Jeffrey Verigin, 45 years of age, passed away peacefully with family and friends by his side on Sunday, October 23, 2011, at 7 p.m., at the Vancouver General Hospital. He was born on December 3, 1965, at Vancouver, B.C., to Alec and Anne Verigin, being the youngest of two children: Iain and Jeffrey. Jeff spent his pre-school years in the care of both grandmothers. While on the farm with Baba Verigin, he spent much time playing with his cousins Patty and Larry. When he was with his Baba Polonicoff, he played with his cousins Valerie and Tracy.
As a young boy, he loved playing hockey, snow skiing, and riding his various bikes. He especially loved his BMX bike. He rode it so much that most of the parts had to be replaced many times over. He also loved going to the cabin at Christina Lake to swim, water ski and hike up to McCrea Creek. No discussion of Jeff is complete without discussing his great love of sports. Jeff loved sports and sports loved him. As an adult, when Jeff was well and able, he loved many sports: hockey, skiing, snowboarding, skateboarding, surfing, motorcycling, and golfing. All of them he had to give up due to his poor health. The hardest to give up was golf as it was the last one that he could do with any success. In his teens he played Major Midget Hockey in Vancouver. He was a very good player and was named Captain of the PCAHA Midget All-Star team. That team included many future NHL players. He was the leading scorer in the KIJHL during his brief stint with the Border Bruins, before a knee injury sidelined him.
Jeff loved the “underground sport” of skateboarding. He was a pioneer of what is now known as “Vertical Half-Pipe” riding in the X-Games. He and his friends were the developers of the sport in Canada during the early 1980s. Many people came just to watch him ride. He was amazing! He loved it and rode well into his 30s. In one Half Pipe competition, he came in fourth in Canada. Jeff’s sports style was always – “Make it look effortless”. He practiced for hours and hours and hours to “make it look effortless”. He always wanted to know, “Did I look fluid? It felt jerky. Better work on it more”. Finally, he was fearless and often that fearlessness ended up in injury. Jeff spent a lot of time wrapped up in sports tape.
Jeff received most of his public school education in Grand Forks, except for grades 10 and 11 when he lived with his father in Vancouver, B.C. He graduated from GFSS in 1983; and following that, he completed a two-year diploma in General Studies from Capilano College. He continued on to UBC for his third year in Economics. Following this, he worked for a few years at Canpar Industries and then attended the Carpentry Trade Program at Caribou College with Neil Semenoff where he graduated in 1990. After working briefly as a carpenter, he returned to work at Canpar Industries until it closed down in 2007. In July of 2005 Jeff had his first aortic aneurysm. It changed his life. In 2008 he decided to retrain for office work, as he was not able to do heavy physical work anymore. He attended Selkirk College where he completed a two-year diploma in Business Administration in 2010. He was one of the few mature students in that class. He met many new people and was happy with his choices. He was planning on attending Royal Rhodes College in Victoria the following September, but his dreams were shattered when he experienced yet another emergency aneurysm surgery just weeks after he had completed his diploma at Selkirk College. Jeff did not fully recover from this second surgery, but he managed to improve slowly over the next year and a half. During this time he continued to look after the affairs of his football pool. In June of this year he had to make a decision whether to correct yet another aneurysm which had become dangerously large. He was very brave and chose to have the third surgery. Unfortunately, Jeff fell into the 4% chance of being paralyzed and/or dying. He did not survive his third surgery.
He was predeceased by his paternal grandparents, Alex and Polly Verigin; his aunt, Irene Verigin; his maternal grandparents, Peter and Mary Polonicoff; and step-grandparent, John Wishlow. Jeffrey is survived by his parents, Alex and Anne Verigin; stepmother, Eva Verigin; brother, Iain Verigin (Sue) and their children: Mikaela, Katie and Thomas; and stepbrother, Martin Verigin. He also leaves behind his uncle, Paul Verigin (Kathy); aunt, Elizabeth Faminoff (William); aunt, Vera Polonicoff; uncle, Jack Polonicoff (Leah); his many cousins and extended family. He will be missed sorrowfully by his immediate family, his relatives, friends and neighbours.
May God accept his soul into His heavenly kingdom and may he rest in peace forever. A small prayer service for family and close friends was held on Friday, October 28, 2011, at the Grand Forks Funeral Home. The following day on Saturday, October 29, 2011, funeral services officiated by Jerry Seminoff, were held at the Grand Forks USCC Community Centre, followed by interment at the Sion Cemetery. The Baker family of Grand Forks Funeral Home was entrusted with all the funeral arrangements. Those who wish to make a donation in Jeff’s memory are encouraged to donate blood to Red Cross. He required a large amount of blood products during his surgery and made the supplies that day at VGH very limited. Donations to ISKRA will also be graciously accepted.