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Mary Ryczak

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Obituary

Mary Ryczak (Haiko) was born in a log cabin on the farm near the village of Stenen, Saskatchewan, on June 12, 1922. Mary and her family had a difficult life during the 1920s and 1930s. She and her siblings had to walk a long way to school and there were many chores to be shared. When her father died on December 26, when she was a young teenager, the children were burdened with keeping the farm going. All the kids ate together out of one bowl and slept together in one bed. A trip to Canora by horse and buggy, nine miles away, would take several hours. An apple treat bought in town was cut into six pieces or more to share. In warmer months, Mary, as a young teenager, was sent to work as a housemaid for well-to-do farmers in the area. The meticulous demands of her employers instilled in Mary an attention to detail or fussiness that became a part of her outlook on life. For her, there was a right or wrong way to accomplish everything.

Her happiest recollections were the times when she would sit on her father's lap, and he would sing. Her love for her family was her greatest consolation. She would hear country bands at weddings and other occasions. She loved school and was always the top student in the multi-grade, one-room schoolhouse. As her prize one year, she was awarded a dictionary which she cherished. Her formal education stopped at grade eight as the family could not afford to buy her grade nine schoolbooks. Her love of music, reading, and acquiring knowledge in many areas persisted for the rest of her life.

Mary loved working with numbers and this, along with her acquired skills in food preparation, led her to success in the food service industry. As a young woman living in Winnipeg, she worked for many restaurants, bakeries, food stores, and catering companies. All the while, and into the future, she always allowed some of her younger brothers and their families to live with her until they settled in Winnipeg.

After Mary and Bill Ryczak were married, their home on Airlies Street was always open to many friends and family who dropped in frequently for visits. Michael's friends were always treated to the best Ukrainian food and hospitality. They treated Michael's friends and bandmates as their sons and attended as many concerts as possible. Mary’s reputation as an energetic worker and excellent cook led to the Redemptorist fathers asking her to serve as their cook at the rectory at St. Joseph's in the 1980s. She had a special affection for the Redemptorist fathers, and they were always welcomed for family meals and visits.

St. Joseph's parish was her spiritual and cultural home. When she wasn't working for Dominion stores or a caterer, Mary spent a lot of time attending church, singing in the parish choir, serving as the choir president, working as an executive member of the Ukrainian Catholic Women's League, serving as the parish's hall rental chairperson, and working with the other ladies of parish serving parish meals and teas.

Grandma and Grandpa Ryczak were doting grandparents who enjoyed special times with their granddaughters, Christine and Catherine, with Heather's parents and relatives during special events, holidays, and outings to Bird's Hill Park. Mary was very intelligent and independent. She enjoyed reading, watching her favourite tv programs, taking car rides, and walking with her pet cats to unwind. She loved old-time music and was a great dancer.

As a faith-filled person, Mary worked hard to provide a better life for her family than she experienced as a child. She was a hard worker but enjoyed having fun, frugal but generous, and serious but funny too. Her favourite saying in times of adversity was, "Do your best and make the best of it."

Mary Ryczak fell asleep in the Lord on Monday, December 19, at the Grace Hospital in Winnipeg. She was predeceased by her parents, Stephen and Tekla (Olyniuk) Haiko, stepfather Kasmir Przwienda, older sister Verna (Veronica) Zawyrucha, younger brothers William, Michael, Joseph, Anthony, Walter, Edward, and two sons, Larry and Ernest Shwets.

The Ryczak family would like to thank the physicians, nurses, and staff of Holy Family Home and Grace Hospital for their care. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made for Ukrainian Relief at these recommended sites: CNEW, Ukrainian Humanitarian Appeal (UCC-Manitoba branch), or the Canadian Red Cross, in which the Canadian government will match any donation.

Eternal Memory! Vichnaya Pamyat!

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Services

Divine Liturgy
Wednesday
December 28, 2022

10:00 AM
St. Joseph Ukrainian Catholic Church (Jefferson Avenue, Winnipeg)

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In Loving Memory Of

Mary Ryczak

December 31, 1969-December 19, 2022




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Online Memory & Photo Sharing Event
Ongoing
Online Event

profile

In Loving Memory Of

Mary Ryczak

December 31, 1969-December 19, 2022




Look inside to read what others have shared


Family and friends are coming together online to create a special keepsake. Every memory left on the online obituary will be automatically included in the book.   


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