Nastia Yurkiw

January 7, 1925 - March 15, 2021


It is with great sadness we announce that on Monday, March 15, 2021, Nastia (Nan) Yurkiw fell asleep in death at the age of 96.

She is dearly missed by her three children: Karl (Darlene) Yurkiw, Brenda (Darrel) Laidlaw, and Heather (Joseph) Brasher; two granddaughters, Marisa and Jenna; two great-grandsons, Braeden and Brody; and many nieces and nephews.

She was predeceased by her parents Nicholas and Tillie Kasian, husband Fred (1986), son Jeffrey (1969), and her sisters Anne Bodner, Mary Maksimchuk, Olga Villeneuve, and brothers Paul and Jarvis Kasian.

Nan was born on January 7, 1925 in a little house on a farm in Ridgeville, Manitoba. She was the third of six siblings. Living on a farm was hard work, and she learned to do all the work associated with farm life. Over the years Mom often spoke of the time she spent growing up on the farm, which also instilled in her a love of gardening, something she continued to enjoy until late in life.

Mom always loved school, and from a young age it was her desire to become a schoolteacher. In 1943, she finished her schooling at Teulon Collegiate in a girls’ residence. She started teaching at a school north of Tyndall, Manitoba, where she taught 38 students from grades one to eight. Over the next ten years she taught at schools in Portage la Prairie, Homewood, Dauphin, and Winnipeg. She often reminisced about her days as a teacher. Interestingly, for the last seven years she lived on the same block as Royal School on Grant Avenue, where 69 years earlier, she taught grades five and six.

In 1952 Mom started attending Ukrainian Sunday meetings with her mother. There she met her future husband Fred, and on December 19, 1953, they were married in the Elmwood Kingdom Hall. They spent the next 33 years together and raised four children. Family was everything to her, and she worked tirelessly to look after her family – gardening, cooking, and sewing clothes for her girls. Mom wanted her children to learn to play the piano and would sit next to each one as they practiced, sometimes “persuading” them with a wooden spoon. She loved being a grandmother, and showered affection on her grandchildren. Known for her hospitality and generosity, Mom loved to cook and entertained countless guests at her large dining table – usually a turkey dinner – which would not be complete without all the Ukrainian side dishes.

In 1953 she made a dedication to her God Jehovah and served him faithfully as one of Jehovah’s Witnesses until her death. Her love for teaching instilled in her a desire to teach others the wonderful truths found in God’s Word. The family home was used for decades for bookstudy meetings and service groups. Mom was zealous and fearless in preaching the good news of God’s Kingdom and had a particular love for business territory. In her later years she was just as zealous as she continued to witness to her homecare providers and anyone she encountered. She looked forward to Jehovah’s promise of an earthly resurrection in paradise, when He will “wipe out every tear from their eyes, and death will be no more.” (Revelation 21:3, 4) Over the years Mom was able to attend many International Conventions and theocratic tours, including New York (1953 and 1958), Germany, Brazil, Prague, and Israel. She also enjoyed the occasional tropical vacation.

We would like to thank all the family and friends for the love and support they provided Mom over the years, as well as her homecare providers who helped her live independently in her apartment.

A virtual memorial service is planned for Monday, April 19, 2021 at 7:00 p.m. (CDT, Winnipeg) Please contact a family member for a Zoom link, or email

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