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Arkadia Kataryna (Bedrij) Pilskalns
February 12, 1939 ~ January 16, 2024 (age 84) 84 Years Old
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Stevensville - Arkadia Kataryna (Bedrij) Pilskalns peacefully joined our Lord on January 16, 2024 in Missoula, MT at the age of 84. Arkadia was born in Peremyshlyany, Ukraine on February 12, 1939 to Eustachy Bedrij and Olha (Banach) Bedrij. She survived crossing Europe as a refugee during the height of WWII eventually residing in Hohenems, Austria on the bank of the Rhine River. One of her youthful activities was swimming in the ice-cold water of the Rhine. She continued the pastime of swimming in cold mountain water into her late 70s. Her family immigrated to the United States in 1949 and moved to Rochester NY where she met her husband of almost 67 years Andrew Vitolds Pilskalns. They were married in 1957 and welcomed the next year their first child (Athena) of seven children (Eve, Arthur, Paul, Andrew, Arkadia and Orest). Arkadia’s legacy includes 60 grandchildren and 40 great grandchildren. Arkadia earned a degree in chemistry with high honors from Rochester Institute of Technology in 1959. Arkadia and her family often vacationed in Montana and decided to move to Missoula, MT in June of 1978. After five years in Missoula, they found their permanent home next to St. Mary’s Mountain in Stevensville Montana, where she resided until her death. Arkadia loved walking to her pond, where she observed wildlife and prayed. She corresponded often with her family and friends sending poetic letters with drawings. Arkadia was a devout Byzantine Catholic, and a devoted Wife and Mother. She found great joy and healing in nature and was an avid backpacker hiking most of the trails in the Bitterroot Valley many times. One of her favorite trails was St. Mary’s Peak, which she first ascended with her daughter Eve in 1978 to attend the annual Mass at the summit. Her many hiking adventures included week-long treks in the Bob Marshall Wilderness with her husband Andrew. Hobbies also included cultivating her flower garden at home, and being known for her culinary talents by cooking elaborate meals on a daily basis for her husband, children, friends, and guests. Arkadia exuded positive energy; she always saw the best in people. Her positivity was contagious and even to her last days, she uplifted spirits and comforted the grieving. She will be dearly missed by all that knew her. Arkadia was predeceased by her parents, her brother Orest Bedrij, her daughter Arkadia Nicklay, and grandchildren Andris Nicklay and Mercedes Abernathey. She is survived by her loving husband Andrew V. Pilskalns, her daughters Athena (Brad) Abernathey, and Eve (Michael) Williams, her sons Arthur (Michelle) Pilskalns, Paul (Nanci) Pilskalns, Andrew (Elise) Pilskalns, Orest (Sasha) Pilskalns, and her sister Tatiana Evanitsky of Pittsford, N.Y., 60 grandchildren and 40 great-grandchildren. The family of Arkadia Pilskalns wishes to extend our sincere thanks to the kind and compassionate comfort care of Hilda’s Room at Community Hospital, especially to Anthony, Lexi, Dr. Eric Larsen, Renee, Sandra, Brigette, and Judith. A funeral Byzantine Divine Liturgy will be held at St. Mary’s Church on Wednesday, January 24 at 11:00 a.m. with the burial following immediately.