YUZDEPSKI firstname.lastname@example.org_county.london.london_free_press 2006-09-21 published
WILLIAMS, Alice Jean (née WATTERWORTH)
Of Saint Thomas, on Sunday, July 23, 2006, at her late residence, in her 94th year. Beloved wife of the late Howard Arthur WILLIAMS and dearly loved mother of Ian A. WILLIAMS of Edmonton and Ross E. WILLIAMS and his wife Ursula of Ottawa. Predeceased by a daughter-in-law Iris YUZDEPSKI. Loved grandmother of Stefan, Colin, Andrea, Jaimie, William and Heather. Also survived by a number of nieces and nephews. Alice was born in Mosa Township on October 16, 1912, the daughter of the late Ross and Bertha (DOBIE) WATTERWORTH. She was a member of Knox Presbyterian Church and was a retired Elgin County School Teacher. Alice was a member of the Retired Women Teachers Association. A Public Memorial service to celebrate Alice's life will be held at Williams Funeral Home, 45 Elgin Street, Saint Thomas on Saturday, September 23rd at 1: 00 p.m. Cremation has taken place with the ashes interred in Oakland Cemetery. Donations to the charity of choice gratefully acknowledged.
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YUZWIN email@example.com_county.toronto.toronto_star 2006-11-21 published
Anastasia WAWRYSHYN, 99: Hard worker lived for family
By Leslie FERENC, Staff Reporter
Every Friday, Anastasia WAWRYSHYN's grandchildren would race out of their classrooms at Saint_Josaphat Catholic School, across Franklin Ave. and straight to Baba's kitchen.
There, they'd be greeted with a big smile and an even bigger bowl of her light-as-a-cloud potato-filled perohy.
Of course, they couldn't eat just one. And no matter how many of those mouthwatering delicacies the four of them gobbled up, they knew there would be plenty more to take home for dinner.
"Baba always made enough for everybody," Michael WAWRYSHYN said of his mother who was much loved for her made-from-scratch traditional Ukrainian cooking and her open-hearted hospitality.
WAWRYSHYN died November 3, two months before her 100th birthday. She'd suffered a stroke 10 days earlier, the same day a sister passed away in Ukraine.
Family was everything for WAWRYSHYN who was born in the tiny Ukrainian village of Teplyts, January 3, 1907, in what was then part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. The eldest of nine children only six survived to adulthood -- she understood full well what it meant to struggle. Her parents were poor farmers who eked out a living on the the land, exchanging eggs and milk or freshly picked forest mushrooms for the things they couldn't produce themselves, said WAWRYSHYN of his mother's early years.
WAWRYSHYN decided to leave her beloved Ukraine after the death of her intended. He'd immigrated to Argentina to log the forests but died of malaria.
Riding by horse and buggy along dirt roads to the nearest train station, the feisty and tenacious 19-year-old travelled to Germany and then to England where she boarded a ship for Halifax. A stranger in a strange land who didn't know a living soul in Canada and didn't speak the language, the young woman forged ahead travelling west to Saskatoon in search of work. En route, WAWRYSHYN befriended a young Ukrainian woman and the two kindred spirits became fast Friends. Those were difficult but happy days, said her son. Both worked as domestics, with WAWRYSHYN taking a job in a boarding house for farm children attending high school in the city. She always looked forward to Sunday. It was spent at church, which was the centre of life for young Ukrainian immigrants who had settled in Saskatoon. After services, they attended teas and concerts and enjoyed the company of new Friends.
WAWRYSHYN and her friend later moved to Toronto, where she met and married her husband Prokip.
The couple moved to Franklin Ave. in 1939 and lived there all their lives. At the time, the majority of their neighbours were Ukrainian, settling in the close-knit west-end community near large factories where they could find work. Their three children, Michael, Mary and Anne, were born and raised in the old neighbourhood.
Having completed only Grade 3, WAWRYSHYN was passionate when it came to learning, determined her children would be well-educated and have the opportunities she didn't, said her son, a retired Toronto high school teacher.
A deeply pious woman, WAWRYSHYN's religious and social life revolved around the church. She was a long-time and active parishioner at Saint_Josaphat Ukrainian Catholic Cathedral down the street from the family's home. She sang in the choir and was a founding member of the cathedral's chapter of the Ukrainian Catholic Women's League of Canada. "She just wanted a chance to make a better life and was happy to have it," said her son.
Deeply proud of her Ukrainian roots, WAWRYSHYN passed on her love of her homeland and its rich culture to her children who attended Ukrainian schools and were involved in various community organizations.
A serious individual devoted to her family, she was fiercely independent. WAWRYSHYN continued to work part-time until the age of 71 even though there was no need, her son said.
"And she refused to cash in her first pension cheque because she said she didn't need it," he added.
"The Depression and World War 2 shattered the dreams of bringing her family to Canada. Over the years, she helped support her family, sending parcels of food and clothing and a few dollars hidden in the lining of a coat, where she prayed they wouldn't be discovered and confiscated by Soviet officials. The packages included dozens of kerchiefs -- the colourful woollen scarves typically worn by women in villages across Ukraine. They were as valuable as gold back home. "Those kerchiefs paid for two houses there," said WAWRYSHYN. His mother never returned to her homeland.
Predeceased by her husband, WAWRYSHYN leaves her son and his wife Helen, daughter Mary BERKETA and husband Ron and daughter Anne; grandchildren Olena WAWRYSHYN and husband Oleh LESZCZYSZYN, Oksana WAWRYSHYN, Stephanie DAWE and husband Greg and Christine YUZWIN and husband Nick as well as great-grand_sons Matthew and Michael DAWE. She also leaves behind her sister Kateryna, 94, in Ukraine, as well as many nephews and nieces.
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