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ALBINA RAZMA (published on February 14, 2009)

ALBINA RAZMA (nee BRAZAUSKAS) 1919 - 2009 Gracefully in the presence of family and staff, Albina passed away on the evening of Saturday, February 7, 2009. She was predeceased by an infant son in 1949; husband Julius in 1984; and 19 siblings. She is survived by a son Ramutis of Calgary; and a daughter Joana of Winnipeg; sisters Elena and Antose of Lithuania and nieces and nephews in Winnipeg, Europe and the USA. Albina was born on May 10, 1919 into a large rural family in Lithuania. She treasured warm memories of a youth spent shepherding flocks of geese and ducks, sheep and cattle. She told of the countryside echoing with song as their large band of brothers and sisters returned home in the evenings from working the fields. Albina told of our folklore and traditions, music and dancing, of sibling pranks and charity towards others. The horror of the Second World War abruptly ended the security of her youth. The advancing front swept through the country leaving their homestead smoldering. They rebuilt. Short years later as the front retreated, all was destroyed. With deep sadness she heeded her mother's urging to take her dying brother and travel westward with the retreating armies to escape impending Soviet occupation. Albina's tales of this perilous time were not without humour. Like the day their group secured a lamb for dinner a rare extravagance. Suddenly, enemy planes roared overhead, strafing the ground around them. As they hit the dirt, a priest among them fell on the lamb to shield it. When the dust settled they howled with laughter at the absurdity of risking life to save a lamb for slaughter. But humour could not erase the scars of war, exile and family slain or deported to Siberia to labor in the wilderness for another decade. V. E. day found Albina and her brother, who she had nursed back to health, in a refugee camp in the Austrian Alps. There she met and married Julius Razma. She passed the time there being romanced by Julius, hiking the Alps and taking courses in the likes of pastry-making and couture. They immigrated to Canada in 1949, settled in Winnipeg and started a family. One of their happiest years was spent working together in the kitchen at the St. Charles Country Club. In 1954 they moved to Firdale, Manitoba and farmed for the next 30 years. Albina planted trees, berry bushes, flowers and a garden. Her sewing skills served the family well. She raised poultry of every kind, made butter and cheese, cured bacon, sausages and hams. She made time to teach her children to read and write Lithuanian, to give heed to the things of God, and to find magic in a drop of dew. She was generous with her family and neighbors and always had a dollar or two for the down and out. Albina shared a close affinity with nature, searching the forests for treasures to create her nature art . She was an artistic soul and accomplished poet. She was most proud of a collection of her Lithuanian poetry that was printed in 1981 in Chicago. In 1983 she returned to Winnipeg and enjoyed community at Hamilton House. Though the wounds never healed and the ghosts never rested, Albina never lost her laughter, her love of dancing, nor any opportunity to sing the songs of her countrymen. To all the staff of Calvary Place Personal Care Home, thank you for the past three years. And especially for your spirited, passionate care of Albina and the family during her final days of life and those wondrous final moments together we danced her into eternity. Cremation has taken place and a private family memorial will be held at a later date. For the Lord your God is a consuming Fire A Jealous God

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