amherst memorial service

Ellen Alexandra Kalanj (Hocaluk)

Ellen Alexandra Kalanj


Obituary for Ellen Alexandra Kalanj

March 8, 1925 - October 21, 2020

Predeceased by parents Nikita (Mike) and Akulina (Dune), brothers Boris and Michael, grandson Alexander, and ex-husband Emil (Mikey).

Born in Lyboml, Ukraine and moved to Vancouver with her family in 1929. She grew up in the Strathcona Neighbourhood. Ellen was a very active singer and musician in the Russian and Ukrainian Community. Summer days were always spent at English Bay.

Her first job as a teen was in a bakery. She went on to work as an Interior designer in Eaton’s Home furnishings dept. With far better pay and union benefits she jumped at a chance to work at a Super-Valu Deli dept. in Burnaby and went on to manage the in-store restaurant at Lynn Valley store. Pyrogy and Borsht days were her specialty. She loved to create meals for any special days like Chinese New Years, St Patrick’s Day, a co-workers birthday, and even just because it was Friday. An excuse to dress up or wear a costume was even better. She worked 20+ yrs at Super-Valu and retired in 1990.

The unstoppable entertainer continued as a wedding caterer, pyrogy maker and B&B host to many guests from around the world. Auntie Ella was always keen to do a pyrogy making lesson with all the special nieces and grandchildren. Ellen loved to set and decorate her dining room table to a lavish display. She continued playing with the Ukrainian orchestra into her late 80’s and loved to socialize with all of her friends and family. She loved playing and singing with her friends in the Croatian tamburitza group.

Sadly missed by her 5 children, Andrea, Michael, Elana, Cyndy, Paul. Grandchildren Anthony. Natasha, Michelle, Arron, Katelyn, Cyrus. 4 Great-Grandchildren , and 2 Great-Great Grandchildren. A private family burial will be held at Ellen’s request.

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Dignity. Respect. Simplicity.