Maria (Marie/Mary) Martina Rushka (denBrok) passed away suddenly on February 2, 2019, at the age of 76.
Maria was born on February 25, 1942, in Mill, Netherlands. She was the oldest of 8 children born to John and Martina (Van der Heijden) denBrok. Maria lived in Mill until the age of 9 when John and Martina immigrated the family to Canada. They settled initially in Saltcoats. They later bought a farm in the Esterhazy area and named it “Rocky Bar Ranch”. Life was tough in Canada. Maria, at 9 years old, had to re-start school in Grade 1 because she did not speak English. Maria helped her parents take care of her 7 siblings. At the age of 16, she was asked to go to work to help provide for the family. Her first job was as a nanny to a family in Esterhazy. Later, Maria worked at The Galaxy cafe in Esterhazy where she met Bernard, who was working there as a mechanic.
On July 9, 1962, Maria and Bernard were united in marriage at Our Lady of Victories Roman Catholic Church in Esterhazy. In 1965, Maria and Bernard moved to Saltcoats. They purchased a service station which they owned and operated for 30 years. Maria ran the restaurant and Bernard ran the service station. Four years later they began their family and were blessed with two daughters, Brenda Marie and Angela Joyce.
Maria loved the outdoors. She was an avid gardener and had a special talent for growing vegetables and especially flowers. She took pleasure in designing a beautiful yard. She was happiest when she was outside gardening. Maria also loved to quilt and to crochet slippers and aphagans. She sewed barbie clothes, Halloween costumes, dresses, and made the family many matching outfits. She especially loved to dress the girls alike. Maria loved to bake and made the best buns, pies and puff wheat cake. Maria really enjoyed camping and going on Sunday drives to view the countryside. She loved to attend her grandchildren’s hockey games, drama presentations, softball games, music recitals and Christmas concerts. Maria and Bernard loved to experience new things and were very adventurous for the times. Over the years the family took trips to Expo ‘74 in Spokane, Black Hills, where they went on a helicopter tour at Mt. Rushmore, Yellowstone National Park, the Okanagan, Banff, Jasper, Waterton and many, many lakes in Manitoba and Saskatchewan. At 70 years of age, Maria finally got on a plane and found a new passion for flying. She travelled to Cabo San Lucas and Huatulco, Mexico. Maria loved to watch curling, to read, to play cards at the Saltcoats Laketown Leaders Group and helped out with community events in Saltcoats. She also attended many Yorkton Arts Council events with her neighbours.
Maria will never be forgotten by her two daughters. Brenda (Greg) Bay of Humboldt, SK, and their children, Colby (Kim), and their children, Ava and Emily; Shawn and Christian. Angela (Bruce) Werle of Langenburg, SK, and their children, Erin (Matt) Pappenfus; Evan and Kyle.
Maria was also survived by her brothers, Leo (Norma) denBrok, Rene (Jackie) denBrok, Martin (Mary) denBrok, Nick (Sandra) denBrok, Annette James, Rosalien (Ken) Dick. Brothers-in-laws John Sharp and Albert Ellingboe, as well as many nieces and nephews.
Maria was predeceased by her loving husband of 48 years, Bernard Rushka; parents John and Martina denBrok; in-laws Joseph and Pauline Rushka; sister Rita and her husband Albert Woloshyn; brother-in-law Harry James; brothers-and-sisters-in-laws Russell, Joan, Lulubell, Jean, Alton, Ella, Beverly, Betty, and Diane and infant Linda.
Prayers will be offered on Friday, February 8, 2019 at 7:00 pm from St. Gerard's Roman Catholic Church in Yorkton.
A Funeral Mass will be held for Maria on Saturday, February 9, 2019 at 11:00 am from St. Gerard's Roman Catholic Church in Yorkton with Fr. Louis Kim Nguyen celebrating.
Interment will follow in the St Joseph's Roman Catholic Cemetery.