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Rose Kowalchuk

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Elizabeth Kowalchuk | Obituary | Ethical Death Care | Winnipeg



May 3, 1931 - December 8, 2023

Peacefully, with her loving family by her side, Rose Elizabeth Kowalchuk (nee Borkowski), passed away at the age of 92 on Friday, December 8, 2023. She was predeceased by her husband of 70 years, Jim (2022), their infant son, Richard (Ricky) David, her parents, Katherine and Adolph Borkowski, her three sisters: Mary, Elsie and Cordie, her four brothers: Joe, John, Frank and Tony, and son-in-law, Bruce Kitching.


Left to cherish Rose’s memory is her loving family of six children: Glenn (Kim), Cheryl (David), Kathy, Ken (Lisa), Keri (Richard), and Randal (Ashlee). Also missing their Grandma Rose are her fourteen grandchildren: Kathy (Nick), Michael (Sheila), Jennifer (Justin), Nicole, Matthew (Kristen), Lauren (Brent), Nicholas, Jacqueline (Jason), Michelle (John), Katyana, Rose, Rachel, Danielle (Jay), Jeffrey, and her eight great-grandchildren: Alex, Theo, Jamie, Evelyn, Violet, Jaxson, Haley and Jonah, and numerous nieces, nephews and close friends.


Rose was born in Ethelbert, Manitoba and grew up nearby on the family farm in Mink Creek. She was the youngest of eight children. When asked about her childhood, she spoke fondly of having a cherished pet deer named Nancy that used to follow her around, even to school, that Mink Creek ran through their farm, and that crocus flowers were prolific in their front yard and looked beautiful as they blossomed in the springtime. At the age of sixteen, Rose left the farm to be a nanny for her brother in William’s Lake, BC. Her next move was to Winnipeg where she lived with her sisters and she described some amusing stories of when she worked at Sairs Pharmacy on Notre Dame Avenue. She then became a telephone switchboard operator with MTS and was eventually transferred to Dauphin, MB. There she met and fell in love with Jim, an RCMP officer, and they were married on February 2, 1952 at the Trinity Ukrainian Catholic Church in Mink Creek, Manitoba. They spent the next several years posted to Winnipeg, Ottawa, Sudbury, Montreal, then back to Winnipeg. Together they provided a loving home for their ever-growing family.


Mom was an excellent seamstress and Dad appreciated her sewing clothes to fit his tall frame. We loved how she would make us matching hoodies, outfits and cozy flannel pyjamas and pillow cases. She loved to garden and had to have a few tomato plants and a good clump of rhubarb, along with her raspberry patch. She was skillful at packing our family of six kids into our tiny trailer to go camping, but her favourite pastime was walking through any wooded area looking for saskatoons, blueberries, or mushrooms to pick, a love Mom and Dad have passed down to the family. She was always busy cooking and baking. Over the years, she made yummy dill and beet pickles, jams, jellies, cookies, cakes, tarts and pies. Her deep fried pampushky and chrusciki were a highlight among her large repertoire of tasty treats. Her borscht, pyroghy, holubtsi, and pyrishky were right up there with the best! Once we were in school, she worked part-time at the Birchwood Bowl, K-Mart, Canadian Tire and worked up until her retirement as a cashier for the City of Winnipeg at the St. James Centennial and Civic Centre pools. She had a great sense of humour that was appreciated by the lifeguards and other staff.


When Mom was fully engaged in a task, she would often quietly whistle continuously to some tune in her head. Mom was happiest when being creative. So creative! Not only through her sewing, but also other crafts - candle making, water colour and oil painting, pysanky (Ukrainian egg painting), crocheting, knitting, furniture refinishing and re-upholstering. She also had quite a knack for hanging wallpaper.


Pilgrimages to visit Dad’s family, including his farming brothers and sisters in Saskatchewan, visiting his mother’s farm in Alberta where we picked veggies and berries, plus having an opportunity in later years to visit mom’s family farm in Mink Creek, instilled a deep appreciation of the land and of our family heritage. Mom was close to her brothers in British Columbia and her sisters in Winnipeg and visits with them were always special.


In their retirement years, Mom and Dad enjoyed travelling across Canada from British Columbia to the Maritimes, and to New Zealand, Hawaii, Arizona, Florida and Alaska.


Mom was proud to be a grandma and great-grandma. She delighted in seeing her grandchildren and great- grandchildren in Canada, New Zealand, and the USA, during visits and online. Her companion for the last years of her life was her little dog, Molly.


Mom had a spiritual soul and loved to read books about spiritualism and mother earth. Her mantra was ‘always be grateful’. We will miss her long, loving inscriptions in her cards to us. She was a warm influence in our lives and will be greatly missed.


The family would like to especially thank Rosemarie, as well as Wionnie and the other healthcare aides who supported Mom through the last several years, enabling her to remain comfortable in her own home. We also appreciate the care Mom received at Seven Oaks Hospital in her final days.


In keeping with Mom’s wishes, a small private ceremony has taken place at Assumption Roman Catholic Cemetery, Winnipeg, Manitoba.


In lieu of flowers, a donation may be made in Rose’s memory to the Heart & Stroke Foundation or a charity of your choice.


She’s the whisper of the leaves as you walk down the street,

she’s the smell of certain foods you remember well,

flowers you pick, the fragrance of life itself.

She’s the cool hand on your brow when you’re not feeling well,

she is the sound of the rain that lulls you to sleep,

the colours of a rainbow.

She’s your breath in the air on a cold winter’s day.

She’s the glint of a diamond on the snow,

she is Christmas morning.

Your mother lives inside your laughter.

She’s the place you came from, your first home, and she’s the map you follow with every step you take.


She’s your first love, your first friend, even your first enemy,

but nothing on earth can separate you.

Not time, not space…not even death.


Rest well, dear Mom, as you now join Dad.

Your light shines on through us, your loved ones.

You will be forever cherished in our hearts and minds.


Thank you Mom


Cremation & Life Celebrations

530 St. Mary Avenue - Winnipeg

204-421-5501 -

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