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Obituary

VERNA BESKO (published on June 23, 2009)



VERNA BESKO October 11, 1915 June 21, 2009 Verna peacefully and without pain, passed away in her 94th year at Concordia General Hospital enveloped by the love of her family. Raised in the Point Douglas area of Winnipeg, Verna was the sixth of 11 children born to Peter and Antonina (Graban) Hawrysyshyn. She was the quintessential' middle child. She is survived by her devoted 'little' sister, Nadia Kozoris, who was always there to comfort and care for her; as well as two brothers, Victor and Murray; and numerous nieces and nephews. She was predeceased by brothers, Joseph, Val, Jerry (Michael), and Orest; and sisters, Olga Woycenko, Anne Koke and Evelyn Mandzuk. She was employed as a bookkeeper for a Ukrainian Organization. When young Verna married her husband of 60 years, Michael, a pharmacist, in 1938. Together they ran Norwood Drug Company and built their home in Norwood Flats, raising their three daughters. For 45 years, the family also enjoyed many summers at their Caddy Lake cottage in the Whiteshell. Michael passed away in 1998. Although separated by distance, Verna treasured the enduring devotion and love of 'Her Three Girls'; Luba (Rome) of Ottawa, Sister Patricia (SSMI) and Chris (Richard) of Toronto. We all appreciated her gift of practical wisdom . Verna always took a personal interest in her grandchildren, Christen (Alison), Julie (Clarke), Patrick, Adam, Erin and Joel; and two great grandchildren, James and Tory. Verna was the ultimate' wife, mother and homemaker. She thoroughly enjoyed all her roles and excelled in cooking, baking, sewing and gardening. Her interests continued right up to her final year, always 'clipping out' articles on various subjects for herself and family. Curiosity was Vernas middle name. Her interests included anything and everything. Verna travelled the world via World Adventure Tours for many years at the Centennial Concert Hall. Although she was not competitive by nature, she was once an avid bowler with the parish league and managed to accumulate a small collection of shiny brass trophies that she was extremely proud of! Her steadfast faith and volunteering were always a big part of Verna's life. She and Michael were among the first 'pioneer' members of Sts. Peter and Paul Ukrainian Catholic Church in St. Boniface in 1948. She diligently served there with the Women's League (UCWL) since its formation in 1950, as President, Vice President, Secretary and Treasurer. As Red Cross convener for many years, she did sewing at home and got others to do the same. In 1982, she received a Certificate of Merit from the Red Cross, and in 1983, a citation for all the sewing done by the league. Verna volunteered at the Holy Family Nursing Home even before the inception of its Ladies Auxiliary in 1960. In those early days, she sewed, altered and repaired clothing for the residents. Verna was recognized in 2005, as one of the original members of the auxiliary still active today. Even after moving from her Norwood home to the Holy Family Seniors Tower in 2005 at the age of 90, she graciously maintained her volunteerism with weekly visits to residents in the Home. Verna also volunteered for some years with the St. Boniface Hospital Auxiliary taking pictures of the newborn babies. Verna was active for many years with the 'Manitoba Druggist Wives Association', particularly enjoying social activities such as 'The Gourmet Group'. The family is especially grateful to Verna's niece and goddaughter, Joanna, and her husband, Dave Mazur, who cared for Verna with much love and respect. Special thanks to Jean Piche, Dr. T. Babick and Holy Family Home; and to the staff of N3 West, speech pathology and pastoral care at Concordia Hospital for their compassionate care during Verna's final days. Thanks and love to Sr. Florentine and all the Sisters Servants of Mary Immaculate for their concern, comfort and support through the years and especially at this difficult time. Prayers will be held on Wednesday, June 24 at 8:00 p.m. at Cropo Funeral Chapel, 1442 Main St. Divine Liturgy will be celebrated on Thursday, June 25 at 10:00 a.m. at Sts. Peter and Paul Ukrainian Catholic Church, 390 Marion St. with Most Rev. Michael Bzdel, C.Ss.R. and Rev. Ivan Mostivsky as celebrants. Interment to follow in Holy Family Cemetery. Pallbearers will be; sons-in-law, Rome Audet and Richard Katz; grandchildren, Adam, Erin and Joel Katz; grand-niece and nephew, Stephanie and Kevin Mazur. In lieu of flowers, donations will be greatly appreciated by Holy Family Home and The Sisters Servants of Mary Immaculate, 131 Aberdeen Ave., Winnipeg, MB R2W 1T9. 'There is a season for everything; a time for giving birth, a time for dying, a time for tears, a time for laughter, a time for mourning, a time for dancing...' Verna, a life well-lived... what else can one ask for?! Vichnaya Pam'Yat Eternal Rest CROPO FUNERAL CHAPEL 586-8044


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