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Kathleen Baird

Image by Nick Andréka

KATHLEEN BAIRD

(née PATERSHUK)

May 26, 1933 – June 2, 2024

Surrounded by family and so much love, at the beautiful age of 91, Mom passed peacefully into the arms of Jesus, on the sunny Sunday afternoon of June 2nd, 2024. 


Kathleen Baird (née Patershuk) will be mourned and missed by her devoted husband of 65 years, Dave, and their daughters, Bonnie and her husband Rex, children Zachary (Negede), Bridget and Zeke, Lisa and husband Brian and children Daphne and Jack, and Nancy. She is survived by her sister Maggie, and brothers Lawrence and Bobby.


Kathy was born in Usherville, Saskatchewan. Her parents were brave immigrants that came to Canada from Romania, met and married, and raised 14 children on their family farm near Yorkton, Saskatchewan.  Mom moved to the big city of Winnipeg at 18 and worked at a drugstore with her sister Mary on Main Street. She also worked for Bird Construction, as well as for a fashion manufacturer, Sterling Stall.


Mom went dancing one night, and she met a lovely young accountant that kept her dance card full. Dave and Kathy’s first official date was at the Red River Ex, where mom handed out salt-water taffy to children and Dad knew right then that she was a keeper ... generous, loved kids, and had beautiful ankles ... What more could you ask for!


While raising three girls, Mom was always wanting to expand herself, and always had some new interest on the go. Parenting was always very important to her, and over the years she took many courses, classes and read many books.  She and Dad cared for over 30 children.  Foster kids, neighbour’s kids, kids who needed somewhere to stay for periods of time, our friends… whoever needed a safe place, good food and some love.  Even into their later years, they welcomed international students from all over the world into their hearts and home. 


Mom’s first love, though, has always been Jesus. She introduced us to Him, and was always stretching and strengthening her faith walk with Him.  We are forever grateful that we always knew we were loved by God no matter what, and everyone who ever left our house heard a “Lord be with you!” on their way out the door.  Mom taught Sunday School for many years and as those young children grew up, some would come back to tell her of the positive impact her love and dedication had on their lives.


Mom was incredibly creative, and she was able to express that creativity in how she parented.  Mom was always painting, sketching, crocheting, knitting, sewing, creating plays, making puppets out of sawdust, writing, or taking a class in something.  We would wake up to find our new dance costume or tutu hanging from the door jamb as if it had magically appeared out of nowhere. She even organized and hosted a community circus in our backyard for all the neighbourhood to participate in and enjoy. 


Every Easter 12 dozen boiled and coloured eggs would be hidden throughout the house.  This Easter tradition is one we will always embrace…. Mom kept this up even before grandchildren came along.  In the last few years, we did eventually get her to cut back to 8 dozen eggs. Another beautiful tradition that has become a family favourite is the Orthodox Christmas Eve meal with 12 meatless dishes at sundown.  Traditions, celebrations, block parties, church BBQs, elaborately themed birthday parties, mom did it all, often in the middle of the night. 


Mom’s cake decorating skills were on another level, and eventually word of mouth had people calling and asking her to make them some unusual cake shape, like a steak or a castle. She was even in the paper as she had made a life size cake of St. Bede for an anniversary celebration.   Her entrepreneurial side was satisfied as these decorating skills turned into a home business making specialized cakes that were so detailed many kept them as art and never ate them. 


For many years Mom was part of International Toastmasters, where she was determined to overcome her fear of public speaking. And that she did!  She even went to an International Toastmasters Conference in the Bahamas to receive an award for her writing.


Mom’s zest for life led her and Dad on many adventures. As a family, we travelled to western Canada to visit family on many occasions, hauling a pop-up camper through the mountains, or down to Florida to visit Disney World. Mom and Dad even had the once in a lifetime chance to tour the Holy Land in Jerusalem. 


Mom was so determined to satisfy a long held dream to receive her high school diploma that she went to our local High School and signed up.  She waited until all her daughters were through school and it could be her turn.  She worked hard, graduated, and spent one loud night watching the raucous teens celebrating at her Safe Grad, determined not to miss a party. 


Mom was always ready to host an event or a meal…the more people the better.  She would wrap a bandana around her forehead, (we called her Bruce Springstein), and get to work in the kitchen.  Although she loved to host, she also loved to go out.  She and Dad could be seen at Salisbury House every Tuesday, catching up with the servers who seemed to know everything about us when we joined them from time to time. They would often head out to the Keg on New Year's Eve, around 10:30 or so, so they could watch the people and participate in the New Year’s Celebrations.  Enjoying life kept her and Dad young, and they taught us to have that same zest for life.


Gardening was in mom’s blood.  It fed her spirit, and she felt a connection to God in nature.  Being outside in her huge garden was therapeutic, and she could often be found weeding in the coolness of the evening.  


Her joy was always her grandchildren.  She had a “grandma bag” that she would carry everywhere, filled with spinning tops, dot-to-dot books, etc, so she could connect as she built relationships with each of her five grandchildren.  


Mom enjoyed her family, her home and her garden so much that her (and Dad’s) dream was to remain at home as they aged, so we embraced the self and family managed home care option, and were able to continue to make memories together in their home. Her extended family was also important to her and after many lost years, she was so grateful to have grown strong relationships with her sister Maggie, and her brother Bobby and their families.


As Mom aged, her body began to betray her, and her determination was her strongest ally. Last year, when on Palliative Care, she told the doctor she had no intention of “kicking the bucket” yet. She came home from the hospital  and prayed over and anointed each of her family members, sharing her blessings with us. She was thrilled to have received the gift of more time, celebrating her 90th birthday at home. Soon she was removed from Palliative Care and lived her life as best she could for another year.


