Marilyn Wiwcharuk is at the piano on this December 2014 photo of the Cantabile Singers at rehearsal. Wiwcharuk died on Feb. 1 and a celebration of her life will be held on Saturday, Feb. 6, at 1 p.m, at St. Paul's Cathedral at Fourth Avenue and Nicola Street downtown. KTW file photo Marilyn Wiwcharuk was still teaching piano lessons just four days before she left her home to finish her life in the city's hospice.
That's just the kind of woman the long-time piano teacher and arts promoter was, said her friend and fellow pianist Daniela O'Fee.
Self-described dance mom Sue Reedman would agree.
At the behest of Wiwcharuk, Reedman became as deeply involved as Wiwcharuk in the Kamloops Festival for the Performing Arts and saw her friend do so much for the children and youth who took part in the annual event.
""She would never break the rules," Reedman said. "But she would go out of her way to make sure what could happen would happen for a kid."
Wiwcharuk died on Monday, Feb. 1.
On Saturday, Feb. 6, friends and family will gather to celebrate her life during a 1 p.m. service at St. Paul's Cathedral at Fourth Avenue and Nicola Street downtown.
And, of course, there will be music.
O'Fee and others plan to contribute through their talents to remember the woman O'Fee called "our music matriarch, for sure."
Born in Moosomin, Sask., 70 years ago, Wiwcharuk studied music in the late 1960s, graduating with a bachelor's degree in 1967. In the mid-1990s, she completed studies for a master's degree.
She married husband Norman in 1968 and the newlyweds headed out to see the world, including two years spent in Australia and a six-month trip across Canada with two of what would eventually be three children.
They moved to Kamloops, which became home for Wiwcharuk except for the years she returned to Brandon to complete studies for her master's degree.
Wiwcharuk, left the sole parent of son Jeff and daughters Jill and Sara when her husband died in 1987, was involved in more than the local competition and her lessons. She was active at the provincial and national levels with performing-arts competitions, programs for which she held strong beliefs.
She was integral to the Chamber Musicians of Kamloops, taking on the role of treasurer. They marked her death by posting on their Facebook page a video of Wiwcharuk and fellow musician Dimiter Terziev performing Rachmaninoff's Romance for Two Pianos.
O'Fee described her friend as a practical person "who always had colourful and interesting things to say."
Recalling a trip the pair made to Sicamous to perform together, O'Fee said the trip there and back was "not a boring drive, but filled with a lot of laughter."
Wiwcharuk's family has requested donations to the KFPA Marilyn Wiwcharuk Memorial Scholarship Fund, which can be sent to Kamloops Festival of the Performing Arts, Box 162, Kamloops, V2C 5K6.