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OBIT: Larry Sapriken 1939 - 2017

Larry was born on August 18, 1939, to Mike and Mary (Markin) Sapriken. He grew up in Krestova, BC the youngest of four boys; Bill, Walter, and Mike. During his youth his mother was imprisoned several times, due to her religious beliefs, so Larry learned to fend for himself at an early age. He developed awesome culinary skills and would become a very good cook.

While in his teen years he moved to Vancouver, where his older brothers were living, to work on construction projects. In the 1960s many Sons of Freedom Doukhobor men were being incarcerated in the Agassiz Mountain Prison – Larry was one among them. He spent four years there and always maintained that it was the best University he could have attended. Upon his release he went back to Vancouver and began working for Galligar Brothers Construction.

He met Edna Perepolkin and they joined in marriage in May 1967. They made their first home in Vancouver, BC where their first daughter, Lisa was born. In 1968 his work took him and the family to Castlegar where he worked on the construction of the Castlegar Hospital. In 1969 their second daughter, Lara was born in that same hospital. They moved again, this time to Kelowna, BC, where Larry worked on the Kelowna Hospital. It was there that their two sons, Craig and Chris were born in 1976 and 1977 respectively. After 11 years in Kelowna, Larry moved the family back to the West Kootenay (Slocan Park) where they would finally settle in.

It was during their stay in Kelowna that Larry and his brothers started their own company, Sapriken Brothers Contractors of which he was very proud. Of course, it took him away to many parts of BC, Alberta and even to Thompson, Manitoba, where their company helped to build a high school. The brothers built a good standing reputation for quality workmanship. In his retirement years, Larry put his skills to task at his home-away-from-home, the Whatshan Lake Retreat of which he was proud to be a founding and contributing member.

Recently, after a cancer diagnosis, he opted out of chemo treatments to enjoy what quality of life he had left for the remainder of his days. He died peacefully at home on December 23, 2017, with his wife of 50 years by his side. Larry was a kind and gentle soul who was immediately loved and will be fondly remembered by all who knew him.

Larry was predeceased by his parents, Mike and Mary Sapriken, a niece in infancy, a nephew, Tim; and by his three older brothers, Bill, Walter, and Mike. He is survived by his wife, Edna; four children, Lisa, Lara, Craig, and Chris; six grand-children, Ariel, Miranda, Austin, Weston, Spencer, and Jensen; his sister-in-laws, Vera, Pauline, and Norma; as well as several nieces and nephews.

Larry was cremated and the family held a private service with plans for a Celebration of Larry’s Life at a later date. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in memory of Larry Sapriken to the Doukhobor Heritage Retreat Society #1999 of the Whatshan Lake Retreat, PO Box 3701, Castlegar, BC, V1N 3W4. The family would like to thank Dr. Lina Sauzo for your kind and compassionate care, RCMP Cst. A. McCabe, Gretchen and Lucas of BC Ambulance Service, and the Castlegar Funeral Chapel for your kind assistance during a difficult time. Thank you to JJ Verigin and his mother, Laura for their kind words of support, and all the extended family and friends for their condolences.