January 30, 1928 – January 27, 2020
Mom passed away peacefully in her home, a few days before her 92nd birthday with family by her side. She was the loving mother of Diane, Michael and Susan and Grandmother (“Babcia”) of Mitchell. She will also be lovingly remembered by her sister Theresa, brother Jan, numerous nieces and nephews and friends. She was predeceased by her parents, husband Adolf, son Frank, brother Chester, and sister Stella.
Mom was born in Pomorzanka, Poland to Michal and Maria Fraczek, the eldest of five children. In the early hours of Feb. 10, 1940, the family along with 220,000 Poles had only minutes to gather up personal belongings before being taken to Siberia by the Russians. The winter of 1940 was brutally cold and many people perished including her father. Mom was 12 years old and thrust into the position of helping her mom ensure the survival of her four siblings, aged five to ten years old. The family were in exile in Siberia until 1942. From there, they were released and taken to India via Persia to a Polish refugee camp where they lived for five years. From there they went to Lake Victoria, Uganda, Africa until 1949. At the age of 21 mom and her sister, Stella immigrated to Canada. They spent one month on a cargo ship landing in Halifax, Nova Scotia. They had a one year contract to work on a farm outside of Vancouver, B.C. They saved enough money to bring their mother, and three siblings to Canada. Mom met dad in Vancouver, and after a brief engagement were married and moved to Ocean Falls, B.C. where they settled into married life and raised their family. We have many happy memories growing up, spending our summers on the lake and just being kids. Like many mothers, back then, mom was a “stay at home mom” making sure we were safe, loved and well nourished. She was a wonderful cook and baker.
Mom and dad had purchased a house and property in Duncan, so when the mill closed in Ocean Falls, they moved to start over again. Those early years were not easy, but in time they settled into their new life, and grew their circle of good friends. Mom’s steadfast faith in God gave her the strength through the difficult challenges she faced in her life. She loved to attend Church and services at St. Clare’s Monastery. Mom always put family first and taught us to “stick together” and support each other. Mom was kind, generous, hardworking and above all resilient! Mom, thank-you for giving us a safe place to grow.
The family would like to thank Dr. Szabo, Cowichan Home Support, and the Palliative Care Team for your caring and compassion shown towards our mom. Thank you also to our family and friends, in particular to our cousins Christine and Lucy, for all your love and support.
A Funeral Mass will be held at 11 am on Monday, February 10, 2020 at St. Edward’s Catholic Church, 2085 Maple Bay Rd Duncan. Condolences may be offered online at www.sandsduncan.ca.
Sands Funeral Chapel Cremation and Reception Centre (Duncan)
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