July 30, 1941 – February 7, 2023
Maureen Koblanski (nee Bukoski) passed away peacefully on February 7, 2023 after a long illness, with family and friends always by her side. She was predeceased by her loving husband of 60 years Robert (Bob) in 2020, as well as her father George, mother Irene; and siblings David and Rick. Her mother was her best friend and nearly 20 years after her passing, she still thought or spoke of Irene every day.
Maureen leaves to mourn her children Kristen Lynch (Gerry), Colin, Joel (Glenda), Dale (Chad) and Jamie (Audrey); grandchildren Riley, Riel, Marina and Kara; great grandchildren Connor, Reya and DeVera; dear sisters Lynda Pisa (Frank), Dianne Frost (Brian), brother Norman Bukoski (Barb), brothers-in-law Charlie Sciberras and Allan Koblansky and many lifelong friends including Betty Dall.
From an early age Maureen suffered from asthma, so perhaps that’s why she always empathized with the ‘underdog’. She was a friendly child who valued family and community. Maureen met Bob at the age of 13, and they eventually married in 1960 at St. Alphonsus Church. He was truly the love of her life, and she often described the ‘butterflies’ that she still felt whenever she saw or thought of him.
Maureen was an excellent student, but university wasn’t an option. She held a wide range of office positions such as secretary at Monarch Life and Prince Edward and Lord Wolseley Schools; preparing annual tax returns for seniors; and eventually as bookkeeper/receptionist at Metwood Industries. During all this she was also a homemaker, raising five active children. A highly-engaged volunteer, Maureen was a past President/board member for St. Alphonsus CWL, Holy Redeemer CWL and St. Boniface Diocesan High School. She was a perpetual ‘Block Parent’, and contributed generously to numerous charities including Agape Table, Siloam Mission and World Vision.
Her home and family meant everything to her. She took great joy from her grandchildren, delighting in their accomplishments and antics. She and Bob were always hosting get-togethers (small and large) combining family and friends. Anyone visiting got something to eat, and might also be thoughtfully handed an article, recipe, personal note, paperback, gift or memento, a bit of baking or a jar of her homemade relish. You could never leave Maureen’s company empty-handed.
She displayed seasonal decorations and had a wreath on the front door for every occasion. She faithfully sent birthday and seasonal cards or letters to those in her network. In this way Maureen also kept relationships going with many nieces, nephews and godchildren including Kellea Small, Marlo Jeffery, Justyn Pisa and Lisa (Bonnie) Bukoski, Jerry Alan Frost, Paul, Peter, Don (Valerie) Sciberras, Linda (Randy) Mitchell, Vicki (Rick) Tugwell.
Maureen faithfully kept her lists running; things to do around the house, ingredients for an upcoming get-together, errands for Bob to run, important news to pass along, songs to add to her playlist, and most importantly, the people she needed to (re)connect with. She regularly did the daily ‘Jumble’ or cross-word puzzles, and watched Wheel of Fortune, Frasier and other favorite shows, often late into the night. She and Bob looked forward to their drives together, often with their beloved poodles Dino and Seamus. They went to Lockport for burgers, visited people in and out of town, and in their retirement made winter road-trips down to Mesa, AZ.
Maureen cared dearly for her children’s partners and friends, plus an extended group of her own family, neighbours and friends – Kari Goodall, Jeanette Kirby, Susan McVarish, Bev Demoline, Dan Stepko, Fran Kozak, Shirley and Leroy Grant, Carol and Phil Allison, Brent Blain, Ken and Fran Taylor…to name just a few. Dates and accomplishments were important to her, so she acknowledged each birthday, anniversary and other milestones of those special to her.
In character Maureen was an interesting bundle of contradictions: strong-willed yet compliant, proud yet humble, fearful yet incredibly brave. She never shied away from going with you into the darker places, yet she was by nature a sunny person, with a sharp mind that was quick to find humour or light in any situation. She had the most beautiful smile: with her remarkable green eyes, and impish expressions she connected easily with everyone,
Maureen loved a good, heated conversation with people of all ages and backgrounds on a wide variety of subjects spanning news, politics, religion and pop culture: virtually no topic was off limits, and although she had strong beliefs and opinions, she was open to the differing ideas and thoughts of others. Despite her self-acknowledged stubbornness, in relationships, she was first to offer acceptance or forgiveness. A tiny person, her huge heart made her fiercely loyal and generous with those she loved. Her active interest and presence in all parts of our lives is and will be forever missed.
Maureen’s extended family is so grateful for the nurses, healthcare aids, staff and doctors of Riverview Healthcare Centre 2West and the welcoming environment of care, respect and compassion you created for our little Maureen, supporting us all during her final months. Thank you also to the healthcare teams at CancerCare MB, and Concordia Hospital for their care leading up to Maureen’s transfer to Riverview. We appreciate your thoughtful efforts during this past few years of crisis and trauma.
Maureen, we wish you joy and peace on your journey. You are that relentless voice in the back of our minds to keep in touch, to get things done, and to always, always do the right thing. We know you’re somewhere out there, driving to your next home with Bob, with us forever, yet (for now) just slightly ahead of our reach.
Cremation has taken place, and there will be no funeral. Please honour Maureen’s memory by watching the photo-biography above, by leaving a note or sharing a memory in the comment section.
Gifts in lieu of flowers may be made in Maureen’s name to the Riverview Health Centre Foundation.
Memories, Stories and Condolences
Please share a story, photo, memory or condolences for the family by completing the form below and click "comment".