Jesus called Mom home in the early morning hours of Sunday, February 26th, 2023. Her departure was ever so peaceful. Gracefully, she accepted Jesus’ invitation to join Him and her family and friends in His glorious Kingdom.
In Catherine’s 94 years, she celebrated many joyous occasions, encountered many hurdles, and grieved over the loss of loved ones. At the young age of two, she lost her father; and then at twenty-one, she said “Good-bye” to her mother. Growing up in a family with eleven siblings during the 1930’s presented its own set of challenges. Catherine admired her mother’s strength and determination to carry on the family farm after her father’s death. In those years, money was scarce. She valued and appreciated the simplicity of life. In her eyes, sugar sprinkled on a buttered slice of homemade bread was a treat. Catherine’s mother, her role model, taught her the value of money, hard work, and family ethics. (and stick-to-itiveness). She carried these values throughout her lifetime.
From the beginning of their marriage, Dad and Mom together started building their life and farm. They truly worked side-by-side. Give Mom a tractor and cultivator … and she was in her sweet spot. Her first tractor was a Massey-Ferguson 44, and eventually, she upgraded to a Massey 1135. Bigger was better. At harvest, she parked herself on her Massey 410 combine. The love for farming and the love of farm life was ingrained in her. They raised cattle, pigs, and poultry, and of course, milked cows. All their efforts advanced the farm and made a comfortable living to support themselves and their family.
Life came with its share of challenges. Mom was brave in the face of these hurdles. When Dad’s health slowly declined after being diagnosed with Parkinson’s, she became his caregiver. When she faced cancer on two separate occasions, she fought these battles and won. When Dad needed more care and moved to the nursing home, she was committed to visiting him daily. When she transitioned from farm-living to town-living, she embraced the move. Her stick-to-itiveness helped as she carried on life’s journey.
Baba’s greatest joys were family visits and birthday celebrations. Nothing could top a family supper on a Sunday evening or a game of Hola. Life simple pleasures were Chinese food and a glass of Royal Red wine. She enjoyed her out-of-town excursions. “Let’s go to Melville.” Baba especially treasured her spa dates. They brought many laughs.
Mom’s talents for cooking and baking were top-notch. Simple and tasty was her style. She ensured she prepared plenty of food to eat with leftovers to take home. Everyone always received their favorites. Matrimonial and peanut butter marshmallow squares along with her specialty, rosettes. The secret ingredients in her delicious buckwheat cabbage rolls were both love and bacon grease.
Baba will be forever remembered for her keen advice and wisdom.
• Relationship and Dating. “You’ve got a boyfriend. No! That’s good. Be like Jesus, love them all!”
• Common Sense. “If you leave hungry, it will be your own fault.”
• Financial Wisdom. “Spend it wisely, because you only get to spend it once.”
• Healthy Eating Plan. “Have a Wagon Wheel; they’re in the pantry next to the bag of chocolate bars and chips.”
• Preventive Measures. “Always leave the house in clean underwear. You never know when you might be in an accident.”
Catherine leaves to cherish her memories and celebrate her life: two daughters, Delores and her husband, Ladmer Moskal; and Nancy and her husband, Donny Leontowich; grandchildren, Justin Kowalchuk and his wife, Kimberley (children: Layla and Liam), Leslie and her husband, Ryan Bulych (children: Grace and Ella), Lindsey and her husband, Chris Palmer (children: Cohen and Grayson), Lanjell and her husband, Daric Manz (children Norah and Charlee), and Lucinda and her partner, Cory Holden.
Private services were held at Sacred Heart Ukrainian Catholic Parish followed by interment next to her beloved husband, Joseph in the Sacred Heart Ukrainian Catholic Cemetery in Ituna.
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