Obituary of Athen Gazdewich
GAZDEWICH – Athen Gazdewich of Yorkton, beloved husband of Emily Gazdewich passed away peacefully at his home on November 5, 2022. Athen was born on September 16, 1940, to John and Annie (neé Romashenko) Gazdewich. He grew up on a farm seven miles south of Hyas, attending Moss Lake Elementary School. He then moved to Canora for high school, staying with his maternal grandparents (the Romashenkos). After graduating, Athen moved to Regina where he stayed with his sister, Jean, and her husband Michael Markewich. He worked at Sears and then at Sask Power, meeting Emily Bossey, whom he would marry on July 30, 1966. They moved to North Battleford where he obtained his diploma in Public Health Inspection. Crescentia was born on September 9, 1967 and five years later, the family moved to Esterhazy where they purchased their first home. In addition to his full-time health inspection work, Athen joined the Esterhazy Volunteer Fire Department. During this time, Curtis was born on June 27, 1973. Many great friendships were forged over five years in Esterhazy, and more followed when he and the family moved to Yorkton for his position as supervisor in Public Health. He would spend the next 45 years of his life in this town, but not without special interludes… Athen and Emily celebrated their twenty-fifth anniversary in Hawaii. This started a mutual love for travel that included Jamaica, Ixtapa, Barcelona, the Mayan Riviera, Cuba, Las Vegas, and the Maritimes. They ventured even farther with more embracing tours of Europe and China and cruises to Alaska, Panama and New Zealand. Athen was a faithful parishioner of St. Mary's Church and a member of the Knights of Columbus. He had a passion for gardening, cross-country skiing, and dancing to Ukrainian music. He also enjoyed watching his son and grandson play hockey.
He was predeceased by his parents, John and Annie; brothers Eugene and Arthur Gazdewich, sister Jean Markewich, and in-laws Sam Dutchak, and Michael Markewich. He leaves to cherish his memory his devoted wife of 56 years Emily, his daughter Crescentia Rozdeba, his son Curtis (Christine), his grandson Riley Rozdeba (Sasha Sobothniski), and sister Veronica Dutchak. Athen radiated the kind of warmth and curiosity that instantly endeared him to everyone. His contagious smile, his uplifting laugh, and his genuine caring for others inevitably made him everyone’s “favourite uncle” in no time. Maya Angelou said that “I've learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” Athen’s exceptional legacy was making everyone feel special and treasured, and it is this example of love that so any miss now and carry forward to honour him.
Prayers were held on November 11th, preceded by the rosary led by members of the Knights of Columbus. The Funeral Liturgy was held on Saturday, November 12th at St. Mary’s Ukrainian Catholic Church in Yorkton with Rev. Fr. Leonid Malkov, C.Ss.R. as the Celebrant. The responses were led by Lorne Stechyshyn and the Funeral Choir. The crossbearer was Crescentia Rozdeba and the epistle reader was Laura Markewich. Members of the Knights of Columbus, Father Delaere Council held the honour guard. The interment followed in the Yorkton Memorial Gardens with Riley Rozdeba, Gilbert Combres, Lorne Stechyshyn, Randy Markewich, Leonard Markewich and Terry Chaikowsky serving as the casketbearers. Tributes were shared by Lorne Stechyshyn and Leonard Markewich. Condolences to the family can be posted at baileysfuneralhome.com Memorials in memory of Athen may be made to St. Mary’s Church or Liturgy Offerings.