Bunny Sklepowich (nee: Orysia Ewonchuk)

The family wishes to announce Bunny’s passing on Saturday, May 27, 2023 at the Holy Family Nursing Home, Winnipeg, MB.

You may know her as Bunny or Elsie. You might know her as Orysia, or Auntie Bunny, or Baba. No matter how you knew her, you were blessed to know a compassionate, generous, creative, funny, intelligent, independent, and talented woman who lived a full life.

Bunny Sklepowich was born Orysia Ewonchuk in Rosa, Manitoba in 1938. She grew up attending a country school and worked on the Ewonchuk farm with her family, parents Mike and Mary Ewonchuk, brothers, Peter, Jerry, and Bob, and sister Evelyn.  Orysia attended teacher’s college and met and married Modest Sklepowich in 1955. They welcomed son, Michael-William, affectionately known as Mickey Jr., in 1959. Mickey Jr. later had two sons, Reed, in 1997, and Quinn, in 1998.

Mickey and Bunny, as they were later known, began appearing together on musical stages across Canada in 1964. Their repertoire included Ukrainian, Polish, German songs, and country music with a popular Canadian version of Woody Guthrie’s “This Land Is Your Land”. In the 60’s they were accompanied by the D-Drifters-5, an instrumental group led by the accordionist and bass guitarist Dave Roman, known for their Ukrainian versions of songs by the Beatles and other pop groups of the day. Mickey and Bunny received from His Worship Mayor Stephen Juba his highest award, “The Community Service Award” for their many years of dedicated work, charity performances and their unforgettable concert tours. They recorded music still being played on radio stations in Alberta, Saskatchewan, and Manitoba, and are remembered as major contributors to Canadian folk music and Ukrainian-Canadian culture. Mickey and Bunny can still be seen on YouTube performing during a revival of the group in the 2000s during which they played at the Ukrainian Festival in Dauphin, Manitoba and numerous other venues and events.

Bunny went on to obtain her bachelor’s degree in education from the University of Manitoba and worked for Indian and Northern Affairs for more than twenty years. In this career, Bunny helped children in Northern Manitoba communities to develop literacy and math skills. She later worked for the Estates unit of Indian Affairs, where she helped aboriginal families to manage their estates and end-of-life legal processes. Bunny also supported many community organizations including the Ukrainian Musicians Association and Folklorama.

Bunny was a faithful and devoted Baba to grandsons, Reed, and Quinn, who are now 26 and 25, respectively. They spent time at her home in East Kildonan cooking together, doing crafts, learning to read, and playing exciting games of coffee table bowling. Bunny taught Reed and Quinn Ukrainian and they even got to go on stage with their Baba and Dido a few times during the revival. Bunny never missed Reed or Quinn’s piano recitals, soccer games, or graduations. Reed and Quinn remember her as a joyful and inspiring grandmother, and report that their memories of childhood are always pleasant thanks to her endless creativity and imagination, but above all, her love and devotion to her family.

Bunny will be dearly missed by Reed and Quinn, sister Evelyn, sister-in-law Pauline, brother Bob, sister-in-law Shirley, and niece and nephew Marianne and Ivan. Other nieces and nephews include Ryan and Stacey Ewonchuk, Chris Till, Michelle, and Marc Ewonchuk, and beloved spouses and children of all. We can never forget all the people Bunny touched through her music, her tireless work for Indian Affairs, and her support for the Ukrainian-Canadian community in promoting Ukrainian language and culture. There are too many to possibly name.

Bunny is predeceased by parents, Mike and Mary Ewonchuk, brothers Peter and Jerry, former husband, Mickey, and son Mickey Jr.

Cremation has taken place and a private Panakhyda Service and interment will take place in Rosa, MB at a later date.

Family and friends are welcome to share memories and condolences on Bunny’s memorial page by using the comment field below.

8 thoughts on “Bunny Sklepowich (nee: Orysia Ewonchuk)

  1. Marianne Propp

    Bunny Sklepowich
    (nee Orysia Ewonchuk)

    Most would remember her as part of the legendary Ukrainian pop music duo “Mickey and Bunny”. They were accompanied by the instrumental group the D-Drifters 5. Bunny was well known and admired in the Ukrainian community. A celebrity.