Seeing her first grandchild married became a reason to stay strong and it was a blessing to all that she could attend.  Many health setbacks had us wondering, but Mom (and Dad) arrived at Zachary and Negede’s wedding on May 18th, filled with joy and feeling blessed. 


The next day she went into the hospital. 


Dad’s endless devotion to Mom was a testament to all. He adored her, and told her constantly how much she meant to him.  He visited her in the hospital and told her he loved her, just an hour before she passed.


A heartfelt thank you to Grace Hospital, particularly Dr. Duff and the incredible nursing team, who respectfully thought outside the box with us. Also, a special thanks to Skyline Transit for their fantastic service and flexibility.


Endless gratitude for our outstanding family managed home care team…we are forever grateful for your love and care. 


We also appreciate the personalized, comprehensive care offered by Prime, the community healthcare day program that Mom attended. Your professional care and compassionate hearts mean the world to us. 


A Celebration of Life garden party and BBQ will be held on Sunday, June 9th, at 6:00pm.  Please contact family for further details.


Graveside Funeral Service at Brookside Cemetery, June 10th, 2024, 11:30am.


In lieu of flowers, donations can be made in her name to: Donate - Hope Centre Ministries


The service and care at Ethical Death Care was exceptional. Thank you. 


Kathleen’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.

ETHICAL DEATH CARE

Cremation & Life Celebrations

530 St. Mary Avenue - Winnipeg

204-421-5501 - www.ethicaldeathcare.com

Memories, Stories and Condolences

 

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April Forgó

June 12, 2024 at 2:30 PM

Mrs Baird.

Always a welcome hug and warm smile.

Being included in family dinners.

At Easter, a 12 dozen egg hunt in their living room!

Engaged In relationships!

Hands and feet of Jesus.

Enjoy the next chapter Mrs Baird. ❤️

Krystal

June 11, 2024 at 11:01 PM

Mrs Baird was one of a kind. She opened her home always for a quick chat when I would come over with Lisa. Mrs Baird made my wedding cake and it was absolutely beautiful. I will never forget the kindness your mom always had towards me. Your mom and dad treated me like family!

To Lisa, Bonnie and Nancy; what a great role model you all had.

Also to Mr Baird, I am truly sorry for your loss.

 

Rick Jackson

June 10, 2024 at 12:48 PM

As the family knows, us cousins didn't get together too often growing up. However, when we did get together, Aunt Kathy (and Uncle Dave too, of course) always made us feel so welcome. As a young man about to head off to college, I was suprised by the doorbell one day. It was Uncle Dave and Aunt Kathy dropping in to visit us where we lived in southern Ontario on one of their road trips. Though unexpected, it was a very welcome visit. As I happened to be the only one home at that particular moment, they decided they should take me out to dinner, so off we went to Jade Garden where they treated me to chinese food. They were very interested in my life and we had a great time catching up, laughing, and sharing stories. I'm so grateful to have had this special time with them and I hope they know that it meant a lot to me. I've been thinking a lot about them and Aunt Kathy in particular these last few days. She was a special woman and I'm grateful to have known her. Sending love to all.

Belle Cameron

June 10, 2024 at 2:37 AM

Thank you for inviting me to your Mom's Celebration of Life. Words cannot express the love you all have for your Mother and your Mother had for you. I could watch this video over and over! So touching! It was so nice to see old friends and being at the Baird household once again. Many fond memories of Mrs. Baird's cakes and eating Champs Chicken with you all! I can clearly remember Mr. Baird coming down the basement stairs with a CASE of Kraft dinner for us to eat on our lunch hours! Today was very special. Thanks for the memories, my heart is full! .

Len and Rose Hiebert

June 10, 2024 at 12:59 AM

We are very sorry to hear of your Mom's passing.Condolances to you and all the family from your back fence neighbours.

Catherine Pulak (Beer)

June 9, 2024 at 8:54 PM

"Aunt B" made sure my brother, my sister, and I got lunch on school days, after our mother passed at a very early age. She welcomed us into her home with such love. We enjoyed many happy, joyful moments with the Baird family, growing up with Bonnie, Lisa and Nancy. Her cake decorating skills were legendary, to be sure!! She made a live-sized clarinet for our father who played that instrument with great skill. Mrs. Baird also baked an incredible cake as a wedding gift to me.

An incredible lady with so much love that she shared with the world. So many fond memories to cherish. I am a better person for knowing her.

Harold Bell

June 9, 2024 at 5:59 PM

We first met Kathy in the 1980's and it was great to see her family

grow over the years. We remeber the many requests for prayers during courtship and marriages. It was an honor to enjoy her company along with the always great food. Many blessings on her family at this time of grief and celebration of a life well lived.

May God bless all of the family.

Heather Thompson

June 8, 2024 at 5:19 PM

I didn't know your mom, but she sounds like a beautiful soul, just like her daughter Lisa.

 

The Love each and everyone of you have for each other is what our world needs to see.

 

Sending you and your family many Loving Blessings of Healing❤️❤️❤️❤️🫶🙏

Sequoia Robertson

June 8, 2024 at 4:58 PM

I didn't know Kathleen very well, but I know her family well enough to only refer to her as grandma. seeing how well this family has loved eachother and taken care of each other over the last 10 or so years is truly one of the most beautiful things I have experienced! I got the honour of living with her daughter Bonnie and her family twice now, one of the times also getting to live with kathleens husband, Papa, whom I love very much!

although I was not close with her, the legacy she has left has directly benifited my life and taught me so much about taking care of each other and what it means to live a life of love.

thank you Kathleen for the colorful life you lived!!

I'm sure god is thrilled to get to hold you so so close now ❤️

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