It is with tender hearts that we announce the passing of our cherished mother, Shirley Judith Halayda, nee Powlowski, on Tuesday February 6, 2018 at Seven Oaks Hospital. Shirley was predeceased by her mother, Antonia (Horbaty) and Stanley Powlowski; her son Anthony; and, sister Christine Rose Powlowski (Woloshen). She is survived by her loving husband, Bob; sisters Marguerite (Bernie) Wenden, Cathy (Bob) Serban and Gwen (Murray) Lowes; daughter, Natasha (Sean Procter); Anthony’s partner Erin Swirsky; and grandchildren Edwin and Solaiya (Procter) and Lily-Jane Halayda-Swirsky as well as many other nieces, nephews and loved ones.
Our mother was a beautiful, determined, courageous woman who guided our family through life’s joys and challenges with all of her heart. She taught us to be at our best, to never cower from a challenge, to be kind and thoughtful and to always share with others. She instilled in us these values, leading by example; always giving generously of her time and expertise despite her full schedule. With her life’s partner Bob, she enjoyed innumerable laughter-filled adventures. She glowed in nature, in her gardens and at the cottage, lounging in a sun hat and reading while everyone else went fishing.
In her career, Shirley was a dedicated classroom teacher, a noted educator among her peers and a life-long learner. She began her career in a two-room schoolhouse in Seven Sisters, where she promptly was appointed principal. The following year, she was hired by Winnipeg School Division No. 1 and spent several years at Pinkham School. In 1973, Shirley was chosen to be one of eleven candidates for the Faculty Assistants Program, a joint project between the University of Manitoba Faculty of Education and Winnipeg School Division. When she completed the program she was a classroom teacher at David Livingstone School. Here, she was also involved with teaching teachers in after-school in-services. These experiences evolved into presenting opportunities for educator conferences across Manitoba, Canada and the United States. She was a literacy leader and mentor, contributing professionally to the Reading Council of Greater Winnipeg (several positions including president); the International Reading Association; the Child-centered, Experience-based, Learning Group Incorporated (also several positions including president); the Whole Language Umbrella and the Reading Recovery Program of Winnipeg No. 1, for which she was the divisional consultant. One of the highlights of her career was travelling to New Zealand, with Bob, to study Reading Recovery, as designed by Marie Clay. Before she passed a beloved colleague wrote “(Shirley) has made our city a stronger place to build literacy skills for thousands of students. Please convey to your Mom our deepest appreciation for all she has done for us as students, educators, mothers and literacy leaders in Manitoba. She was a role model as an educator and working mother who inspired us to be the best that we could be so that we could make a positive impact and “bloom where we were planted”.’
Our family thanks everyone for their support and kindness in this difficult time. We thank the Homecare and agency professionals who attentively cared for Shirley: Sandy, Rowena, Alma, Esperanza, Kristelyn, Nicole, Feliciana, Lolita, Annabelle, Anastasia and Barbara. In lieu of flowers, please buy (and read) a book for a child you love or donate a book to any child-serving agency you support.
Funeral Divine Liturgy will be celebrated by Fr. Volodymyr Bashutskyy at Blessed Virgin Mary Church, 965 Boyd Avenue, on Friday, February 16, 2018 at 10:30 a.m. with reception and burial to follow.
KORBAN FUNERAL CHAPEL