Raissa Kolesnikov, age 92, passed away peacefully on Thursday, March 29, 2018 at the Louis Brier Home.
Raissa was born in Moscow, Russia to Ilya and Anna Ilushenko. She was awarded with a gold medal in high school for her exemplary grades, and was accepted to the Moscow State University where she graduated with a Master’s Degree in English Literature. She spent her years in Russia as an English professor at the Pedagogical College in Moscow. At 20, she married a singer who would later become an esteemed vocal coach, Nikolai Kolesnikov, with whom she shared 70 incredible years together.
In 1981, Raissa and Nikolai left Russia to join their daughter, Elena, in Vancouver, Canada. Shortly after arriving, she founded the “Miloserdie Group” (Mercy and Compassion). This charity raised over four million dollars worth of medications, surgical supplies, clothes, and toys for sick children at the Central Moscow Children's Hospital and orphanages in Russia and Ukraine. Because of her efforts, Raissa was nominated for the “Woman of the Year” award.
Raissa dedicated her life to her family, friends, and she was always first to lend a helping hand to strangers. She was a wonderful wife, mother, and grandmother. Raissa will be greatly missed by her family and everyone who knew her.
The Funeral Service will take place at Holy Resurrection Russian Orthodox Church (75 E. 43rd Avenue, near Main Street) on Thursday, April 5th at 11:30 AM.
Rest in peace!