It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of our beloved mother, grandma, and baba peacefully at the age of 92 on Saturday, January 22, 2022, at Riverview Health Centre in Winnipeg, Manitoba.

Maria was predeceased by her husband Henryk in October 1998 leaving a huge void in her heart and her great-great grandson Emmett Santos-Oleksiw in August 2020.

Remaining to forever cherish her memory are her daughters Theresa (John) Sousa and Christine (Alvin) Shachtay. She is also survived by her grandchildren, David Sousa (Cassandra Reis), Brittany Sousa (Shem Maxwell), Bonnie (Andrew) Pollreis, Diane Shachtay (Curtis Buhay) and great-grandchildren, Paige & Owen Pollreis, Tyler Santos (Quynh Pham), Kayla Santos (Zaz Oleksiw) and great-great grandson Bodie Santos-Oleksiw.

Maria fought a long hard battle to remain on earth, having survived several strokes in a short time and fought right until the end. She never lost her zest for life and always said she wanted to live to be 100 years old. She had a sparkle in her eye right until the end that could always make you smile. 

Mom was born February 10, 1929, in Poland. Following the onset of the second world war at the age of 11, mom and her family were forcibly deported in 1940 to Siberia living in a concentration camp while her dad was taken to serve in the war. When amnesty was declared in 1941, mom along with her mother and sisters worked their way by boat, train and foot south across the Soviet Union and through the Middle East eventually reaching the Polish refugee camp in South Rhodesia now known as South Africa.

At the end of the war with her mother and one sister who survived, she went to England to meet up with her father. There they started to live a better life. Mom met Dad (Henryk) in England and was married in 1950, but their journey was not over. After a few years Mom, Dad and Krystyna along with Mom’s parents made way to Montreal aboard the ship Queen Elizabeth and finally to Winnipeg where they settled in their new home. In 1961 they were blessed to have a second daughter Theresa.

Our mom was a strict, hard-working woman who loved and cared deeply for her family. She enjoyed spending time outdoors especially in summer sitting on the deck doing her “Search Word” books. Mom was best known for her perogies and apple pies, no one could make them like her, and she knew that.  She will be greatly missed.

A special thank you to all the doctors and nurses on 3East at Riverview Health Centre, who took such wonderful care of mom and our family during her time there. We would also like to thank her home care workers and a special thank you to Jennifer and Lana from the WRHA Community Palliative Care Program; without your help and guidance, it would have been much harder to care for her during this difficult time.

Prayer vigil and viewing will be held on Tuesday, February 1 at 7:00 pm at Cropo Funeral Chapel (1442 Main Street) for up to 100 fully vaccinated family and friends (Masks Mandatory). Private Funeral liturgy will be held on Wednesday, February 2 at 10am at Holy Ghost Roman Catholic Church. Live stream available at Interment will follow at Holy Ghost Cemetery where all are welcome to attend.   

In Lieu of flowers, donations can be made to one of the following in Maria’s honour: Riverview Health Centre, Diabetes Canada or the Heart & Stroke Foundation

“Goodbyes are not forever; this is not the end.

It simply means - we will miss you!”

Until we meet again… Forever in our hearts

A Memorial Tree was planted for MARIA
We are deeply sorry for your loss ~ the staff at 1442 Main Street
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