Peter J. Veregin (Scotty) was born Oct. 15, 1922 in Kamsack, Saskatchewan to John and Anna Veregin. He was the eldest of four children – the only boy with three younger sisters, Kathleen, Polly and Ann. In 1935, Peter moved to Grand Forks, B.C. with his family. They lived in various places in Grand Forks before purchasing property on Cameron Road across from the airport where they built their family home. Peter remembered as a young child traveling by horse and wagon to Phoenix with his Uncle Wasili for the day to remove lumber from old deserted buildings. The lumber was then used to build a barn on the Strukoff homestead. Peter started working early in life and in 1936 he tended cows. He later worked at Atwood Farms picking vegetables and then went north to Christina Lake to fall logs for Sandners. In 1940, he traveled with his father to pick fruit in Kelowna in the area that is now Orchard Park Mall. But more interestingly for the youth of the day, Peter learned to play the violin and entertained many at social functions and barn dances. In 1941, he met Fred Pepin while working at a logging camp up at the Paulson summit area. Unbeknownst to him at the time Fred would become his father-in-law. In 1942, he met the love of his life, Mabel Pepin and they were married on December 23, 1944. Shortly after they moved to Naramata, where he worked as the Dairyman delivering milk to many households. In January 1946, their first child, Janet, was born. They moved back to Grand Forks in 1948, where he was employed at Norris Box & Lumber which later became Pope & Talbot. He earned his lumber grading ticket, worked as a gang saw operator and later became a millwright. He worked there for 40 years until his retirement in 1987. Their second child Naida was born in 1948, followed by Peter in 1951 and Larry in 1954. In 1950 Peter bought land from John Elasoff and built his first home on Kenmore Road. During the late ’50s he began to build his current home and they moved in December 1959.
Peter was very civic minded and volunteered many hours of his time to Grand Forks. He served a four year term as director of Sunshine Valley Coop. He was a director of the Grand Forks Credit Union during the 1960s. He then served for 15 years on the Grand Forks School Board – five of which were as Chairman and 10 of those years as representative to the Selkirk College Board. He received an Honorary membership from Selkirk upon his retirement.
In the 1960s, Peter instructed evening lumber grading classes in Grand Forks. Later, Peter along with Fred Chernoff assembled and maintained the original equipment at the Grand Forks Heritage Flour Mill. He operated the Grand Forks Flour Mill for a number of years which included receiving the grain, grinding it and packaging and shipping the flour.
Peter served as director of Hardy View Lodge for three years and felt it was important to have a comfortable environment for the seniors of Grand Forks. More recently, he was an active member of the Slavonic’s lodge and enjoyed the social gatherings. Peter was a lifetime member of the Union of Spiritual Communities of Christ and felt very strongly about his Doukhobor faith. He served several terms as trustee for the Chistiakovoyie Otdel (local) of the USCC. Peter and Mabel were members of the first choir that traveled to the Soviet Union in 1966 to visit and perform at many small Doukhobor villages and historical sites. They continued to participate in their Doukhobor culture as members of the Friendship Choir. Peter worked the construction of the Brilliant Cultural Center and played an active roll in the reconstruction of the Grand Forks Community Center in 1977-78. And he supported the value of peace by participating with family in many peace walks in Vancouver and Osoyoos. Peter was a gentle, kind and hard working man, a devoted husband and a warm and caring father, grandfather and great-grandfather. He was an avid and passionate reader who loved to stay current with environmental and world issues. His other passion was working with wood. He helped build homes for his children as well as furniture for his children and grandchildren. We will all cherish his handiwork for years to come.
Peter loved to spend time with his family and looked forward to the many family birthdays and celebrations throughout the years. Last year’s highlight was celebrating his 90th birthday surrounded by his sisters, his children, his grand- and great-grandchildren as well as many nieces, nephews and extended family members. In his 90th year, Peter passed away peacefully on Friday evening, May 3 at Ivy House of the Silver Kettle Village. Peter was predeceased by his sister, Kathleen in 1943, his father, John in 1979, his mother, Anna in 1989, his wife, Mabel in 1994, his son-in-law, Tim Rezansoff in 2003, and son-in-law, Alec Cheveldave in 2010. He is survived by his daughters, Janet Cheveldave & Naida Rezansoff both of Castlegar, his son, Peter Veregin of Grand Forks and his son, Larry Veregin and his wife Maureen of Nelson; 9 grandchildren and 4 great grandchildren – Liana & her husband, Jim Zwick and daughter, Jessica of Castlegar, Michael and his wife, Venie Cheveldave and their children, Annika & Evan of Castlegar, Larissa Fortin & her son, Lucas of Castlegar, Stacia Rezansoff of Castlegar, Sasha Veregin of Vancouver, Lanny Veregin and wife Carole of Najing, China, Tyler Ripley of Proctor, Nicole Ripley of Nelson, and Melissa Veregin of Prince George. He is also survived by his two sisters, Polly Dergousoff of Grand Forks and Ann and her husband, Moe Zibin of Castlegar, and companion Molly Pankoff of Grand Forks as well as many nieces and nephews.
Peter will be sadly missed by all and may God accept his soul into his heavenly kingdom. May he rest in peace.
Our family is deeply appreciative of all those who expressed their sympathies and everyone who attended today’s service. We are also grateful to JJ Verigin for his thoughtful and kind words, and to Jerry Seminoff for translating and reading the biography in Russian and for his help and guidance with the service.
We would also like to thank the psalm singers and the Friendship Choir for their harmonious singing and to the ladies who prepared and served such a delicious meal.
We thank all the men who prepared Dad’s final resting place and especially to Everett Baker and his staff at the Grand Forks Funeral Home for their professional service and guidance. Thanks to Fay Malins for her assistance and advice that made all our arrangements so smooth and easy.
We would also like to thank Silver Kettle and Ivy House staff, Boundary Hospital staff and Dr. Merry for all their service and care for our father, Peter.
Our dad truly enjoyed all our family gatherings and today the family and the Doukhobor community, that he cared so deeply for, have come together to remember his life and to help say farewell as his soul returns home. We thank you all from the bottom of our hearts.