December 24, 1921 – February 8, 2023
Victor Ivanavitch Litwinow passed away peacefully on Feb 8, 2023 at the impressive age of 101 years. He was predeceased by Lydia (nee Tierchow) his first wife of 43 years and the mother of his children; and Nina, his second wife of 25 years. He is survived by his 5 children: Walter (Eunice), Nettie (Don), David (Colleen), Bill (Karen) and Peter (Melody); 11 grandchildren and 14 great-grandchildren.
Victor was born into a life of hardship in the village of Seinga, in the Siberian part of the former Soviet Union on December 24, 1921. In his remarkable and nearly unbelievable life he survived: a childhood of wretched poverty, life under totalitarian rule, the Communist Revolution, conscription into the Red Army during World War 2, multiple extended imprisonments in the P.O.W camps, the Allied bombing campaigns in Western Europe, court-martial by the Soviet Army and finally tuberculosis and the loss of his left lung due to coal dust exposure, all to finally be able to realize the dream of a better life for him and his family in Canada.
Victor, his wife Lydia, and their two eldest children, Walter and Nettie, immigrated to Canada in 1956 by way of steamer ship across the Atlantic and made port in the Gulf of St. Lawrence. Thousands of kilometers of travel by train and vehicle eventually brought them to the Tierchow farm, 4 miles north of the western prairie town, Biggar, SK. A life that had known only hardship well prepared Victor for his new experience on the prairies. In Biggar, he was able to thrive based on his depth of knowledge that hard work is not something to shy away from, but rather a means to achieving safety and security for his family. It wasn’t long before Victor had earned his Canadian citizenship, and enough money to purchase a ¼ section and start the family farm that continues in his name to this day. Over 30 years, Victor along with his family built the farm from a single ¼ to roughly 2000 acres of mixed cattle, grain and other livestock. Victor, Lydia and their family became respected members of the Biggar community and were proud members and builders of the Associated Gospel Church in Biggar. After 30 plus years of farming, Victor retired and passed the mantle to his son Bill, and he and Lydia decided to move to the warmer climate of Kelowna. Sadly, shortly after moving to Kelowna, Lydia passed away.
Eventually, Victor found companionship in his new home and remarried Nina. In this next phase of his life, Victor was able to shed the burden of a life of work and enjoy more time to relax and reap the natural rewards of a life well lived. He often found time to hunt and fish either alone, with Nina or with his sons Walter, David and Peter. He and Nina greatly enjoyed being able to travel for pleasure. He was a voracious reader, and always stayed up to date on events of the day and political intrigue the world over. He stayed active and fiercely independent right up until his final day.
Victor instilled a passion for life in his children and delighted in seeing his grandchildren and great-grandchildren find their way into this world in peace and security. He had a deep and fulfilling relationship with the church and his faith guided him daily to be strong of character and firm of hand if he felt you were out of line. He was generous and kind, courageous and willful, strong and humble. He was a pioneer, a farmer, an outdoorsman and a builder. Most of all, he was a loving, caring husband and father who, with nothing but the clothes on his back, brought his family unscathed through fire and chaos to the new world. We miss you dearly and can’t express enough the depths of our gratitude for the gifts you gave us. Rest well.
A private family celebration of Victor’s life will be held on Friday, February 24, 2023, with a reception to follow at New Horizons (117, 3 Ave W, Biggar, SK) at 12:30PM for all to attend.
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