January 19, 1936 - January 6, 2023
Sadly, with heavy hearts, we announce that Marie passed away on January 6 in St. Boniface Hospital at the age of 86 years.
She is survived by her children Donna (Greg), Ken, Nancy and Joey, grandchildren Michelle (Joey), Brenda (Nick), and Jake, and great grandchildren Brantley and Jaxon. She also leaves an extended family of nieces and nephews, and friends of all ages.
Marie was born in January,1936 to Michael and Eva Moraweski of Winnipeg. Her sister, Olga, joined the family 18 months later. The Moraweskis lived in the North End of Winnipeg in a close and supportive commuity. Marie studied at Isaac Newton school and St. Mary's Academy. She soon discovered a life long passion for music, playing the cello and violin, and performing in the Junior Symphony. Marie was a talented Ukrainian folk dancer. She also excelled at tap and swing.
In 1947, Marie's beloved mother, Eva passed. Michael followed his wife in 1950. The sisters entered the foster care system, living with various families, alone and together, over the remainder of their childhood.
In their late teens, Marie and Olga went to a dance at Kelvin Community Club. That's where Marie met Walter (Jake) Jakubic. She always said the moment she saw Jake's beautiful green eyes she knew they were destined to marry. They wed on June 19, 1954.
Not only did Marie win Jake's love, she was welcomed by his mother (Mary) father (Joe), three sisters (Nellie, Julie and Bernice) and their families. Before Marie and Jake married, his sister and brother-in-law, Julie and Johnny Shumski, gave Marie a home. Jake's mother, Mary Jakubic, truly took Marie to heart as a daughter. They shared a wonderful relationship for over four decades. Mary was a powerful source of motherly love and support to Marie. Marie, Jake and their baby daughter, Donna, lived at Mary and Joe Jakubic's house until Mary gifted them a deposit in 1955 to buy their first and forever home.
When they met, Jake was already working for the CNR as a carman apprentice and Marie loved trains. Travel was a dream that they shared and fulfilled over their 61 years together. In the early years, day road trips were a regular event. Jake loved exploring Manitoba especially off the beaten path. Marie, the four kids and the family dog, Snoopy, were happily in tow. A favourite memory is searching through the forest every December for a Christmas tree. Snoopy bounded through the snow beside the kids. Jake dragged the tree back to the car and Marie served up hot chocolate before the family headed home in the winter twilight.
Marie and Jake gave their children a rich and busy life. Despite working three jobs at times, Jake was an active member of the East Elmwood Community Club. He served as treasurer and coached hockey, baseball and soccer teams which included one or more of his children. Marie worked in the club canteen and taught 'Tiny Tots'. Community club movie matinees, afternoons at the pool and arts and craft classes were also on the agenda. One year their daughter, Donna, was crowned Carnival Queen.
Marie and Jake encouraged their offspring to explore pursuits at other venues, too, including figure skating, theatre school and weekly visits to the library bookmobile. Marie shared her love of music introducing her children to all genres including pop, crooners, classical, jazz, big band, doo wop, folk and country. So often all that wonderful music soared through the house. Later in life, Marie and Jake discovered the Three Tenors and attended a concert in Toronto. La Boheme and Phantom of the Opera were other performance favourites.
Marie and Jake, sometimes with their children and then as a couple, eventually visited all ten Canadian provinces and both territories, all 50 American states, Mexico and the Caribbean. They were a couple in every sense - always together and complementing each other's personalities. Jake crafted the travel itineraries, Marie photographed their journeys. Jake spun the dreams, Marie made them happen. Jake taught, Marie inspired. Jake loved to relax at home and in the yard. Marie was always moving, working around the house, rushing outside to shovel as the first snowflakes drifted down.
Marie enjoyed politics and served as a District Returning Office for years. She always kept up with current events, watched the news and read the daily newspaper even late in her life. She was a championship bowler. She had a first-rate green thumb. Marie and Jake enjoyed going to Assiniboia Downs. When the kids were young, it was a family outing. Marie especially loved watching the horses circling in the paddock, dancing past in the post parade and thundering down the home stretch to the finish line.
Marie was a legendary cook and baker. She excelled at Ukrainian and Polish dishes, like perogies and cabbage rolls. She preserved and pickled a vast array of fruits and vegetables. Her pastry skills were matchless and intuitive. She created scrumptious appetizers, pies and desserts of all kinds. Marie and Jake also made their own wine for years. Family gatherings were lively events, with food at the center and love all around. Extended family and friends were always welcome and Christmas Eve open house was a treasured Jakubic tradition. How Marie managed to produce that astonishing amount of delicious food in their tiny kitchen remains a mystery.
That was the only mystery about Marie. She was absolutely straight forward, genuine and unfiltered. Marie was fesity, strong willed, stubborn and somtimes outrageous. She loved teasing people and she had a bewitching charm. Once she went for a CT scan and came back into the lobby holding hands with the radiology technician. He was a third of her age and she was grinning ear to ear.
One of her signature proclamations was "Animals are better than people." She loved animals of all kinds - domestic and wild - cats, dogs, cows, horses, deer, goats, birds...no creature was left off her list. She loved to tell people how her children grew up with pets and how important she felt that was to their character. All four of her children were taught by both parents to treat animals with gentle care and respect.
After Jake passed in 2016, Marie moved into Sturgeon Creek II Assisted Living. It took her time to adjust but always the optimist, she eventually embraced her new life. Even in her 80s, she stood out with her no-nonsense personality, sparkling brown eyes and cute auburn pony tail. She participated in all the classes, events, entertainment and outings. She would walk 12 circuits around the outside of the complex with her walker then exclaim, "It's amazing! I have no pain!" The exercise kept her arthritis at bay but the treat for Marie was the fresh air and people she met along the way.
One of those people was Ed Nikkel, the literal 'boy next door' who set his sights on Marie the day he saw her. They became inseparable. Marie was 82, Ed was over 90 but you'd think they were teenagers. Even after Ed transfered to long term care, her daughter, Nancy, would take Marie to visit him. They would sit outside in the courtyard or Marie would join Ed for bingo. Ed lived well into his 90s.
No one who knew Marie will forget her. She was always authentic and full of surprises with a beautiful smile. The world is so much less without her.
Marie's wish was to be cremated with no public service but a gathering of her loved ones. A celebration of Marie's life will be held in the spring of 2023. Family and friends will be notified as to date and place. In lieu of flowers, the family asks that any donations are made in memory of Marie and her beloved cat, Miss Kitty, to Cat Tails Rescue.
Essentially, we all start and end life the same way. Marie knew what mattered was the 86 years in between.
Marie's family kindly requests that all of 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.
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