July 3, 1948 – November 6, 2020
With family at her side, Mary Petrycia, daughter of the late John and Anne Petrycia of Brandon, passed away far too soon, on Friday, November 6th, 2020, of an unremitting and inoperable brain tumour.
Mary leaves in mourning her husband of twenty years, Ed Langevin; sister Lil Urichen of Dauphin; brother Borden Petrycia of Brandon; sister Irene Petrycia (Jake Kosior) of Winnipeg; sister Alice Petrycia of Brandon; nephew Greg Urichen (Jennifer) of Dauphin; nephew Stefan Kosior of Regina; niece Kathleen Kosior of Winnipeg; and grandnephew Garret Urichen of Dauphin.
Mary was born in a displaced persons camp in Rosenheim, Germany, after the Second World War. With her parents and her sister Lil, she immigrated to Canada in January 1949. The family lived in various communities in Saskatchewan and Manitoba, settling in Brandon in 1962 where Mary attended Brandon Collegiate Institute and Brandon University.
Independent, resourceful, with a teaching certificate in hand, Mary took a position with the Winnipeg School Division. Working full-time and relying on public transit, Mary took night classes and summer school to earn the requisite degrees to improve her opportunities. Mary’s entire teaching career was spent with the Winnipeg School Division, where colleagues say she ran her classroom with fairness, good humour and common sense discipline, always mindful to the differences and abilities of her students.
Mary made many lifelong and new friendships because she understood that to have a friend, you had to be a friend. Mary was generous to friends and family with her time and energy, quick to do a favour or to offer help - just many everyday acts of human kindness. The family thanks all her friends from far and wide who wrote her numerous cards and letters, and sent gifts and photographs of her from times gone by, to cheer and support her.
With an athletic aptitude, Mary participated in many sports over her lifetime and when it became clear her bad knee would no longer tolerate squash, cycling, running or skiing, she joined the Reh-fit Centre, and took up walking, almost daily for one or two hours, in all kinds of weather, at Fort Whyte and weekly with a walking group. When Mary golfed, it had to be without a cart or score keeping, because it was an opportunity to walk and the score was secondary to the camaraderie.
Mary had an adventurous spirit coupled with a “what’s the worst thing that could happen” attitude. She travelled to impoverished Guyana and Soviet-ruled Ukraine for several summers as a member of a CIDA-sponsored program to train local teachers. When the Soviet bloc fell, she travelled with her mother to meet her parents’ families in Ukraine in 1984 and 1992. She continued to visit Ukraine periodically after her mother’s death, and along with Borden and Lil, maintained connections with family there. Mary and Ed spent a couple of winter months in Palm Springs for several years and went on Alaskan and Mediterranean cruises. Mary joined a travel group, seeing places in Italy, Portugal, Turkey, South Africa, China, Chile and other countries. In typical Mary style, she came back from these trips with gifts for everybody and shoes for herself. As one friend said, Mary could always find a great place to buy shoes before her travel companions had unpacked their luggage.
In keeping with Mary's wishes, cremation has taken place and due to the Covid-19 pandemic restrictions, a private family service for Mary will be held. In the meantime, Mary’s family kindly requests that her friends and relatives take a few minutes to honour her memory by sharing your memories and stories of Mary using the comment section on this page.
In memory of Mary, please consider a donation to the Winnipeg Humane Society or the Lubov Foundation which funds a safe house for endangered homeless and orphaned young women in Lviv, Ukraine (1085 Main Street, Winnipeg, R2W 3S1).
Memories, Stories and Condolences
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