Laura P. Verigin, a prominent Doukhobor and wife of the late John J. Verigin Sr. – the former honorary chairman of the Union of Spiritual Communities of Christ – passed away peacefully on Saturday, Feb. 29, surrounded by family at age 93.
Verigin, who has been described as the personification of grace and elegance by those who knew her both in public and in private, was taken to Kootenay Boundary Hospital in Trail on Feb. 21 after she suffered a stroke on her way to the USCC annual general meeting. Verigin remained at the Trail hospital in palliative care, as doctors assessed a consequential brain bleed.
Verigin was born in the Brilliant area and had lived in the Grand Forks valley for many decades, where she played an important role in the Doukhobor community. She was a custodian of Doukhobor artifacts and stories.
“When I married into the Verigin family, I never knew what I would end up responsible for,” Verigin told Black Press in 2015, reflecting on her work preserving century-old textiles. “I will be happy when they are out of my hands and with the community. I think that is where they should be,” she said.
The public is invited to attend a traditional Doukhobor funeral for Verigin, being held at the USCC Hall at 7 p.m. on March 6 in Grand Forks. Another service will be offered at 10 a.m. on March 7.
A traditional funeral will also be held at the Brilliant Cultural Centre in Castlegar on March 7 at 7 p.m., and again on March 8 at 10 a.m. Verigin will be interred in Verigin Memorial Park near Brilliant next Sunday.