Suddenly, on May 26, 2021, Flora Margaret Danylchuk (nee Yeomans) passed away peacefully at the age of 91 at her home in Fort Frances.
Survived by her children BJ, Kim (Micheline), Andrew (Dawn Marie), and Brent (Melissa); her grandchildren Mark, Lisa, Steven, Kassandra, Emily, Regan, Wendy, Piper, Ryan and Erika; her brothers Harold (Pat) Yeomans and Newton Hugh (Helen) Yeomans; and many nieces and nephews and their families.
Predeceased by her husband of 69 years Bohdan (Bud) Danylchuk; her daughter Joy Danylchuk; her parents Alan and Frances Yeomans; and her siblings Isabel (Boyd) Kellett, David (Laura) Yeomans, Fred (Margaret) Yeomans, and Jack (Jean) Yeomans.
Flora was born on May 16, 1930, on the Yeomans family farm in the Regional Municipality of Whitehead, near Alexander, Manitoba. She attended the one room Dalton District School, often travelling to and from school in winter by horse drawn cutter, a buffalo robe blanket keeping her warm. She was an inquisitive active child, and spent much time with her father dealing with all things mechanical.
As Flora completed high school she had dreams of becoming a doctor, but the family could only support her for one year of post-secondary education. Flora moved to Winnipeg to take the Normal School program to become a teacher. While in Winnipeg, she lived with her Aunt Flora and Uncle Jack Conklin and studied voice with the noted WH Anderson. She became an accomplished singer and soloist then and throughout her life.
Flora met the love of her life, Bud Danylchuk, while at Normal School. Flora and Bud were married in 1950, and taught together in Woodnorth, Manitoba. In 1953, they moved to Winnipeg where Flora taught school and had their first two children while Bud completed his B.Sc. degree. In 1956, the family moved to Toronto, where Flora taught school and managed the household while Bud completed his DDS degree.
In 1960, the family moved to Morris, Manitoba, where Bud set up his first dental practice and Flora took on managing the household full time while having three more children. When Bud joined the local Lions club, Flora joined the companion Lioness club, and thus began her active community service through Lions that continued throughout her life. Flora was also active in the music festival, the United Church and a host of other community initiatives.
Flora (and the whole family) were very active outdoorspeople, included hunting and fishing. The call of the outdoors influenced the decision to move to Fort Frances, Ontario in 1965, where Flora resided till her death. Flora and Bud established Bud’s dental practice, and eventually built the Fort Frances Dental Centre. Flora managed the household full time and also was involved with the managing of the Dental Centre. She acquired her qualifications as a Preventive Dental Assistant and worked in the business in various capacities.
Flora was very family and community focused. She ensured her family members were loved, well cared for and that their interests and dreams were supported and encouraged. She ensured all her children had musical training – and that they practiced, too. She actively supported all the various interests her children had; the ice show costumes are still a family favourite. Flora set high expectations for her children so they would do the best for themselves. She was so proud of and devoted to her family.
Flora served her community in many ways. Flora was an active member of the United Church from age 12 until her death, and often sang in the church choir. Flora was active in the Lions Club, as was Bud, and helped bring the Eye Bank, the Lions Park & Fountain, Lions Bingo and a host of other projects into existence. When Bud took on broader responsibilities within Lions International, Flora was right by his side for the countless trips to visit and inspire clubs.
Flora was a school trustee, delivered Meals on Wheels for years, was a music festival volunteer, and supported many community charities. She was a long-time member of the Order of the Eastern Star as was her mother before her, including serving as Worthy Grand Matron. In later years, Flora was the mainstay of the cantata choirs, and the main driver of the Lions Peace Poster contest that encourages school children to express their visions of peace, inspiring the world through art and creativity. If a community is created by the commitment and actions of its citizens, Flora is part of the fabric of Fort Frances.
At her core, Flora’s true joy was with her family. She treasured time with Bud, her children and grandchildren and was the first to speak proudly of everyone’s talents and accomplishments and to offer encouragement and support. Family get togethers were time of great happiness for Flora, and the family-built cabin at Red Gut Bay in the summer and their winter home in Sun Lakes, Arizona, were favourite retreats.
Flora will be greatly missed. Cremation has taken place. A memorial service and celebration of Flora’s life is postponed until family and friends can safely gather to honour and remember her. In lieu of flowers and if desired, donations in her name can be made to the Knox United Church, 340 Church St, Fort Frances, ON P9A 1E1, or a charity of your choice.