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Sylvia (nee Riisberg) Constantinides

December 15, 2004

CONSTANTINIDES, Sylvia (nee Riisberg)

Sylvia was born on October 3, 1921 in Tallinn, Estonia. She passed away peacefully at Trillium Lodge in Parksville on December 15, 2004. Sylvia, predeceased by her husband Dr. Paris Constantinides, will be deeply missed by her daughter Crissa, by her relatives in Estonia, and by many friends around the world. She also has a special place in the hearts of the staff and residents of Trillium, where she spent the last two years of her life. She was forced to flee her homeland in 1944, came to Canada as a penniless refuge, and worked as a nurse's aide in a hospital in Quebec City. She met Paris when she went to Montreal to work as a technician in the lab of the famous Dr. Han Selye and then moved to Vancouver with Paris in 1950. She sometimes helped Paris in his lab at UBC. Always longing to go back home and not being able to because of the Cold War, she finally got her wish in 1991 and reunited with long-lost relatives in Tallinn. Her dramatic life was recorded in the book Banished from the Homeland, written by her daughter Crissa. A remembrance service will be held at Trillium Lodge on January 13, 2005, at 11:00 a.m. The family wishes to thank Dr. Robert Waite and the staff of Trillium for their outstanding care. Sylvia could not possibly have been in more loving, capable hands as she battled cancer and dementia. Sylvia will be buried in the cremation garden at the Parksville Funeral Home.

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