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Obituary

NINA IZA DINNEY (published on March 20, 2010)



NINA IZA DINNEY The precious life of Nina Dinney began in Oshawa, ON on September 9, 1927 and ended, but only in a physical sense, on March 13, 2010 in White Rock, BC. She is ever alive in the thoughts of family and friends. Nina never knew anyone she did not like and respect and, in turn, everyone was charmed by her unfailing grace, charity and warmth. She was one of those rare people who never had unkind feelings for others. She reserved her deepest affection for her family, including George, her husband of 55 years, her adored daughters Laurel of South Surrey, BC, Bliss of Denver, CO and her son, Colin of Houston, TX and many nieces and nephews. Her endearing smile and her unflagging courage persisted through the long years of grave illness which she accepted without a word of complaint. We are formed by our backgrounds so we should think about Nina's heritage. Her strongest influence was her mother, Anna, a woman of remarkable beauty and refinement, her son-in-law, George remembers Anna as the most cultured person he ever knew, always open to discuss new ideas. Anna acquired a university degree long before women's rights were even talked about. Nina's paternal grandfather was an established architect. And her uncle, Anna's brother, was a martyr and national hero in his homeland, now part of the Ukraine. Late in her life, when she was seriously ill, Anna was invited by public authorities to return to her birthplace for ceremonies in her name. She was honoured by parades and public gatherings throughout her native land, where public parks had been named for her brother and larger-than-life sized statues of him had been erected. Anna treasured this visit and kept a file of photographs and newspaper columns in which she was featured. However, Anna chose a modest life for herself in one part based on the pursuit of art and another part based on working for poor and unfortunate people. She was a consumer advocate long before that term was invented. Both of Nina's parents Jacob and Anna Semenoff were music teachers and theatrical performers and producers and from them she inherited a lifelong interest in the arts, opera and classical music and live theatre. As a child she was an accomplished violinist and folk dancer and she played in a balalaika orchestra conducted by her father. Following these interests she travelled extensively. Among her favourite places were New York, London, Paris, New Orleans, Palm Springs and Santa Fe. And she cultivated these interests in travel and the arts in her children. She was particularly knowledgeable about Innuit art and over the years she gathered sculptures and graphics which were described by The Department of Indian and Northern Affairs as the best small collection in Canada. She had a wide circle of close friends who shared her interests. These activities and pursuits meant far less to her than her feeling, shared by all mothers, that her greatest achievement was the creation and nurture and education of her three children who were the great love and the reward of her life. Whatever else she accomplished was secondary to motherhood. In keeping with her wishes a simple Anglican service is planned by her immediate family. She is beloved and cherished and we ask that those who knew her and who loved her keep a place for her in their thoughts without the formality of flowers or acknowledgements. She hoped she would be missed and never forgotten. She was the flower of her family's life and like all flowers she will bloom again and again. Set a seal upon your hearts remembering that love is stronger than death.


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