The United Macedonian Diaspora (UMD) – the leading voice for Macedonians abroad – deeply mourns the passing of our dear friend, member, and staunch advocate and champion for Macedonian history and heritage, Virginia Stoymenoff.
Virginia passed away just days after her 88th birthday, on June 13, 2022, following a long, brave, and determined 18-year fight with cancer.
May her memory be a blessing!
Бог да ја прости!
Metodija A. Koloski, UMD Co-Founder, and outgoing President stated:
“Virginia was a trailblazer in the Canadian Macedonian community beloved by everyone she met. I was only a teenager when I first met Virginia – she became a friend, a mentor, and one of UMD’s strongest supporters since the beginning. Till the very end, nothing deterred her, Virginia fought for our Macedonian cause and community – one of the best fact-checkers on Macedonian history, heritage, and human rights I have ever met.
Whether it was writing to correct media outlets over their mistakes about Macedonia’s name or history, advocating in the halls of Congress, meeting with Heads of State, members of Parliament, and Ambassadors, or speaking to young Macedonians, Virginia, who was vehemently opposed to the name change, made sure you knew it and why. She constantly called for unity among Macedonians to work for the common good of Macedonia. May her legacy and memory inspire a new generation of Macedonian advocates in Canada and around the world.”
Dr. Dan Mallin, President of the Canadian Macedonian Historical Society reflected on Virginia’s life:
“Virginia Stoymenoff was a most dedicated, hard-working supporter of the Macedonian community. Her dedication and endurance were just amazing. She was an early proponent and member of our Board. She was an invaluable contributor to both our foundation and our success as a diaspora organization. Her work interviewing and recording many notable community members for all of us, was a particular interest for her and is accessible on our website macedonianhistory.ca. We are proud to say she was part of us.”
University of Toronto’s Professor Christina Kramer:
“Virginia Stoymenoff was indefatigable. She was deeply interested in Macedonian matters, and she shared with me her family history connected with the village of Vrbnik, Albania. In 2000, we were to travel there together, but I had to go without her when she was unable to travel at that time. I took videos of her to show her relatives, and of her relatives to show her. I will never forget how we shared those stories. She took Macedonian classes with me and was always interested in the history, politics, and cultural life of Macedonia. I was inspired by her curiosity, her willingness to participate in so many things, and to work for others.”
Dr. Chris Stefanovich, CMP Board Member:
“Virginia Stoymenoff was an Active, hands-on, supporter of all things Macedonian, often leaving the lime-light for others. For her, getting the job done was more important, than talking about it. She valued and contributed her energies to many Macedonian causes, including the Canadian Macedonian Place-Seniors Home, the Canadian Macedonian Historical Society, the Macedonian Canadian Health Professionals Association, and most recently UMD! Virginia enthusiastically supported the positions taken by UMD and will be sorely missed by all who marveled at her MAKEDONSKA energy.”
UMD expresses its sincerest condolences to the entire Stoymenoff family.
We are sad to announce the passing of our beloved Virginia at Yee Hong Peter K. Kwok Hospice after a long, brave, and determined 18-year fight with cancer on June 13th, 2022, just days after her 88th birthday. She leaves behind 5 grandchildren, Alexis, Lauren, Evan, Aaron, and Shayna, and her two sons; Gary (spouse Donna) and Chris (spouse Ann).
Born in Toronto, Virginia was a fervently passionate Macedonian, helping to establish Canadian Macedonian Place in 1977 and as a member of its board of directors for over four decades. In 1990, she co-founded The Canadian Macedonian Historical Society (and Museum) whose primary objective is the preservation of “everything Macedonian” and the promotion of public interest in the history of Canadian citizens of Macedonian descent.
Although she worked throughout her lifetime, her real career began later in life, in the late 1970s when she pursued her real estate license and became a successful and well-regarded agent for two of Toronto’s leading firms.
Virginia was enthusiastically involved in music, rehearsing (until very recently) and playing in numerous concerts with the Toronto Mandolin Orchestra of the Shevchenko Musical Ensemble.
Family and friends will be received at the Highland Funeral Home – Scarborough Chapel, 3280 Sheppard Ave E, Scarborough, on Sunday, June 19, 2022, from 4-8 p.m. Funeral Service will be held in the Chapel on Monday, June 20, 2022, at 11:00 a.m.
In Virginia’s memory, donations may be made to the Canadian Macedonian Place Foundation, Canadian Macedonian Historical Society, the National Shevchenko Musical Ensemble Guild of Canada, or Lung Cancer Canada.
JAC SUM MAKEDONKA!! I AM MACEDONIAN!!
Please use this link to view the Livestream on June 20, 2022, at 11 am: