January 5, 1957 – January 8, 2021
It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of our beloved Wife, Mother and Grandmother, Ellen Marie Lopushinsky, who passed away peacefully, surrounded by loved ones on January 8, 2021 after a brief but hard-fought battle with cancer.
Ellen was born on January 5, 1957 in Arcola, Saskatchewan to Rose and James McNeil. She grew up on the family farm with her six siblings (Eileen, Anne, Colleen, Debbie, Brad and Harvey) and the family relocated to the Lower Mainland, B.C. years later.
Ellen married the love of her life, George, on August 22, 1979, and the two embarked on a shared passion for teaching which brought them to Old Crow, Yukon that same year. Through the 80’s George and Ellen moved and taught in many communities, (Old Crow, Faro, Teslin) eventually putting down roots in Whitehorse in 1987.
Ellen or “Mrs. L” as she was fondly known, taught mainly grades 1-3 at many schools in Whitehorse, but spent the bulk of her career at Golden Horn Elementary where her ‘kids’ and ‘colleagues’ were like family. Ellen retired in 2012, but continued to sub/teach part-time up until June 2020 as her passion for teaching never faded.
Ellen was a kind and loving light in many of our lives. She always had a smile on her face and a positive outlook no matter the circumstance. She was a devoted wife and mother and always put her family first.
Ellen enjoyed winters spent at the hockey rink and summers camping in the Yukon and Haines, AK. It did not matter where the time was spent as long as friends and family were together. Many will remember get togethers in the family home, sharing a drink, listening to music, playing pool, telling jokes and stories.
Ellen was a loyal and supportive wife for 41 years to her soulmate George. Each day started and ended together as they embraced life’s obstacles and achievements hand in hand.
One of these achievements, was raising her three children which gave her so much pride. She loved being their number one supporter and her example of love has left a profound impact on all of their lives.
Ellen found a new source of passion and joy with the birth of her grandchildren. Every second she spent with them was quality time for her. She always had games and activities planned for them all of which incorporated a little bit of learning while having fun.
Family was everything to Ellen, and that included her many life long friendships which she developed here in the Yukon. A simple coffee or visit with her dearest friends meant the world to her.
Ellen was predeceased by her Father, Mother, sister Anne and friend, Bill.
Ellen leaves behind her loving husband George, sons James (Randi), Shane (Robyne) and daughter Jessica and step daughters Cheryl Keleher and Debbie Lopushinsky. She also leaves behind her adoring grandchildren Ella, Ryan, Scarlett, Aubrey, Mila, Amanda and Brittany. Ellen also leaves behind many dear friends.
The family would like to thank the nurses at Whitehorse General Hospital, as well as Dr. Brent and the nurses at Vancouver General Hospital’s respiratory unit. To the students, friends, colleagues and family who have shown support, thank you very much.
A special thank you to the Beaudin Family for your love and support. We also want to add a special mention to Jessica who for the 8 weeks leading up to Mom’s passing was by her side every single day. This care, love and support meant so much to Mom and we all appreciate everything that you did.
In lieu of flowers, a donation can be made in Ellen’s name to Lung Cancer Canada – (lungcancercanada.ca). A gathering to celebrate Ellen’s life will be held at a later date once COVID restrictions have been lifted.
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