To our beloved Mother and Nana: What an exciting and fascinating life you had–living to almost 103! We bid you farewell as you go gently into the good night, are reunited with Dad and your dearly loved Kiecka family, and begin the next chapter in your book of life. You raged bravely against illness and death so many times; we teased you that you had more lives than a cat. We thank you for the greatest gift of all: life, but also the gifts of love, parenting, wisdom, guidance, trust, support, laughter, patience, a shoulder to cry on, food, friendship, encouragement. You loved to tell stories of the family and friends. You were so mentally alert with an excellent memory, and wonderful sense of humour. Even in the last few months, you were still moving your bedroom furniture, cooking up a big pot of soup, watching the news and documentaries, going for walks, and spending time with family and friends. Just last year, you were baking bread, sewing, and helping yourself to rhubarb and raspberries in the back alleys around Luther Tower. A few years ago, you had over 100 tomato plants which you planted in the flower beds at Luther and gave away.
You were a barefoot girl on a poor Ontario farm, a survivor of a Catholic boarding school, who left home at 14 and a grade 7 education to work as a maid for wealthy families in Toronto; supported the war efforts by making guns in the Small Arms Plant during WWII; played in an accordion band; met our dad (Alick) at a dance and married in 1945; relocated to small Saskatchewan towns (Radisson, Paynton, Meadow Lake) to live, raised 3 children and had huge, beautiful gardens; said farewell to Dad in 1970; later worked in a store, cooked, housekept, babysat; and moved to Saskatoon in 1987. Your last home was Luther Tower where you were very active and made many friends.
You enjoyed life: dancing, reading, golf, walking (always fast), cooking, sewing and quilt making, gardening, writing poems and short stories, tile rummy, and travelling. Your last trip at 90 was to say goodbye to your Boychuk family, visit all the places you lived and worked in Ontario. When you were 89, we went to discover our family roots in Ukraine where the food and beer were wonderful. Other trips included the Holy Land, Europe, Mexico, United States, and most of Canada. You had a fine collection of stones from your travels.
You valued family, love, simplicity, thriftiness, learning and education, goodness, health, generosity, self-improvement. You often wondered what you would have done if you went to university, possibly a nutritionist or a psychologist. You were born in an era that limited the potential of females, thus not realizing your potential as a woman. In the 1960’s, you went back to school to upgrade yourself to a grade 12 standing. We remember your love of making lists and organizing, purging and tidiness. What changes you saw in your lifetime: from horse and buggy to rocket ships, from letter to internet, from cod liver oil to antibiotics. You were an amazing, smart, positive, spirited person, mother, grandmother, and mentor. You are the last of the Kiecka kids in Canada! From one of your favourite songs: “You are my sunshine/ My only sunshine/ You make me happy/ When skies are gray/ You’ll never know, dear/ How much I love you”. We love and miss you, your children: Robert, Ruth Bare, Peter (Marianne), and grandchildren Teresa (Dustin), Grant, Devin (Heather), Ashley (Breen), and great grandchildren, and the Boychuk family.
As Vera Lynn sang these words of this famous wartime song and to which our mother danced: “We’ll meet again/ Don’t know where/ Don’t know when/ But I know we’ll meet again some sunny day.”
Mom and the family would like to give a special thank you to the medical staff at St Paul’s Hospital (ER, 5th and 6thfloors), City Hospital (6200), and Medavie Ambulance Services and to the wonderful, caring staff (Darryl, Carla, Sharon, Nurse Heather) and friends at Luther Tower and for the book of good wishes. Gratitude is extended to Pastor Heather Anderson for visits and Mom’s last Communion.
Rest in peace and free from pain, Mom, in that big garden in the sky with your family and friends who you have outlived!
Martens Warman Funeral Home is honoured to be entrusted with the care and arrangements of Mrs. Katarynych.