village, where she received exceptional, loving care. Dorothy passed away peacefully on Friday, April 24, 2015, at the age of 84, with her family by her side. Dorothy was also predeceased by her parents, Sam and Tina Strukoff; her in-laws, Pete and Anne Chernoff; sisters in-law Annie Strukoff and Elizabeth Chernoff, brothers in-law, John Faminoff, George Semenoff, and Fred Chernoff; niece Natalie Soukoroff; brother Nick Strukoff; and just this past February, her sister Mary Soukoroff. Left to mourn her loss is her husband of 67 years, Peter; daughter Fay and John Malins, with their daughter Sara and Paul Findlater, and great grandsons Bryce and Jaeden, all of Grand Forks; daughter Irene and Jim Walker of Victoria and Jim’s daughters Kathleen and Douglas Murphy, and their three children, Paul, Justin and Amy of Winnipeg; and Eva and Gerry Teed of Fredericton; daughter in-law, Rita Chernoff of Sheho, Saskatchewan; in-laws Mabel Faminoff, Lynne Semenoff, Anne and Nick Negreiff; and many nieces, nephews, cousins, relatives and friends. Dorothy’s family would like to express our sincerest thanks to everyone that attended the service at the Grand Forks USCC Community Centre on Tuesday, April 28, 2015; the psalmists and singers for your wonderful singing; to the relatives and friends who travelled from near and far to the service, to our relatives, friends and neighbours for your comforting words and thoughts, food, visits, cards and flowers. Thank you to JJ, Laura, Stephanie and Barry Verigin, for your kind, comforting words and support. Thank you to Jerry Seminoff for your guidance and support and for officiating the service. Thank you to the ladies cooking group for preparing the delicious lunch in memory of Dorothy, and to the grave diggers for preparing her final resting place at Sion Cemetery. We would also especially like to thank her doctor and all the staff at Ivy House for the exceptional, loving care that Dorothy received in her few months there. She was always given the utmost loving care, kindness and comfort. We wish to also extend our sincerest thanks to Deborah and Everett Baker and staff at Grand Forks Funeral Home for their professional service and assistance. We love you and miss you dear wife, mom, baba, and old baba, but we know you are in a better place with Steve and the rest of your family. May God accept your soul into His Heavenly Kingdom, and may you rest in peace.

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