Volodymyr (Vlad) Nedoshytko’s dream was to come to Canada from his native Ukraine and to attend university. He was living that dream as a York University student heading into his fourth year when he died suddenly on Sunday, July 20. He was 19.
He was a hard-working, dedicated and outgoing student pursuing the e-commerce development stream of the Information Technology Program in the School of Information Technology, Faculty of Liberal Arts and Professional Studies. Although both his parents are medical doctors, Mr. Nedoshytko had his own ideas for his future. He was intent on owning his own 3D imaging business.
He not only studied information technology, he worked as a web designer, a technical support associate and a computer lab support technician at the University. He spoke English, Ukrainian, Russian and Polish.
“He wanted to live his life to the fullest,” says his mother Tetyana Nedoshytko. “That’s why we made the decision to immigrate to Canada…. He loved Canada…. He loved York.” It took more than four years to get to Canada, but at the age of 16, Mr. Nedoshytko and his mother arrived, and by the time he turned 17 he was enjoying life as a student at York. This was his dream. He believed he could be successful and accomplish everything he wanted in life living in Canada.
He studied day and night to reach his goals, but his mother never heard him complain. Instead, he was always smiling. “I remember in every situation, a smile on his face,” says his mother. She says he believed that “every minute of your life has to bring something new in your life…. He was doing everything to reach his goals, everything…. He was always 10 steps ahead.”
York University Professor Marshall Walker, undergraduate program director for the School of Information Technology, says Mr. Nedoshytko was an exceptional and brilliant young man. “His passing grieves me. I first met Volodymyr in a large first-year mathematics course aimed at information technology students. Out of the 100 or so students, Volodymyr stood out as if a light were shining on him. Walking into the lecture it was immediately obvious that this was a person of substance.”
Walker was supervising Mr. Nedoshytko individually this summer in the 4000 level information technology project course. “In the outline he presented for the course, he knew exactly what he wanted to accomplish and his plan was impressively detailed. This alone was unusual. Following, I had two meetings with him in which he delivered hour-long letters on his work. I was stunned. This was original, far-reaching work – clearly publishable,” says Walker. “Having a 19-year-old undergraduate publishing in a technical journal is something few people would have heard of. His final lecture was to be held next Monday…. This is a true tragedy.”
Mr. Nedoshytko was highly organized. He had reams of to-do lists for the week, the month, the year. He was highly driven. He took summer courses to fast-track his studies. “Ever since he was a small boy he always knew what he wanted,” says his mother. “My son was the smartest person I knew in my whole life.”
Marius Dobre, who was also teaching Mr. Nedoshytko this summer, calls him “a very capable, bright and polite student.” Dobre says he was “impressed with Volodymyr’s capacity of analysis and extraordinary dedication to studying…. As he was also a full-time employee, I further respected his commitment to school.”
Mr. Nedoshytko also gave back to his community. Somehow he found the time to help others as a national trainer for AIESEC, a student-run, non-profit organization helping to provide leadership development for Canadian youth, as well as global internships. In addition, he started his own organization to help inform York students of the benefits of healthy living. He took yoga classes and Muay Thai, enjoyed heading out on his bicycle and was a dedicated vegetarian.
He was an avid science fiction fan and loved American movies, such as The Matrix and Gravity, which he watched six times with his mother. He also played chess at a high level in Ukraine.
Mr. Nedoshytko leaves behind his mother, father and step-father, as well as his grandfather Nikolai, his grandmother Svitlana.
He also leaves his wife, Oksana, who says: “I fell in love when I was in 10th grade in high school with a great handsome guy who was smarter than anybody else. He was always a loyal, sweet and caring boyfriend and then a husband. He was my inspiration and a person I could always rely on; somebody who had a million things to do, but still he could always find time for everything. He always tried his best at everything and I knew that he was about to ‘move mountains’, I knew he could… He was not only the best husband, he was my best friend as well.”
The flags on the Main Keele and Glendon flagpoles and those at Passy residences will be flying at half-mast from 9am on Friday, July 25 until 1pm on Saturday, July 26 to commemorate the passing of Mr. Nedoshytko.
Visiting hours will be on Friday, July 25, from 2 to 4pm and 7 to 9pm, at Newediuk Kipling Chapel – Newediuk Funeral Home, 2058 Kipling Ave. in Toronto. For more information or directions, call Newediuk at 416-745-7555.
The funeral service will be held at 10am on Saturday, July 26 at Newediuk Kipling Chapel followed by interment at Assumption Cemetery, 6933 Tomken Rd. at Derry Rd., Mississauga. For more information, call Assumption Cemetery at 905-670-8801.