It is with profound sadness that we announce the unexpected passing of Orysia Ora Maria Blahut (née Swityk), a fiercely proud grandmother, loving mother, aunt, devoted wife, and friend on May 1, 2022, in Calgary, Alberta. At the age of sixty-five years, which she turned on New Years Day, she left behind her husband of twenty-three years, Daryl Blahut; and her two accomplished daughters, who were her best friends Tanya Jones (Ryan), and Andrea Blahut-Zaher (Zeyad). If you ever had a conversation with Orysia or spent any time in her home, you would know she was a dedicated grandmother who hosted pretend tea parties, played games and covered her walls in pictures of her four grand-children Christian, Sierra, Gavin, and Ali.
Orysia was born in Calgary in 1957 and was the eldest of three children including Terry (Cheryl), and Zenon born to Bill and Maria Swityk. Orysia was brought up in the Greek Orthodox faith and also spent many summers in Saskatoon learning her ancestral dance, culture, and language of the Ukraine. In her early adult years, she lived across Alberta, where she first married and had Tanya and Andrea. She then settled in Calgary in the late 1990s where her and Daryl fell madly in love and married in 1999. Subsequently, to make this family whole, Daryl happily adopted the girls in 2008. What a momentous occasion it was!
Orysia was an adventurous and talented woman, who never shied away from a challenge. Educated and resourceful, her most recent focus was on health, fitness, and nutrition. She was passionate about her studies, sharing them with anyone who showed an interest or tried her infamous chocolate quinoa cupcakes. An accomplished athlete, she trained hard and completed numerous triathlons and marathons, her favourite being the Wild Rose Triathlon which she ran with Tanya. Her love of animals was profound, a trait she enjoyed sharing with Andrea as they both had a special affinity for cats. She was a passionate volunteer who knew the value of giving back to her community, leaving her mark on the Welcome Wagon Postpartum program where she cuddled newborn babies. She taught children with physical and mental disabilities to ski at Canada’s Olympic Park, was the Treasurer at Westminster Church, and built homes with Habitat for Humanity. She sang in numerous choirs over the years, but most recently, cherished her time with the Alberta Gold Chorus.
In lieu of flowers, and to continue with Orysia’s love of her heritage and voluntary spirit, donations may be made to the Canadian Red Cross to support those impacted by the war in Ukraine.
A Remembrance Service will be held at Evan J. Strong Funeral Services North location (3625 12 Street NE) on Friday, May 6, 2022, at 1:00 pm. For those unable to attend in person the service will be made available through a live stream at this link.
Canadian Red Cross
1305 11 Avenue SW, Calgary AB T3C 3P6