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Eugenie Lubusko

LUBUSKO, Eugenie - Obit Photo.jpg


April 27, 1929 - March 3, 2023

With sadness, we announce that Eugenie Lubusko (nee Zuchowicz) passed away peacefully on March 3, 2023, at Meadowood Manor in Winnipeg, at the age of 93 years.


Eugenie is survived by her son, Andrew (Pamela), and extended family and friends in Canada and Poland. She is predeceased by her husband, Kazimier; her parents, Aleksy and Konstancja; and her brothers and sisters, Stanisław, Agnieszka, Genowefa, Marianna, Bronisława, Antoni, and Zygmunt-Bolesław.


The youngest of eight children, Eugenie was born in Bogucice, Poland in 1929. Her family lived on a small farm and her father worked as a huntsman and guide. Growing up in Poland, Eugenie lived through World War II and the subsequent occupation by the Soviet Union. Several of her siblings were involved in the Polish resistance movement during the war. At times, her family helped shelter people in a hidden cellar from enemy soldiers and provided assistance to others who were struggling as a result of the war.


Eugenie was young when her parents died - her father passed when she was 4 and her mother when she was age 12. Eugenie’s parents were older, and Konstancja’s pregnancy came as somewhat of a surprise. When Eugenie was born, her mother reportedly said, “It’s too bad she is not a boy. Life will be hard for her because she is a girl.” Eugenie took these words as a challenge. She proudly told many stories from her childhood of how she proved herself by routinely beating boys in various activities and sports.


Although she was small, Eugenie was independent and a fighter. She was also somewhat of a tomboy when she was young, enjoying horseback riding and riding her motorcycle. At school, she wasn’t afraid to challenge authority figures and debate religious issues with priests. Even during the Soviet occupation of Poland, Eugenie refused to join the Communist Party and continued to practice her Roman Catholic faith.


Eugenie’s education was interrupted due to the war, but she persevered and eventually completed high school. She then went on to complete degrees in midwifery and nursing in Lublin, Poland. Eugenie often spoke of her work as a midwife and nurse in Poland, proud of having provided excellent medical care to many people. Working at times in rural settings, she was sometimes the most senior medical professional on site and essentially worked as an “emergency physician.” Had she decided to not leave Poland, her plan had been to continue her education and become a medical doctor.


In October 1959, at the age of 30, Eugenie came to Canada as a sponsor of her brother, Stanley, who was twenty years older than her and had left Poland when she was only two years old. Despite not knowing how to speak English or her brother and his family, Eugenie saw this as another challenge in and was determined to succeed. After arriving in Winnipeg, she focused on her studies and became fluent in English. She then worked as a licensed practical nurse in several hospitals, including Misericordia, Victoria, and St. Boniface General Hospitals. She faced some challenges when she arrived in Canada, as refugees from Eastern Europe were not always welcomed and were called DPs (displaced persons). Some people were concerned that they would steal jobs from Canadians.


Eugenie, single and attractive when she arrived in Canada, apparently had no shortage of suitors. She would sometimes go on two dates in one day, going for an afternoon walk with one and then going out to a movie with another in the evening. Eugenie eventually met her husband, Kazimier (Kaz), at a church tea in the basement of the old Holy Ghost Church in Winnipeg. She had attended the tea to meet a potential suitor who was a friend of her brother’s and was described as “some rich old guy.” However, Eugenie found Kaz to be more interesting. Kaz, on the other hand, attended the tea because his mother had always told him that he should meet someone at church. As they often joked, Eugenie and Kaz met “under” a church.


Eugenie and Kaz got married in 1963, and Eugenie continued to work as a nurse until their son Andrew was born. After that, she devoted herself to being a fulltime homemaker. Although finances were sometimes tight, Eugenie was thrifty and good at saving money. She made sure that bills were paid on time, money was saved in the bank, and healthy food was always available. Moreover, Eugenie and Kaz were dedicated to helping their relatives in Poland and made sure that they could send them some money regularly.  When Andrew and Pamela got married, Eugenie embraced her daughter-in-law as if she were her own daughter. Knowing that Pamela had lost her own mother at a young age, Eugenie connected with this loss and did her best to fill the void with her loving and caring ways.


Eugenie found great contentment in the simple pleasures of life in Winnipeg. She enjoyed staying informed by listening and watching the news and reading both the Free Press and the Polish newspaper "Czas". Gardening in the summer and spending time at the park or beach were also favourite pastimes of hers. Eugenie had a wide range of entertainment interests, including a love of westerns featuring Clint Eastwood, "chiller thriller" horror films starring Vincent Price, comedy and variety shows, and music by Elvis Presley and Bobby Vinton. She also enjoyed taking walks in Kildonan Park, spending time at the beach in Birds Hill Park, and indulging in hard vanilla ice cream from the old Dutch Maid on Osborne or Chinese food from the Shanghai Restaurant. Occasionally, she would treat herself to Kentucky Fried Chicken on a Sunday night.


Eugenie's difficult childhood experiences during the war and occupation had a profound impact on her outlook on life. She learned first-hand the importance of kindness and helping others, and these values stayed with her throughout her life. Eugenie was a hardworking, independent, and resilient individual who believed in the value of education, staying informed about current events, and living a healthy lifestyle. Taking care of loved ones was also a top priority for her. She was proud of her Polish heritage and identified as Polish-Canadian, taking pride in her family's accomplishments. Eugenie was a devout Roman Catholic, but her focus was more on helping others and performing good deeds, regardless of their religious or ethnic background.


Eugenie's caring nature extended to putting others before herself, even when it came to her own health. As a result, she may not have given her own medical care the attention it needed, possibly due to a sense of pride or embarrassment about her declining health. Eugenie faced various physical challenges in her later years, including osteoarthritis, poor eyesight, hearing loss, and vascular dementia. Despite these difficulties, she never complained and would often respond to inquiries about her health with a positive outlook, saying “I am getting better.”


A few months prior to her death, Eugenie confided in her son that she was ready to pass away. The past few years had been particularly challenging for her, with the added stress of COVID-19 lockdowns and the recent passing of her husband Kaz. Despite being a practicing Roman Catholic, Eugenie was an advocate for medical assistance in dying (MAID) and would have likely considered this option if it were available to her. She had pragmatic view of life, influenced by her upbringing on a farm and her experience witnessing human suffering as a nurse.


Eugenie’s death was a very peaceful one. Her son, Andrew; daughter-in-law, Pamela; family friend, Jim; nephew, Ted; and the nursing staff at Meadowood Manor spent a lot of time with her in her final days. Several of the staff commented on how Eugenie was having a “good death” and “leaving on her own terms.”


Special thanks for their kindness are extended to Jim, Ted, Pastor Rick, Pastor Dave, and the many, many caring staff from Meadowood Manor. The care that Eugenie received over the past few years at Meadowood Manor was excellent.


The rosary will be prayed at 10:30am, followed by funeral mass at 11:00 a.m., on Saturday, March 18, 2023, at Holy Ghost Parish, 342 Pritchard Ave, Winnipeg, MB.


In lieu of flowers, donations may be sent to the Meadowood Manor Foundation Inc.


Eugenie’s family kindly requests that her friends and relatives take a few minutes to honour her memory by watching the photo-biography above. Please also consider sharing your own photos, memories, and stories by making use of the comment section on this page.


Cremation & Life Celebrations

530 St, Mary Avenue - Winnipeg

204-421-5501 -

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