by Joseph Munro
Everyone at Sun Youth was shocked and deeply saddened to hear the news that long-time volunteer and friend to the organization, Freda Kopyto, died January 26.
Freda was a dear friend and a mother and grandmother figure to all. She started volunteering at Sun Youth after her beloved husband, Abie, died in 1996. As a volunteer, she tried to greet everyone coming through our doors, and chat with them on their way out. Freda was only four feet eight inches tall, but she had a huge personality – her presence could not be overlooked. Daughter of a rabbi, she lived by the simple principle of doing her best to make people feel happier.
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Freda was a teacher’s aide for 30 years at Devonshire school and began volunteering at Sun Youth 20 years ago. Everyone in the neighbourhood knew her as a woman who always had something to say. She couldn’t walk more than a few meters on St. Laurent or St. Urbain without bumping into someone she knew, which is why she was nicknamed “Mayor of St. Laurent” and “Queen of St. Urbain.” The funeral attracted a big following – family, neighbours, friends, and colleagues gathered at the Paperman & Sons funeral home January 29 to remember and honour her life.
Sun Youth sends condolences to Freda’s friends and family, including her Sun Youth family. We thank the loves of her life – her children Stanley Kopyto, Francine and Zvulun Salem, and grandchildren Asaf and Dana for sharing her with us all these years. We remember her laughter, her selflessness, her generosity, feistiness, determination, and deep concern for the well being of others. Loved by many, she will be greatly missed.