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IRENE BABIYCHUK (published on December 21, 2009)

IRENE BABIYCHUK (nee ANDRUSHKO) September 6, 1909 - December 18, 2009 It is with great sadness we announce the passing of our cherished mother, beloved sister, loving grandmother and great-grandmother on December 18, 2009 at Concordia Hospital after recently celebrating her 100th birthday. Mom is predeceased by her parents, husband Peter, older brother Anthony (Tony) and survived by her younger brother Stephen. Irene was born in Ulaszkowce, in the district of Czortkow, Ukraine on September 6, 1909. She is the daughter of Mike Andrushko and Pauline Kachur. Her father moved to Canada when she was six months old. She immigrated with her mother and older brother Anthony (Tony) when she was 13 travelling via train to Warsaw, on to Danzig and then by ship to Montreal. Irene didn't get the benefit of an education, feeling out of place with classmates much younger than her. Mom left school and found work in the hospitality industry. Irene's first job was in a restaurant across from the CN Gate in Transcona, then moving to the Andrew Cafe where she recalled making 20 cents per hour or about nine dollars per week. If you worked hard you could earn an additional six dollars in tips each month . During Christmas she could make an extra 70 to 80 dollars if you were good at your job . She eventually moved to the Princess Hotel dining room, unfortunately losing her job when she decided to get married. The owners only wanted single girls to work in the restaurant because most of their business came from the single men working at the CN shops. Mom recalled being upset because the job was only three blocks away from home. Irene met her future husband when a young man born in the same village as her parents visited in 1925. They knew each other for about two weeks when their parents met and gave permission for them to get married. Everything moved very quickly and they were married three days later. Peter Babiychuk was a kind and forgiving man. They both worked hard to make a good life for themselves and daughters, Pauline Marion and Patricia Irene. Their first home was a garage converted to a house in Portage la Prairie when Dad worked on the CN section. They later moved to Transcona where he got a job as a machinist in the CN wheel shop. They built a two-bedroom house on Regent Avenue that they later sold to purchase a three-bedroom home on Naskapi Crescent in the late 1960s. Peter retired from CN in 1975, but unfortunately passed away in May 1982 after a debilitating battle with Alzheimer's. Irene cared for him throughout this long and difficult period. Mom was a member of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of All Saints. After Dad passed away she went back to catering and helping out at the church to keep busy. She has been an avid gardener, used to knit and crochet and made perogies to die for . She realized about eight years ago that she wasn't able to shovel the driveway after a snowstorm anymore and had trouble getting up and down the basement stairs so she decided to move into an apartment at East Park Lodge. We extend our love and gratitude to brother and uncle Stephen for the daily companionship and care that he provided in the last several years. And, to the residents and director, Charles Toop of East Park Lodge, our sincerest thank you for their kindness, support and hospitality, and to the staff and doctors at Concordia Hospital for their compassionate care during her stay. Irene leaves daughters, Patricia (Thorsten) Gaul and Pauline (Bill) Trakalo; grandchildren, Allissa (Christopher) Schill, Thorsten Erin, Andrea (Kevin) Quist; great-grandchildren, Beck Hart Schill, Logan and Brendon Quist; first cousins, Irene Currie, Deanna Meraska and Michael Mungy and their families, and Joann Andrushko and her family to cherish and honour her memory. We will celebrate and remember Mother's life with prayers on Tuesday, December 22 from 7:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. at All Saints Ukrainian Orthodox Church at 1500 Day Street. Funeral services will be held on Wednesday, December 23 at 11:00 a.m. also at the church, with Father Bill Wasyliw officiating. Interment to follow at the Transcona Cemetery.

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