Obituary – Katherine Strebchuk

Katherine Strebchuk

Katherine Strebchuk passed away peacefully early in the morning of Sunday, Aug. 30, 2020. She would have been 95 years old on Sept. 5.

Katherine will be remembered and sadly missed by her children: Willard Strebchuk [Elizabeth], Laurence Strebchuk [Juanita], Leo Strebchuk [Helene], Diane Strebchuk, and Garry Strebchuk. Her grandchildren: Kim Butler, Darrell Strebchuk, Christopher Strebchuk, Michelle Smith, Tyson Strebchuk, Quinton Strebchuk, Keaton Graham, Ravynn Graham and Jayce Strebchuk. Her great-grandchildren: Carter, Kyle, Aiden, Zachary, Caul, Naomi, Kesha, Kelsi, Ethan, Cody, Shawn, Kennedi, and Chad. And her great-great-grandchild Ryaen. Her brother Joseph Kiceniuk [Jessie] is the last surviving member of her birth family.

She was predeceased by her husband of 58 years, William [Bill] in 2002; her sisters Mary and Rose, and her brothers, Michael and Peter.

Katherine was a pioneering immigrant who came as a child of five from the Ukraine with her parents. Alongside her older sister and younger brother, she worked with her parents to establish a homestead in Sunset House. Later, as an 18-year-old at a summer country dance in Sunset House, she met William Strebchuk and the following year they were married in February 1944.

Katherine moved with William to his quarter section of land in Gilwood where they worked side by side to establish a homestead and grew it into a sizeable grain and livestock farm. They worked together every day until 1974 when they sold their farm, built a house in High Prairie and moved with their two youngest children to live a life less back-breaking.

Katherine had a love of gardening from when she was a young woman. It was evident in the huge vegetable garden, berry patches and flower beds on the farm and continued to her house in town. Whether it was her considerable vegetable garden or her profuse flower beds it was apparent upon seeing them that no tiny spot of land was wasted. She loved to gift her family with vegetables or berries she had grown or a small country bouquet from the flower bed to brighten up their tables. Her love of gardening continued long after she moved to Pleasantview Lodge and she looked forward to visits to her children’s gardens to admire their workmanship.

She also loved to prepare food for her family. As a young mother, she cooked as a necessity to feed her children and as her family grew up and left the nest, she continued to cook simply to show them her love. Her children have particularly fond memories of how the house would smell on bread baking day which also meant she had made cinnamon buns, cream buns or doughnuts. The fancier baking of cakes and squares was saved for special times.

Katherine would usually prepare the celebration feasts for her whole growing family on calendar holidays and that always meant her sought after holubtsi and varenyky.

She was also a master at canning and preserving everything she grew and that meant jars and jars of meat, fish, chicken, fruit, veggies, pickles and jam.

Katherine was a devoted mother, loving mother-in-law, and doting Baba. She adored being surrounded by her family and in later years displayed pictures of every single one of her children, daughter-in-laws and grandchildren on the walls of her room at the lodge.

Her family would like to publicly express their sincerest thanks and gratitude to the staff of Pleasantview Lodge and to Dr. Ali Niazee for their many years of caring and gentle care, as well as the professionals and staff at the High Prairie Health Complex for their attentive medical attention and friendship in her last days.

Katherine was interred on Sept. 8, 2020 at the Christ the King Cemetery in High Prairie. Because of COVID, only family members attended.

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