Family Stories

Dmytro and Maria Spilczak Buried in Toronto

In loving memory of Dmytro Spilczak, September 29, 1883 – January 6, 1960, beloved husband of Maria Kushnirenko, October 13, 1887 – February 15, 1972.  Assumption Catholic Cemetery, Mississauga, Toronto, Canada.

We’re a long way from Kentucky today!  Ritchey and our son, Linton, were in Toronto earlier this month.  And, of course, during any visit, they will stop at a cemetery for a few photos!  This one was taken at the Assumption Catholic Cemetery, in Mississauga, Toronto, Canada.  As you can see, a loving husband and wife, Dmytro and Maria Spilczak.  I tried to find information about the pair, but since they died more recent than most of those I write about, perhaps that’s why little could be found.

I did find a manifest of alien passengers for the United States on the S. S. Polonia, sailing from Trieste, in June 1913.  Dmytro Spylczak, age 30, was a farm laborer from Austria, and his nationality is given as Ruth (as were several others from Austria).  I’m not sure what this means.  Several weeks ago I read Frederic Morton’s A Nervous Splendor, Vienna 1888/1889.  A very interesting, although sad read, and I did learn there were many nationalities, or groups of people gathered under Emperor Franz Joseph’s crown.

The rest of the ship’s list said he was going to Winnipeg, he paid for his ticket himself, he was in possession of $20, was going to join a relative, and was born in Austria.  The name of the relative was not listed.

Dmytro Spilczak

If this were Dmytro’s first trip to Canada, did he leave his home country due to the rumors of war?  Even in the book I just mentioned, 1888/1889 was a time when people already felt the rumbles of war – 23 years earlier.

Maria Kushnirenko Spilczak

We are fortunate to have photographs of the couple on their gravestone.

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