GORCAK, Jennie Katherine (née Kanik)
September 22, 1922 – January 14, 2017
It is with sad acceptance and hearts full of love, that we announce the peaceful passing of our wonderful Mom, Grandma and Great Grandma, Mrs. Jennie Gorcak, at Covenant Care, Villa Marie, Red Deer on Saturday, January 14, 2017 at the age of 94 years. Mom was born in Coleman, Alberta to Johanna and John Kanik. Mom’s early life in the Crowsnest Pass was one of exploration of the majestic beauty of the mountains and in particular, the Crowsnest. Mom loved to tell the story of her climb, with older brother, Steve and Frances Gorcak to the Crowsnest Peak; and as prairie kids, we were pretty sure that was something of major importance – no mountains to climb in Veteran, Alberta; where Mom came to live with our Dad, George, following their marriage, in 1940. But, for Mom there still indeed were mountains to climb in east central Alberta, of another variety. Mom and Dad settled on property northeast of Veteran, in a tiny farm house, with no power, no running water, a bit of land and dreams for much more. They worked so hard to put together that dream, that eventually realized a full farming operation. Seven children arrived. While the early days at the farm had their challenges, they also brought the joys of family, good friends and neighbours. Mom was an excellent hostess who loved company – knocks on the door, expected or not, were welcomed with much warmth and enthusiasm. A great cook and baker of family-famous buns and pies, Mom’s skills were well-honed over the years. She loved her garden, her flowers, and took pride in her home. Kind, loving and gracious, Mom had other traits that displayed themselves at the card table. Poker, whist, crib – Mom was a skilled player, who could be a good loser but was always a great winner! No mercy for her children, or even her grandchildren, whose visits to the farm always included evenings at the kitchen table hoping to win a game or two – and those times remain some of the happiest, most carefree days for all of us. A good curler, who skipped her teams to trophies in local bonspiels over the years, a bowler, and in later years, a bingo lover, Mom was active through the years and enjoyed thoroughly learning new skills. She played Wii bowling with her grandkids and was clever at charades. She cheered her favourite team, the Calgary Flames, from the beginning, and still enjoyed hearing about their victories long after her sight had gone. When our Dad, in his final years of life, needed extra care and attention, Mom took care of him with a strength that was more than something to admire. Her deep love for Dad was evident in all she did, and upon Dad’s passing in 2000, after close to sixty years of marriage, her heart was broken. But she persevered, and with a strong faith, Mom came through her loss. Mom moved to the Redwoods Retirement Residence in 2009, and enjoyed her new friends and the warm environment of her home. In 2014, she moved to Covenant Care, Villa Marie, where she resided until her passing. Jennie leaves to mourn her children, Lenore (Joseph) Drevenak, David (Gayle) Gorcak, Sylvia (Peter) Stewart, Vicky (Clark) Craig, Denise (John) Templeton, and Cindy (Duane) Clemens; grandchildren, Mark Gorcak, Chandra (Jason) Hlady, Ginny (Jason) Edey, Leana (Marc) Virgo, Chad Drevenak, John (Theresa) Templeton, Ryan (Maureen) Stewart, Matthew (Jessica) Drevenak, Dr. George (Susan) Templeton, Dr. Jeffrey (Jocelyn Stewart) Craig, Kelly (Aaron) Gelling, Ashley Stewart, James (Marija) Templeton, Justin (Kathy Bielecki) Templeton, and Jennifer Gorcak. Mom was the proud great grandmother of twenty-one great grandchildren, ranging in age from twenty-one years to nineteen months old, and counting! Also left to miss her dearly is Mom’s sister, Agnes Parry, and many nephews and nieces and their families. Jennie was predeceased by her parents, parents-in-law, Joseph and Victoria Gorcak, infant daughter, Kathleen, husband, George, great grandson, Marvin Templeton, brother, Steve Mraz, sisters, Louise Kuran and Ethel Dobek, brothers and sisters-in-law, Stella Mraz, Joseph Kuran, John Dobek, Glyn Parry, Joseph and Josephine Gorcak, Albert and Frances Fischer, Norman and Catherine Connolly, Stephen and Blanche Gorcak, and Francis and Jacqueline Gorcak. Our deepest appreciation to the compassionate staff of Covenant Care, Villa Marie, whose amazing care of our Mom was instrumental in her comfort right up to the end. Mom was treated with the utmost dignity and consideration; and we are so very grateful to the entire team of professionals at Villa Marie. A most special thank you to our sister, Lenore and her husband, Joe, with whom Mom lived for a time following Dad’s passing, and who took care of so many things for Mom. Mom’s love of reading was curtailed after the loss of her sight but Lenore began to read to her over the phone, every night, often for hours, and Mom could continue to explore best-sellers, biographies, and new books for several years. And to our sister, Cindy and her daughter, Jennifer whose constant attention to Mom and regular weekend visits brought Mom so much joy we have heartfelt gratitude. Prayers for Jennie Gorcak will be held at Parkland Funeral Home, 6287 – 67 A Street (Taylor Drive), Red Deer, Alberta on Wednesday, January 18, 2017 at 7:00 p.m. Funeral Mass will be celebrated at Sacred Heart Catholic Church, 5508 – 48A Avenue, Red Deer, Alberta on Thursday, January 19, 2017 at 11:00 a.m. with The Reverend Father Jozef Wroblewski celebrant. A Private Family Interment will be held at the Veteran Cemetery, at a later date. Condolences may be sent or viewed at www.parklandfuneralhome.com. Arrangements in care of
PARKLAND FUNERAL HOME AND CREMATORIUM,
6287 – 67 A Street (Taylor Drive), Red Deer. 403.340.4040 or 1.800.481.7421.