PAWLYSZYN, Dmytro “Joe”- Passed away on Tuesday, March 7, 2023, in his 101st year, of complications resulting from a fall. A resident of Woodstock for 71 years. Predeceased in 2002 by his wife, Maria. Survived by daughter Mary Martin of Victoria, B.C. (Jim Martin), three granddaughters, six great-grandsons (including twins), and son Roman of Toronto (Shân Gordon).
Born in western Ukraine under Polish occupation on Dec. 22, 1922, his early life was full of hardship and upheaval —including a daring escape from forced labour in Nazi Germany. After humble beginnings as a baker’s apprentice and farm hand, in 1949 he settled in Woodstock where he would soon meet his wife-to-be.
They paid for their second home in cash and he was able to live there for over 66 years, until he was nearly 98. He spent his last years at the Ukrainian Canadian Care Centre in Toronto where, despite difficult circumstances owing to COVID-19, he was able to enjoy familiar food, attend services at the on-site chapel, and communicate in his native tongue. He never stopped being amazed that so many people around him could speak Ukrainian!
Dmytro had a knack for languages, and a powerful singing voice. He was also a natural storyteller — and had some incredible life experiences to talk about.
Generous to a fault, Dmytro lived a life of service to others. Despite a modest income as a factory labourer, he insisted on funding the education of his children and grandchildren. He would regularly send relatives in Ukraine packages, cash and even cars.
At home, he was the neighbour from heaven. Every year he grew tomatoes and other produce just to give to others. He was clearing snow for virtually the entire block until well into his 90s. After he stopped driving, he continued riding his bicycle into his 90s, and would take a daily walk even after his 100th birthday.
Dmytro’s strength, sense of humour, calm demeanor and dedication to family and community are profoundly missed by all who knew him.
The family would like to express their gratitude to the excellent care he received at the Ukrainian Canadian Care Centre since December 2020.
The family will welcome visitors at the SMITH-LeROY FUNERAL HOME, 69 Wellington St. N, Woodstock on Friday, March 10, 2023 from 2-4 & 6-8 pm. A funeral mass will be said at Holy Trinity Catholic Parish, 1420 Devonshire Ave, Woodstock on Saturday, March 11, 2023 at 11 am. Interment will take place in St. Mary’s Cemetery in the spring. In lieu of flowers, the family asks that as an expression of sympathy donations be made to the Ukrainian Canadian Care Centre http://stdemetrius.ca/long-term-care/contact-us/ Personal condolences may be sent at www.smithleroy.com