In Loving Memory of
Friday, September 13, 2019
Our Lady of Perpetual Help Roman Catholic Church
Memorial donations in memory of Wanda may be made to the Wifi Committee at the Wynyard Integrated Facility.
With her children by her side, Wanda Kowalski went home to Heaven on September 6, 2019, in Wynyard, SK. She was born on January 22, 1933 on the farm near Erwood, SK. They were not able to get to the hospital in Hudson Bay as they had no means of transportation other than taking the train. She was the fourth of twelve children, with a sibling being born approximately every two years. The older children helped look after the younger children. Wanda said her father was a great provider and her mother was a great cook. They raised their own animals for meat and grew a huge garden. They had cows for their dairy and made cottage cheese. They were always very well fed and clothed. She said her mother would make a turkey size roaster of Nalysnyky for their family! Wanda said she had a very happy childhood. Her mother died in 1967 when there were still young children at home. She welcomed her youngest siblings every summer to her house in Wishart. They looked forward to the summers and going to stay with their older sister, even though Wanda had four children of her own.
After finishing school, Wanda moved to Dauphin, MB where she worked at a grocery store. She met and married Leo Kowalski and they moved to Wishart. They had four children: Greg, Carol, Audrey and Darren. Wanda drove the school bus for years. She worked for a brief period at “Crawfords” in Wynyard and at the Hotel in Wishart before she started at the Bankend Hotel. She worked there until she retired when she turned 65. She also kept the Credit Union in Wishart spick and span. She took pride in making sure it was clean as a whip and treated it like it was her own home.
Family was EVERYTHING to Wanda. Growing up her children came first and she put their needs in front of hers all the time, making sure they always had the most modern clothes. Nearly every Sunday in the summer months the whole family went to Fishing Lake. She got fresh cream from Anne Kowalski to make creamed chicken with carrots and potatoes. She always got there early so that the car could be parked at the main beach in the shade as the roaster was in the trunk in a white styrofoam cooler. When the kids grew up and Carol had a cabin, the gathering moved there… there were people sleeping everywhere and Wanda was usually in a double bed with a grandchild on each side of her. She loved everyone getting together, walking around the lake with grandchildren and taking them to the booth on the main beach for fries and ice cream. She loved sitting on the beach and watching the kids play. She was always baking and taking cookies and buns to Carol and Greg’s house. When Audrey came home, a load of stuff always went back with her. She loved watching the grandkids; they were her world. And then the great grandchildren started coming, with the first one being born on her own birthday! She loved having the grandchildren overnight and spoiled them with anything they wanted to eat. They loved going to Grandma’s when they were little and that didn’t change as everyone grew up and moved away. Her house in Wishart was the ‘hub’. Wanda was all about cooking, no one ever left her house hungry. At Christmas, everyone cramped into her house. She had every dish you could imagine, all of everyone’s favorites. Her “one bite perogies” were to die for and her mushroom sauce was the best. And her deep fried perogies, well they were in a class of her own. The gift exchange had to be done in shifts as everyone couldn’t quite fit in the living room. It was so loud and so much fun. Santa always came too, not overnight, but right after supper. She made a special request that he show up live for all the children. Always a commotion but a fun one - the joke was “everyone is talking and no one is listening”. Some went to mass on Christmas Eve and some stayed home. There was a huge lunch ready by midnight and we’re not talking a bun with a piece of meat! It was another hot meal of leftovers and that’s when the deep fried perogies were served.
Wanda loved playing bingo and many of the grandchildren got that gene. When she lived in Wishart the kids knew she was usually not home most weeknights until 10:30 so there was no point calling. She had many friends that also loved bingo and they always took turns driving to Punnichy to the bingo hall. When she was no longer able to go to bingo she played radio bingo and then, when she moved to Wynyard, every Saturday she played Access TV bingo. There were many gatherings on Saturdays at 5:00 at her apartment in Westview and then at Golden Acres when she moved there. Saturday night bingo at Grandma’s was a huge hit. Supper was picked up at the restaurant and the bingo party began. When she was playing alone, the staff knew it was bingo night and her supper came early. She loved the activities there and participated in everything. Yes, they had bingo too and she was a regular winner!!!
She loved game shows. Her favorites were The Price is Right and Wheel of Fortune. Wanda loved to watch curling and she was very vocal about who she liked and didn’t like. Jennifer Jones, Chelsea Carey, not at the top of her list… she was a Rachel Homan fan and really liked the Silvernagle team this year. As the for men... Brad Gushue, sorry not a fan! But, Brendan Bottcher, she liked him.
Wanda took pride in her house and her yard. Things were always as neat as a pin. Her flowers were spectacular and her grass always neatly cut. The poor birds took a beating though as there was never a speck on her windows! She always grew a huge garden and was quick to share her produce with anyone who didn’t have something she grew. She loved hummingbirds and looked forward to hanging her feeders up right in front of her kitchen window so she could see the birds come and go.
It was a hard decision for Wanda in 2011 when it was time to move into Wynyard but she adjusted quickly and enjoyed the years she spent at Westview. She made many friends there. She loved playing cards, three-spot was her game, and they played regularly there. They had shuffleboard there too and, from all her years working in the bar, she was a good player. She hosted a few Christmas celebrations in the common room there as well. She bought the groceries and the girls cooked. There was even a family bingo game. In late 2017 she moved into Golden Acres and grew to love it there as well. There were many people there that she knew, both residents and staff and she made more new friends too, played cards and loved the activities there. She participated in everything that she could. She loved the staff; she formed relationships quickly and the day she passed, there wasn’t a dry eye in the place.
Wanda leaves to mourn her son Greg Kowalski of Wishart and two daughters Carol McDougall (Randy Fenton) of Wynyard and Audrey (Terry Robinson) of Estevan. Her memory will be cherished by her grandchildren Lukas Kowalski (Lara), Brian Kowalski (Stephen), Jasen Kowalski (Bailey), Pam Onufreychuk (Curtis), Ryan McDougall (Monica), Dallas McDougall (Courtnay), Derek McDougall (Nicole), Evan Dubiel, Erin Bertsch (Darren) and Nathan Dubiel (Alisha) and her great grandchildren Scarlett Kowalski, Maisie Kowalski, Roland Onufreychuk, Molly McDougall, McCal McDougall, Wrenn Bertsch, Parks Bertsch, Brynn Dubiel and Wyatt Dubiel. She is also survived by her sisters Ollie, Elsie, Diana and Doreen and her brothers Jerry and Adolf.
Wanda was predeceased by her son Darren Kowalski, Leo Kowalski, parents Michael and Stella Bondarchuk, sister Lydia and brothers Walter, Bill, Dan and Albert.
Her children want to express their gratitude for the care and respect shown to both Wanda and her family during her stay at Golden Acres and especially the last few days leading up to her passing. Also, thank you to Dr. Salter and Dr. Mark and all the staff there. You all made mom’s last days wonderful.
“Mom… you were there for our first breath and we were there for your last. Rest in Peace. We will miss you.”
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