Who was Kara Burmachuk? Ice hockey legend Mark Pavelich's wife died after tragic fall from second-floor balcony
Ice hockey legend Mark Pavelich, recognized as "Miracle on Ice" for his Olympic success among other achievements, died on March 4, 2021 at a mental illness treatment center in Minnesota. He was 63-year-old at the time.
Pavelich had been coping up with loneliness probably since 2012, when he tragically lost his wife Kara Burmachuk Pavelich in an accident. On September 6, 2012, Burmachuk fell from a second-story balcony with no railing and succumbed to death. She was 44-year-old at that time.
Who was Kara Burmachuk?
Kara Burmachuk was the second wife of Mark Pavelich whom he married in 1994, following his divorce from his first wife Sue Koski in 1989.
Born on February 7, 1968, Burmachuk grew up in Tofte, Minnesota under the love and care of her father Brian and mother Beverly, who also taught her to play classical piano. At 22, Barmachuk went on to win a contest after playing Frederic Chopin's Revolutionary Etude and later got the chance to play with Thunder Bay Symphony Orchestra.
Later, Kara developed an interest in stylized acrylic painting and became well-reckoned for her artwork on canvas, T-shirts, and rocks.
Kara was recognized in the artistic domain for her unique style and her work was regularly exhibited at fairs and galleries in Duluth, Two Harbors, Grand Rapids, the Cook County Farm, and the Craft Market in Grand Marais.
On her artist profile, Kara described herself as: "I am an artist who grew up on the North Shore of Lake Superior. Here there is no shortage of inspiration, the surroundings are beautiful and we have lots of fish and wildlife. Sometimes I like to just paint local landscapes on location or just sketch in the field and bring them home to be finished."
Kara and Mark Pavelich's relationship
Kara met Mark in the early 1990s, and the duo tied the knot in 1994, two years after Mark completed his NHL career. At that time, Mark Pavelich was divorced, with a daughter from his previous marriage.
Kara and Mark Pavelich did not have any children but were happily in love with each other. Together, the couple artistically indulged in renovating their home in Deer Yard Lake - where Kara did the stonework, Mark hand-crafted all the home furniture. Notably, Pavelich was pursuing a post-athletic career as a land developer at the time.
On her artist profile, Kara mentioned how her family is "super important' to her". "My family is super important to me, so I enjoy working right at home or on our boat out on Lake Superior," she stated.
Her tragic death came as a shock to Mark and the couple's extended family. She reportedly fell from a height of 20 feet from the second-floor balcony. “Mark and Kara were like pioneers out there and really have accomplished so much,” said Kara's father Brian Burmachuk after her death.