Nellie Parfiniuk

February 14, 1933 – September 20, 2019
Nellie (Anastasia) Parfiniuk born February 14th, 1933, passed peacefully into eternity on September 20th, 2018, after a two-year battle with cancer. She was surrounded by loving family in her final days.

Nellie was born in Perry Siding, Upper Village, to Peter and Mabel Bawoolin. A year later, Brother Peter arrived. Maryann was born 5-years after Nellie, then Grace, born 5-years after Maryann, and then Michael, born 2 1/2 years after Grace. Nellie was the older sister of five children.

Nellie’s parents, Peter and Mabel Bawoolin, believed that military marches in schools were contrary of the Doukhobor belief and the biblical commandment “Thou Shalt Not Kill “. Nellie, after two years, was taken out of school. Her parents believed what the Doukhobor prophets said, so the rest of the family children did not attend school.

Nellie learned all the basic life skills from her Mom and Dad at home – the cooking, knitting, sewing, crocheting, and how to grow garden by being there with parents in the garden.

All spiritual singing of hymns and prayers were passed on from one generation to another, and Nellie sang with Sister Maryann and other teenagers of The Village in duets, quartets, group singing for years in the Slocan Valley, with singing practice at home.

There were no jobs close to home, so at age 13, Nellie went to work with her Dad in Creston picking apples. After that, Nellie went with friends to the Okanagan Valley to work in orchards, gardens, canneries and later, became a packer in the packing plant, always working from The Heart. She wrote poetry, and always said it came from The Creator, and she was only writing it down.

The inhabitants of The Village, because of spiritual values, were often in conflict with government authorities. There were prison sentences, where no Sons of Freedom Doukhobor was left untouched.

When her Dad, Peter, came home from prison, he, Nellie and Maryann found jobs in Kamloops. Dad as a carpenter, and Nellie and Maryann worked in bakeries and domestic housekeeping for wealthy residents. It was there Nellie met Valentine Parfiniuk, and they married in 1957, and moved shortly thereafter to Osoyoos, where Nellie and Valentine both worked at the Monashee Packing Plant. All of their three children were born in Oliver Hospital.

In 1962, Valentine and Nellie moved to Perry Siding Village and bought a small house. They lived there for three months and then were on the move again. Nellie and Valentine, with their three children (all under five-years old), with others, went on the trek of a lifetime to help the brothers protesting unfair sentencing, already on 100-day fasts.

Arriving in Agassiz to live on campsite below the Agassiz Mountain Prison, Valentine built a small shack from a few boards, cardboard, and plastic for windows. Like others, we were so fortunate to be under the roof, Baba recalled.

When Nellie’s Mom had a heart-attack, Nellie, Valentine and family moved back to Grand Forks to help care for her, and later settled in Ruckle Addition. Instead of having sitters for the children, Nellie chose for all their playmates to come to the house to play, and early every morning, a big pot of soup would be ready for lunch, or hotcakes with fresh jam.

When her children were older, Nellie worked for local farmers on gardens and at a packing plant. At home, she grew a garden and canned fruit and veggies for winter while Valentine was away working on the Dam Sites.

She welcomed the long-fasting Doukhobor Sisters, who came from prison to stay at the house until they were well enough to go on their own.

For years, Baba and her Spiritual Friend, Pauline, stood with a banner for All Life, rain or shine, for many seasons of the year, in the City of Grand Forks. Not only for human life, but with deep concerns for creatures who cannot speak for themselves. When Baba was not at home doing chores, Grandchildren knew where to find Baba – on the street corner in town with a banner. Our Mom and Baba Loved Life, Precious Life.

May God Bless Her Journey To His Eternity. Vechnaya Pamyat.

Nellie is survived by her loving family: daughter Marica Shelestynski, granddaughter Tanya Ogloff (Danny), grandson Daniel Shelestynski, grandson Nicolas Shelestynski , son-in-law Darrin Shelestynski, son Dan Parfiniuk (Brenda), granddaughter Sonya Schepkowski (Yehudi), granddaughter Lisa Parfiniuk (Michael), daughter-in-law Nina Parfiniuk, son Steve Parfiniuk (Hilary), granddaughter Allie Dixon, granddaughter Kayla Lewis (Kyle), grandson James Rex Parfiniuk, grandson Carbon Valentine Parfiniuk, great-grandson Gage Dixon, great-grandson Boden Lewis, sister Maryann Holtz, niece Kathy Hampf, niece Sandy Jmayoff, niece Arnissa Davyduck (Corey), nephew Chad Fleming, nephew Jesse Hampf, nephew Scott Irvine, niece Melissa Holtz, niece Megan Davyduck, niece Madison Davyduck, niece Brieanne Marie Fleming, Elaine Steele, niece Linda Mason, niece Sherry Brimacombe, niece Marlene Mundreon, sister-in-law Anne Faminoff, sister in-law Joyce Martin, sister-in-law Vicky Myck (Gary), sister in-law Ruth Parfiniuk, nephew George Faminoff, nephew Lorne Faminoff, niece Cheryl Faminoff, and many more nieces and nephews, and numerous cousins and lifelong friends.

Nellie is predeceased by her husband Valentine of 58 years (born August 25th, 1930 and passed to eternity December 31st, 2015), mom Mabel Bawoolin (born August 28th, 1912, passed to eternity March 16th, 1977), Dad Peter Bawoolin (born July 18th, 1913, passed to eternity December 25th, 1984), sister Grace Edwards (born July 11th, 1943, passed to eternity May 5th, 2011), nephew Tyler Flemming and nephew Mat Flemming passed to eternity date not known, brother Michael Bawoolin, born February 23rd, 1946, passed to eternity 1997), brother Peter (born April 11th, 1934 , passed to eternity 1938), both Baba’s and Deda’s passed when Nellie was about 5 years old, and Nellie has always had a special place in her heart for her step-grandmother, living next door to her for over 25-years. Baba shared with her the Unconditional Spiritual Love gifted to her by the Universe Maker.

The family would like to thank everyone that cared for her at The Grand Forks Hospital, Sunshine Manor, and Home Support.


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