    To me, she was my aunt. My dad’s sister. A model of modesty, empathy and grace.

    My dearest and treasured Aunt Bunny left her earthly struggles and entered heavens gates on May 27, 2023 at Holy Family Care Home.

    Auntie Bunny, you were an integral part of my earliest and fondest memories and always will be. A woman I both respected and admired; One of sharp wit, confidence, always a kind and caring spirit.

    Your life was not without its hardships and challenges.
    I learned to be resilient, determined and fierce as I watched you go through struggles and joys.

    I learned that it didn’t take much to make you happy, a phone call, a card, a cup of tea; a cat on your lap, a knitting project and solitude.

    I learned how to appreciate a well-done manicure and fine fragrances. I learned that we should always wear pretty shoes.

    Auntie Bunny, you always remembered our birthdays and arrived with arms loaded with gifts
    on Ukrainian Christmas Eve. You were committed to all your neices and nephews.

    You adored your grandsons Reed and Quinn.

    You filled our lives with music, love and lesson.

    Auntie Bunny as you fly into the unknown, I will catch a spark of your twinkle, a crease of that million dollar smile, and you will live on in my heart forever.

    Vichnaya Pamyat.
    Eternal Memory

    Thank-you to the brilliant healthcare team at Holy Family (St. Basil). They gave her all the love, comfort and care that she needed. Their efforts to keep her safe, warm and in peace is appreciated.


    My sincere heartfelt condolences to Bunny’s family and her musical families. I loved listening to Bunny sing. She was one talented lady and glad I got to she her at different Zabavas around Winnipeg. Rest in Peace Bunny. They are having a big party up in Heaven with all the musicians that have passed away.


    My sincere heartfelt condolences to Bunny’s family and musical family.She was a talented lady with an amazing voice. Loved hear her sing. I am so great full that I got to see her at different Zabava’s around Winnipeg. Rest In Peace Bunny. Heaven has another angel !

  4. Evelyn Taylor

    Bunny meant so much to me as her only sister. She was my best friend and my confidante. We were so happy to spend time with her when we visited from the coast. We were so proud of her many accomplishments during her lifetime and the many lives she touched, leaving an incredible legacy for all of us. May she rest in eternal peace with the family that preceded her and who she loved dearly. Always remembered-never forgotten.

  5. Evelyn Taylor

    As long as hearts remember, as long as hearts still care, we never part with those we love, they are with us everywhere. So many of our precious memories, of those we held so dear, bring peace and comfort to us now and keep our loved one near.

  6. Linda Shydlowsky

    Bunny, always was my mentor. You were my inspiration to sing with you on stage since I was a young girl. Throughout all these years I finally met you at Sunshine and you and Mickey did a CD called Reunion. Then we, The Ukrainian Oldtimers were your back up band and we performed at Vegreville Festival and Dauphin Festival. Then Bunny, we did the a CD together The Met-Telic-Kih where we did many events together at Folkarama. I want to thank you for sharing all the love, fun and performing with you on stage. I will miss your laugh, love and kindness we shared for so many years. I will always cherish all the memories forever, Love you Linda and family.

  7. Lorna and Bob

    Our deepest sympathy to your family. There are no words to describe the loss for your family and the so many people Bunny had touched. We were fortunate enough to visit her just 2 short weeks before her passing, another memory we will cherish.

    Our loss is heavens gain. Rest in peace good friend.

  8. Orrasia Mabbutt

    I am remembering Bunny today and many days since her passing and remembered
    Mickey and Bunny Days…who could forget “Tse Nasha Zemlya”?
    Now I’m remembering her more personally. I met Bunny when I attended Folklorama some years back and she was sitting with Linda Shydlowskiy in the
    Gathering Room off the Maine Site…They were listening to some of the Bands playing there…That’s where I met Bunny..a lovely lady…She was kind- hearted…that I knew right away and Bunny was very easy to talk with.
    I met Bunny and Linda @that Venue a few times since that first meeting and enjoyed
    Bunny and Linda’s company very much…we shared a few laughs too.
    My Sympathies to the Family …
    Bunny’s passing is Earth’s Loss but Heaven’s Gain.

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