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Nina Kanyeva
Nina Kanyeva

Nina Kanyeva, 84, of Monroe passed away on Thursday, May 16, 2024 at St. Mary’s Hospital in Madison. She was born in Ukraine four days after the outbreak of World War II.  She saved her mother’s life twice during her preschool years in a Nazi slave labor camp outside Berlin.  Repatriated to Ukraine after the war, she and her mother survived Stalin’s mass starvation campaign against Ukrainians by fleeing to Siberia. Later, they returned to Ukraine and took up residence in an abandoned warehouse with a dirt floor.  Overcoming these hardships, Nina graduated from a music academy and taught piano in Siberia’s Far East and later Zaporizhzhia, Ukraine, where she met and married the late Volodymyr Kanyev, another talented pianist.  After retiring on a $300 per year pension, Nina enjoyed touring Germany as part of a Ukrainian choir.  She emigrated to the United States in 2004 to live with her daughter in Monroe, Wisconsin and Wellington, Florida.  Shortly after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in 2022, Nina gave a benefit concert which raised over $3,000 in support of World Food Kitchen’s efforts to feed Ukrainian refugees.

Nina is survived by three daughters, Olena Kiselyova of Fitchburg, Iryna Iegorova of Mahmultar, Turkey, and Natasha Patterson of Monroe, as well as six grandchildren and three great-grandchildren.  She is further survived by two sisters, Alla Barsukova and Valentina Raikina both of Ukraine.

Funeral Services will be held on Monday, May 20, 2024 at Noon 12:00 PM at Grace Lutheran Church with Pastor John Tabaka officiating.  A private family burial will take place in Greenwood Cemetery.

Shriner Hager Gohlke Funeral Home is assisting the family.  Condolences may be sent to the family at: