Mary Zibin was born in Kamsack, Saskatchewan, on September 20, 1911, to the family of Ivan and Nastia Hleboff. Nastia’s maiden name was Novokshonoff. Mary had one older brother, John.
In 1917 when Mary was only six years old, she moved to Grand Forks with her mother and brother. They first lived in the Doukhobor community of Sion. There her mother Nastia met and married Andrew Seminoff and soon after they moved to the community of Christovoye, now known as the Outlook district of Grand Forks, and settled in the village of London. Over time their family grew bigger and Mary soon had two half sisters, Ann and Nellie, and three step-brothers: Peter, John and Andrew Seminoff.
Mary taught herself to read and write in English and also in Russian.
Mary’s sister Ann passed away as an infant, and her brother John passed away in Spokane when he was 16 due to complications from a broken collar bone.
In the early 1930s Mary met a handsome young man, and on February 16, 1931, she married Nick G. Zibin, and they moved to the Makortoff village where the Doukhobor Mountain View Museum stands today. There they were blessed with five children: Mary, Dolly, Margaret, George and Patsy.
In 1945 they moved to the farm on Jmayoff Road in the Carson area. While her husband Nick worked for the forest industry at the sawmills, Mary raised her family and looked after her household and farm chores. She enjoyed gardening and doing handcraft work and spending time with her children and grandchildren.
In the early 1960s they downsized and moved to their home on Cameron Avenue. In November 1990 her husband passed away and Mary continued to live there for 19 years on her own with the assistance of her family.
Mary was a life long member of the Union of Spiritual Communities of Christ organization and in her early years participated in the women’s cooking group and other functions.
Mary lived independently in her home until five months ago when it was necessary for her to be moved to Hardy View Manor. She passed away peacefully on August 12, 2010, at the age of 98 years, just one month short of her 99th birthday.
She was predeceased by her husband, Nick; her parents, Ivan and Nastia; her sisters, Ann Seminoff and Nellie Sukoveoff; her brothers: John Hleboff, Peter Semenoff, John Semenoff and Andrew Semenoff; as well as her son, George Zibin; sons-in-law, Bill Esovoloff and Hans Lodder; and by her grandson, Wayne Esovoloff.
She is loved and will be forever missed by her children: Mary Lodder of Grand Forks, Dolly Esovoloff of Kelowna, Margaret (Mike) Saukarookoff also of Kelowna, Patsy (Larry) Jakubowski of Grand Forks and her daughter-in-law, Diane Zibin of Grand Forks; her 12 grandchildren, 11 great-grandchildren and five great-great-grandchildren; and by numerous nephews, nieces and other relatives.
Mary was a kind and gentle mother and grandmother. She lived a long and productive life and the family has many happy memories of her to cherish. May she rest in peace in Gods Heavenly kingdom.
Funeral services were held on Monday, August 16, 2010, at the USCC Community Centre and the burial followed at the Sion Cemetery. Grand Forks Funeral Home was in care of arrangements.