We Remember

LABUN, Lydia

June 11, 1935 — November 20, 2023

It is with sadness that we announce that Lydia Labun went to be with her Lord on Monday, November 20, 2023, peacefully in her sleep.

She was predeceased by her parents Jacob and Helen (née Harder) Loewen; her first husband, Dr. Clarence Labun (died 1972); her second husband, the Rev. Sam Cooke (died 1996); siblings who died in infancy; and adult sisters Helen, Martha, and Esther. She is survived by siblings Anne, Henry, Tom, Ruth (Waldo), Naomi, Jace (Elvira), Abe (Iona), and David; her children Andrew (Carolyn) and Doris; and grandchildren Sam, Katrina (Mark), Emily, Oonagh (Everett), Finola, and Philip.

Lydia was born and raised in Coaldale, Alberta to parents who had fled the Soviet Union, and was baptized in the Coaldale Mennonite Brethren Church.  She graduated from the University of Manitoba in Home Economics and Education. She married Clarence, and after Andrew’s birth they spent a three-year term as medical missionaries in Paraguay.  Doris was born shortly after their return to Canada, and the family settled in Winkler, Manitoba.  Lydia resumed her teaching career after Clarence died of cancer in 1972, upgrading her qualifications to enable her to teach Art at the secondary level.  She moved to Abbotsford, British Columbia in 1975 to live near her aging mother.  Lydia taught Home Economics and Art at the Mennonite Educational Institute, after which she taught in the public school system, retiring in 2000.  She found love again, marrying Sam Cooke, a retired and widowed Anglican priest, with whom she spent two happy years before his death.

Lydia always put her family first.  She was a tremendous support to both of her children and maintained connections with her many siblings and cousins across Canada, Central and South America, and even Central Asia.  When Alzheimer’s began to affect Lydia, she moved to Kelowna, British Columbia in 2013, to be near her son.

Teacher, artist, world traveller, lifelong learner, and generous host to many, Lydia is remembered as a vibrant woman with many interests.

The family wish to express their appreciation to the staff at Village at Mill Creek for their loving care.

A Funeral will be held to honour Lydia on DECEMBER 20, 2023, at 10:00 AM, at the SEVENOAKS ALLIANCE CHURCH, 2575 Gladwin Road, Abbotsford, BC V2T 3N8.

If you wish to send a condolence, post photos, or share a memory, please scroll down the page to the area called “Condolences”.

DECEMBER 20, 2023, at 10:00 AM


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