Mary passed away peacefully on March 24, 2023, at Golden Acres at the age of 94, with her family by her side.
Mary was born on a farm SE 24-31-15 W2 in the Wishart area to Alex and Mary (nee Mardynalka) Bzdel on March 3, 1929. Mary was the second youngest of seven children. Mary’s mom passed away in October of 1930, and Alex remarried Mary Blyszczak in February of 1931. Their union added five more children to the family. Mary and her siblings attended the Royal Rock School. Mary had very good athletic ability and really enjoyed playing ball with the boys. Mary was so good that Mac Leschyshyn often requested to have her on his team.
Mary often shared stories of her childhood. She would share how she looked after her younger siblings, and when she grew older, she shared many stories about being old enough to work with the men. She often reflected on stooking, pulling roots, gardening, and tending to the horses, as well as doing field work.
Mary loved gardening and had many gardens all prospering at the same time. She was very aware on when potatoes required planting and understood weather systems and how they impacted plant growth and garden vitality. When Mary gardened, she made sure to plant plenty for her family and all the families nearby.
Mary married Steven Walter Kopchuk, the son of Walter and Lena (nee Nahuluk) Kopchuk, on August 14, 1949. Steve was employed as a machinist in Wynyard for the Canadian Pacific Railway at the Roundhouse, where he maintained and rebuilt steam locomotives. During this time, Steve and Mary welcomed their four children: Lawrence, Karen, Paulette, and Janice. Mary’s days were lovingly filled with raising their children, gardening, sewing, baking, cooking, and tending to her flowerbeds.
They moved from Wynyard to Saskatoon in May 1960, when Steve got employed as a machinist for Bowman Brothers. During their time in Saskatoon, Mary was employed at the Dell as a waitress and then a hostess. She also, during that same time, served at banquets at the Bessborough. Mary then moved on to work at the Record Shop, where she was offered regular work hours selling records. Mary often shared how proud she was to receive regular work hours at that time – this wasn’t a common feat for a woman.
Mary and Steve moved back to Wynyard in 1966, when Steve and his brother-in-law Alex Bzdel, purchased the Wynyard Machine Shop. This is also when they welcomed their fifth child, Shannon, into the family.
Mary and Steve settled in Wynyard with their children. Steve retired in 1986, and him and Mary enjoyed spending their time visiting with their children and grandchildren. They could also be found relaxing at their cabin at Buckhorn Bay. Mary also loved walking everyday – multiple times a day. It was her time to reflect on the days accomplishments and be present in her body and her thoughts. Mary was also a lifelong member of the UCWLC.
Mary passed along many teachings to her children and grandchildren. Her grandchildren would often stop in for breakfast before school, for snacks, a visit, and to hear grandma and grandpa’s stories. Mary and Steve were welcoming and appreciated spending quality time with their loved ones. The most notable memories shared by Mary centered around baking and cooking for her family – specifically for Christmas, Easter, and Thanksgiving. Her recipes and ways of bringing family together was important to Mary, and something she proudly passed on to her children.
Mary’s wisdom on important topics and life’s teachings will forever be treasured and passed along by her family.
Mary will be lovingly remembered by her children Lawrence (Angie) Kopchuk, Karen (Erling) Brakefield, Paulette (Bernie) Scyrup, and Shannon (Jacqueline) Kopchuk. Mary will also be lovingly remembered by her 15 grandchildren, 17 great grandchildren, and 2 great great grandchildren.
Mary is predeceased by her parents, Alex and Mary (nee Mardynalka) Bzdel, Mary (nee Blyszczak) Bzdel, brothers Nick (Victoria), Pete (Jean), Alex (Alexandra), Andrew, Joe, and John; sisters Annie (Nick) Latoski, Olga (Pete) Onyskevitch, and Eva (George) Kucey. Mary is also predeceased by her beloved daughter Janice Speers and loving husband Steve Kopchuk.
Mary is survived by her brother Mike (Theresa) Bzdel, sister-in-law Dianne (Andrew) Bzdel, sister-in-law Sylvia (Joe) Bzdel and sister Catherine (Sylvester) Bzdel.
To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Mary (Bzdel) Kopchuk, please visit our floral store.