Obituary of SYLVIA BECK



On Saturday morning, January 20, the strong and caring Servant of God, Sylvia Justine Beck, passed away peacefully, at the Holy Family Nursing Home in Winnipeg at the beautiful age of 87.


Sylvia was born at home in St. Phillips, SK on July 11, 1930. Her parents were Harry Beck and Anne Shwaga. She had 9 brothers and sisters and graduated from high school in Pelly, SK. After graduation, Sylvia moved to Winnipeg and got her first job working as a clerk at Eatons. She went back home to St. Phillips, SK where she met her future husband Paul Demchuk.  The two were united in holy matrimony at St. John the Baptist Ukrainian Catholic Church in Arran on July 23, 1953. Sylvia and Paul lived in SK, AB and MB where they raised their family of 5 children.


Sylvia worked in the banking industry and retired at 56. Not the idle kind, Sylvia was active in the Ukrainian Catholic church participating in the Ukrainian Catholic Women’s League and serving as the president in 1984 and 1985. During this time she shook hands with Pope John Paul II.  Sylvia was a fabulous cook, always able to make anything taste amazing, and constantly complimented on her delicious food. An entrepreneur at heart she started making and selling perogies and cabbage rolls.  In 1986 she converted her garage to a kitchen and Sevala’s, A Taste of Ukraine was born. In 1988 Sylvia bought her first restaurant and over more than 30 years developed a successful restaurant, deli and catering business.  Sylvia’s children and their children have all worked with her. Sylvia's son and his family will carry on the traditions of Sevala’s.


Sylvia was a supportive mother and Baba, always opening her home to whoever needed it whenever they needed it. Her favourite saying was one of her mother’s: “Help those that need help and if you don’t need help then God bless you." Sylvia played a big role in raising her grandchildren; she took care of everyone.


In 2008 Sylvia finally retired and travelled to Hawaii with her nephew, and Ukraine with her daughters and granddaughters. She eventually moved to Devonshire House and then to the Holy Family Personal Care Home.   


She is predeceased by her parents, Harry and Anne; daughter Janet, sisters, Mary, Katie, Nelly, Helen, Emily, Pearl and brothers, John, Mike and Nick.  


Left to cherish fond memories of her are Paulette (Doug), Delmar (Bernie), Marilyn (Sheldon), Kathy (Stephen); grandchildren, Amanda (Kurt), Amy (Ryan), Riley (Charise), Tyler (Kelsey), Alison (Kent), Matthew, Kyle, Darin, Samantha; great grandchildren Chelsea and Avelyn; and step grandchildren, Julie, Chrissy, Joe, Nathan and Cassandra.


She will be greatly missed as a mother, best friend, mentor, business partner, and Baba.  We love you mom.


In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to a charity of your choice. 


Prayer Service will be led by Rev. Fr. Alan Wizinsky at 7:00 p.m. on Thursday, January 25 at St. Michael’s Ukrainian Catholic Church, 100 Yale Avenue. Funeral Divine Liturgy will be celebrated by Rev. Fr. Mark Gnutel at 10:00 a.m. on Friday, January 26 also at the church.  Internment at a later date.