In Celebration of

Oksana (nee Witushynsky) Zakydalsky

March 13, 1941 -  August 10, 2023

Passed away in Toronto after a brief illness. Eldest daughter of Orysia Witushynsky-Krywyniuk (nee Paladichuk) (1999) and Ivan Witushynsky (1947), stepdaughter of Wasyl Krywyniuk (1987). Predeceased by her husband of 40 years, Taras (2007). Loving mother of Danylo (Anya) and Orest (Stéphanie), doting baba to Tarasyk and Marchyk, step-baba to Ian.

Immigrating with her mother and sister Ivanka Hromiak (Adrian+) to Canada from the Displaced Persons camps of war-ravaged Europe in the late 1940s, she grew up in the large and vibrant Ukrainian community in Toronto, undertook undergraduate studies at McGill and completed a Master’s degree at the London School of Economics.

After returning to Toronto with Taras from the United States in the late 1970’s, where Taras had completed his PhD and taught philosophy, she worked in management positions at the Ontario government. She raised her family and dedicated countless volunteer hours to the Ukrainian community in Toronto and beyond. She wrote on educational, cultural and political topics for the Ukrainian Weekly, New Pathway and other community newspapers.

A lifelong member and leader in Plast, Ukrainian Youth Organization, Oksana was passionate about educating youth and was the chief editor of Plast’s Yunak Magazine (1995-2005), creating numerous handbooks and booklets of materials for badges for the organization.

In 1989, Oksana organized and led the first youth exchange between Canadian and Ukrainian youth from “Mala Akademia” in Lviv where participants were billeted in private homes. She was a teacher in Ukrainian Saturday School in Toronto, where she developed two new courses. She was a board member of the Ukrainian Canadian Research and Documentation Centre (UCRDC) for more than three decades, where she oversaw numerous projects.

In what little spare time she had, Oksana most enjoyed travelling, almost always with her dear sister, Ivanka – “Naka”. She was blessed with a large extended family– both hers – the Hromiaks, Paladichuks, Cholkans аnd Tymochkos - and her husband Taras’ – the Kraichyks and the Maksymiws– with whom she spent many evenings around the family table. She liked her humour like she liked her wine – dry but tasteful. In her later years her grandchildren brought her much joy and delight. Oksana will be greatly missed by family and friends in Canada, the United States, and in Ukraine.

May she be remembered eternally. Vichnaya Pamyat.

Friends may call at the Turner & Porter Yorke Chapel, 2357 Bloor St. W., at Windermere, east of the Jane Subway, on Tuesday, August 15th from 6-8 p.m. Panachyda at 7:30 pm. A Chapel Service to follow on Wednesday, August 16th at 10 a.m. Interment Prospect Cemetery.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in her memory to support the courageous defence of freedom by the Ukrainian people against Russia’s genocidal war.

Please select the Donation tab to make a donation to the below organizations.
Canada-Ukraine Foundation/Ukrainian Canadian Congress Ukraine Humanitarian Appeal
Ukrainian World Congress Unite with Ukraine
Ukraine Charitable Fund ‘How Are You’


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Roman Maksymiw (Nephew)

Entered August 11, 2023 from Toronto

Vichnaya Pamyat.

Yaroslava Iwasykiw (Acquaintance)

Entered August 11, 2023

Дорогий Орест і Данило з Родиною
Найглибші співчуття пересилає родина Сілецькі. Мої життяві доріжки перетиналися з Вашою Мамою рідко але весело. Мама була життя радісна і мала почуття гумору! Най з Богом спочиває.
Вічна її Пам'ять
Ярослава Івасиків і Володимир Сілецькі

Ксеня Балук (Пласт)

Entered August 11, 2023 from Buenos Aires, Argentina

Дорога подруго Оксано,
Ти була прикладом для всіх нас пластунів які мали нагоду тебе запізнити.
Дякую за твою дружність і щедрість.
Вічна тобі памʼять
Тихо спи…

Tetiana Dzulynsky (Friend)

Entered August 11, 2023 from Toronto

Оксана Закидальська зробила неймовірний, многогранний вклад в розвиток української громади, як журналіст, видавець, дослідник, історик, творець, інноватор, пластова виховниця. Рівно ж вона була впливова у розвитку Пласту в ранніх роках незалежної України.
Оксана збагатила життя багатьох. Я їй вдячна за нашу довголітню співпрацю. Вічна їй пам’ять.
Таня Джулинська

Daria Evtushenko (Plast friend)

Entered August 11, 2023 from Toronto

Sad to hear another sweet person’s passing.
Shania was a super woman on many levels and an
amazing role model. She always had a beautiful smile and a positive word of encouragement.
Extremely hard working and committed.
Plast was her life and I can picture her in a uniform at tabir or at the domivka.
Her memory will live on in many hearts forever.
Vichna ii Pamiat!
Darka (Lada) Evtushenko


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