We Remember


January 18, 1930 — March 5, 2023

Ann Petrachenko (née Onyszkiw) passed away peacefully on March 5, 2023, at the age of 93 near Peachland, British Columbia, where Ann had been staying with her daughter, Donna Petrachenko, and Darro Stinson. Ann loved Peachland: sitting on the deck overlooking Okanagan Lake, and she enjoyed the lovely restaurants nearby as well as Donna’s fine meals. Ann, while quiet by nature, would greet every morning when she came out for breakfast with a loud “howdy” and a smiling good morning.

Ann was born in Hamilton, Ontario, January 18, 1930, to Joseph Onyszkiw and Mary Onyszkiw (Kozlowski). Ann was the eldest of three daughters, Nell Onyszkiw of Hamilton and Olga Poulson (Onyszkiw) of Ancaster who predeceased her.

After being very good at her studies, as well as the mandolin, Ann began her career.  Ann married Walter Petrachenko from Welland, ON, June 25, 1955.  They had met through Ukrainian music ensemble concerts.  Ann played the mandolin in a Hamilton based group and Walter played bass in a Welland based group. In Welland in September 1956, their daughter, Karen, was born and in April 1959 they welcomed their second daughter, Donna. Ann returned to work when her youngest entered school and this, at the time, was viewed as a little avant-garde by some of their social group. Ann loved her career and her family.

Ann pursued an accounting career and retired from McMaster University. For many years, Ann was the mainstay of the UE union hall in Welland – running the office and of course accounting.

Ann and Walter wanted their girls to have every opportunity and always told them you can be whatever you want to be, and they did. After post-secondary education Karen became an award-winning Interior Designer culminating in Karen being recognized in the 2022 Governor General’s award for Architecture and Design. Donna completed her Master’s degree and reached the highest levels of the public service in Canada and then Australia, including as head of the Australian delegations to the United Nations on oceans and environment.

Ann and Walter moved to Ancaster, Ontario in 1992. Throughout their marriage, they loved to travel and started by taking their girls with them to western Canada in the early seventies. Most summers would be spent enjoying a small cottage on Lake Erie, and then winter holidays would be spent travelling. Ann and Walter enjoyed many cruises with their close friends and for decades with their daughters in Hawaii.

After Walter’s passing in 2000 and when Donna was working in Calgary and Vancouver, Ann continued to travel with her daughters to many places including, Hawaii, Australia, New York, and Arizona, as well as within Canada.

Ann had many close friends in the Hamilton area, who she greatly missed when she was in Peachland. None more so than her beloved sister Nell Onyszkiw of Hamilton, who held a very special place in Ann’s heart. They were always together at Ann’s home in Ancaster, enjoying coffee, a few card games, and friends.

In the last few months, Ann enjoyed the company of new acquaintances in Peachland and the assistance of caregivers always brightened her day. Ann was a strong, and sometimes stubborn, woman with the most beautiful smile and, up until mid-February, had a great appetite, especially enjoying her strawberry ice cream.

Ann started to become weak in mid-February and then and very reluctantly her body wore out. Ann loved life and all it could offer.

Ann will be greatly missed by her family and friends. Ann will always have a special place in our hearts.

A private cremation has been held and Ann will be with Walter again at Whitechapel cemetery in Ancaster, ON, at a time yet to be determined.

As Ann said recently, “I had a great life and loved every bit of it”

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