Myra Hrenchyshyn
Myra Hrenchyshyn
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Myra Hrenchyshyn (nee Birakowsky)

Myra age 83 passed away on January 26 at Mercy Hospital, Coon Rapids, with her daughter Taissa and her sister, Vera at her side, holding her hand.

She was preceded in death by her parents, Michael and Eugenia; her husband, Dr. Stephen Hrenchyshyn a veterinarian; her brother in law, Ronald Marchuk.

Myra was born in the city of Stryj in western Ukraine, on February 21, 1939.
By 1944 Europe was at war and Myra who was 5 years old, her sister who was 10 months, and her parents decided they had to flee because her father was politically immersed in Ukraine and would probably be arrested, executed or sent to Siberia. As bombs were falling, with the clothes they could take they took a wagon with 2 horses and crossed the Carpathian Mountains and then trains that were still going west.

Eventually they reached Germany and arrived at an old medical town called Rothenburg ob der Tauber. Here a generous landowner let them use the second floor in his house. Unfortunately, the house was bombed and set on fire but everyone escaped in the middle of the night. They were placed in another house by a generous person.

Here Myra found a new strange country, a new language, a new culture, but she survived.

Myra went to school, learned German and some English, because the American allies had arrived and the war was ending in 1945.

Here in this old town, Myra and her family lived. Her father, an experienced tailor, got a job serving and repairing for the American Army.

In 1948 October, it was time to move again to a new strange country, a new language, new culture, but she survived.

On November 1948, Myra and her parents, on the ship Samaria, arrived in Halifax, Canada, with other refuges from Europe. On arrival they took the train to Winnipeg, Manitoba where her father's sponsor and cousin lived.

Myra adopted her new country, Canada, but always kept her Ukrainian heritage alive.

As she was growing up, Myra took art lessons, ballet and piano lessons, and excelled at everything she did. She was very talented.

Myra graduated from Sister High School and went to the University of Manitoba into the Fine Arts program for 3 years and then 1 year in Ontario at the school of Fine Arts.

In 1968 she met and married Dr. Stephen Hrenchyshyn who was a veterinarian here in Minneapolis, again Myra had to move to a new country. This time at least there was no new language to learn!

Myra attended Anoka Ramsey Community College for 2 years, and during her spare time she tutored other students in French, and German grammar languages. Later she transferred to St. Catherine College and graduated from there.

Myra was very artistic with not only her sewing and choice of wardrobe, but also had talent for making pottery, oil paintings and decorating her home.

After her daughter, Taissa left for Chicago for 4 years to attend "The school of the Art Institute of Chicago", Myra found an empty nest at home, so she began a career working at Dayton Hudson/Marshall Field's/Macy's in the woman's and later in the men's department in Rosedale. She worked there until COVID in March 2020 hit the world.

Myra was an avid reader, and loved her flower garden. She traveled to Italy, France, England, and with her sister to Germany and Ukraine.

Myra was blessed by three wonderful neighbors who were always there to help her as her health began to fail. They were her special 3 guardian angels.

Myra was a member of the Ukrainian Catholic Church of St. Constantine. She kept her faith in the Lord to the very end. As the English poet, John Donne wrote " One short sleep past, we wake eternally. And death shall be no more".

Cremation has taken place. Donations in her memory at your choice. May she rest in peace. Vichnaya Pamyat.

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