15-Feb-1922 - 22-Jan-2018
Galina Doubroff (nee Balabanov) 1922-2018
On Monday, January 22nd, 2018, Galina Doubroff (nee Balabanov) went home to her Savior, after a full life, rich with love, family, and faith. Galina is predeceased by her husband Gregory, brothers Basil and Tom, and sister Clara, and leaves behind her two sons, Victor and John, daughter-in-love Anita Doubroff, sister Olga Lapka and ‘little sister’ Annette Lauzon, numerous nieces and nephews, two grandchildren (Tamara, Nathan) and three great grandchildren (Aspen, Cambria, Judah).
Daughter of Vera and Basil Balabanov from Russia, Galina traveled as a young child with her parents and siblings from China to Canada, where they made their home in BC, living at times in Richmond, Grand Forks, and Vancouver.
After graduating from Kitsilano High School in Vancouver, BC, Galina went on to Pittman’s Business College and worked at Panasonic for a number of years. Galina’s vocation though, was in the arts. Galina and her sister Olga sang together and in various ensembles in churches throughout Canada, the US, and Europe, and in radio broadcasts world-wide. Galina was also a skilled artist—everything she touched had the flair of her artist’s eye, including the berets she wore—but her favorite mediums were oil and acrylic paints on canvas and dried flower mixed media. Receiving a ‘Galina’ piece as a gift was a privilege.
Galina’s faith has been central to her. At a very young age, Galina met Christ and experienced a growing relationship with Him throughout her life. She attended church at Metropolitan Tabernacle and most recently, White Rock Baptist Church. The Metropolitan Tabernacle was an especially warm memory, as she and Olga were there as Young People and made many life-long friends, and raised their own families through Sunday School and church at the ‘Tab,’ too. The ‘Russian church,’ Slavic Evangelical Baptist, also holds dear memories of teaching Sunday School and singing, and of many friends who began the work there alongside the Balabanov family.
In 1952, Galina married Gregory Doubroff, and they soon welcomed two sons into their lives, Victor and John. The family enjoyed life together in Vancouver, Everett, Blaine, and Burnaby, visiting Richmond and sister Olga’s family frequently, as well as her brothers Tom and Basil’s families, and Greg’s brothers and sisters and their families living in BC, Australia and New Zealand. Galina has been a dearly loved mother, grandmother, and aunt, a true advocate and cheerleader for so many of us ‘kids’ growing up in the various Balabanov, Lapka, Doubroff clans.
Galina became a staunch supporter, worker and founding member of Persecuted Church Fellowship (PCF), now the Ukrainian Children’s Christian Fund (UCCF). Galina sat on the Board of Directors for many years, and was involved in radio ministry, singing with Olga and reading commentaries, as well as pitching in to do the necessary daily work of translating letters, packing shipments, and sending out news bulletins.
Although Galina was less seen socially during these last 3 years while living at Evergreen Terrace in White Rock, Galina leaves a large hole in many hearts. Galina’s son, John, who cared for his mom at home for a number of years before she moved to the residence, visited her most days—and often more than once a day. John has been a faithful witness of loving service to his mom, and also thoughtfully connected Olga almost daily to visit her sister by phone, or provided a ‘report’ if Galina was unable to talk. The strong image of John walking with his mom, offering his arm as support, then more recently, wheeling her in her chair, will stay in our hearts. The most comforting words that could be said to Galina in more difficult moments have been, ‘Johnny’s here.’ Watching her face light up or relax with those words will always be a precious memory.
Galina and Olga have always been close sister-friends, most happy when they are sharing moments together—in music, Olga at the piano, Galina standing beside her, or in family life, sharing stories, and unwrapping each other’s birthday gifts and erupting into laughter until tears flowed. The sisters, both very different in personality, were united friends from the beginning. There is a story that ‘Kapka,’ our grandmother told that exemplifies this bond: Galina and Olga as young children playing outside their home in Richmond with Galina, as older sister charged to watch over little Olga. Kapka hears frantic calls from Galina and rushes out to see young Galina clinging desperately to Olga’s jacket, with Olga hanging upside down over the Richmond canal, inches from the dark water, having ventured a little too far in her exploration of the wide world!
Galina’s homecoming date is especially poignant and meaningful to Olga, as January 22nd is the same day that both their dear mother and father were called home too. Although these three events have happened many years apart, the date is significant and feels like a special love-note. Today, we celebrate a life lived well—a life grounded in daily lovingkindness and deep connection with a Love that is boundless.
“Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love. This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him. This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us …” 1 John 4: 7-10
The family would like to express deep thanks to Evergreen Terrace and the many kind professionals that so thoughtfully and respectfully cared for Galina during her residence there. Thank you for your many kindnesses to our dear mom, sister, and aunt.
Flowers gratefully declined in lieu of donations to UCCF www.uccf-canada.org 10340 Freshwater Drive, Richmond, BC V7E 4H7
Valley View Memorial Gardens
01-Feb-2018 12:00 PM - 12:15 PM
White Rock Baptist Church
01-Feb-2018 2:00 PM - 3:00 PM