Sofia Scales Gilroy passed away peacefully on the morning of February 8th at 7.45 am in Hope, BC. Born in the Ukraine in 1921, Sofia Hunchuk arrived in Canada at the age of seven. She was the only female in a family of eight siblings. As the only daughter, the sheer toughness of her character formed in the hardship of Manitoba farming life where she and her mother preserved traditions as much as they preserved pickles, beets, and the Ukrainian language. As a teen, she was drawn to urban life, where she met and married Stanley Scales, with whom she had her two children, Maxine Scales Rodriguez and Connie Scales Fitter. The Hunchuk family maintained a tight clannish existence wherever they found themselves. Sofia and her beloved siblings became parents, grandparents, and great-grandparents. As the Hunchuks extended like a web, the lives of family members marked the defining moments in Sofia’s life. She had deep love for her family, ever the matriarch, bristling with wisdom, she could organize and lead in ways that the youth of the family today may recognize and would love to emulate. She was an independent woman and was ahead of her time working to empower women, long before it came into vogue! Her gardens mirrored her personality, full of life, rich with the old and the new, charming and nourishing, and always well preserved for sharing with loved ones. At those special times – births, weddings, and other noted rites of passage – when the family displayed an uncanny knack for celebration, Sofia sparkled and rang like a bell. Nobody knew how to have serious fun like Granny. She is most dearly missed and will always be remembered. Those of us who knew her best shall always remember her as a lady of great class and as one who deserves to be remembered as a rare “classic.” Her two daughters, Maxine Scales Rodriguez and Connie Scales Fitter survive Sofia. Four grandchildren: Gregory Rodriguez, Elisa Rodriguez Kuphaldt, Sheila Fitter, Keri Fitter. Grandson, Jeff Fitter, predeceased Sofia Scales. Also survived by seven great grandchildren: Adam, Scott and Jason Kuphaldt, Sofia, Emma and Emiliano Rodriguez, Alexandra and Mathew Ford and Michael Fitter.
Most importantly her beloved brothers survive her: Fred Hunchuk, Sandy Hunchuk, Steve Hunchuk and Peter Hunchuk. There are multiple other nieces and nephews plus in-laws. Three brothers predeceased her: William, John and Bill Hunchuk. The family wishes to express sincere gratitude to all her caregivers who assisted her at Fraser Health Lodge.