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Born: Sep 15, 1921

Date of Passing: Jan 15, 2023

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September 15, 1921 - January 15, 2023

Mary was born in the village of Lipovka and spent her childhood in Krasnye Polanyi, Mordovia, Russia. She had many fond memories of her childhood, but also experienced hardships including the removal of her non-Russian father who was sent to prison camps in Siberia.
She was a Second Officer in Training of a transport ship when the Second World War affected her. The ship was commanded to pick up stranded civilians down the Volga and transport them to safety. This began her run from the terrible war that had her in several prison camps and eventually a work camp where she was compelled into forced labour. She loved her mother, father and sister, who were separated from her for many years before they could get back in touch. Mom survived the war and had the choice of taking the train back home or staying to start a new life with the charming Alec Lewyc (Levitz). She stayed with Alec, and they had their first son Walter while living in a displacement camp in Goslar, Germany. When Walter was two, they received their immigration approval for Canada and ended up in a logging camp in Northern Alberta. The family spent time in Windsor and eventually settled in Winnipeg, where Robert and Particia were born.
Mom had a voracious appetite for reading and travel, loved figure skating and ballet, and was fluent in four languages. She had a great sense of style and loved sewing; in fact most of her clothes were either made by herself or altered to suit. She loved vegetable and flower gardening and cooking, so much so that often Sunday dinner would look more like Sunday feast, with many of her children's friends around the table. Mary loved to tell stories of her interesting life and its observations; she loved history and was very interested in world events. She loved her home country, children and grandson most of all and missed them terribly when she couldn't be with them.
Mary leaves behind her daughter Pat (Michael), son Robert (Mila) and her grandson Thomas. She is predeceased by her beloved son Walter and husband Oleksa (Alec). She leaves behind a great many family members in Russia who she enjoyed keeping in touch with by video; thank you very much to Tanya, Alosha and many others for all the love and well wishes you shared.
Thank you to the amazing staff at Prime at Deer Lodge Centre for your kind and gentle care. Thank you also to the staff at Misericordia Place. Special thank you to Michael who made mom's last years extra special. Also to Bonnie, Al, Shannon, Greg and Brett and Brianna - mom's second family - she enjoyed decades of holidays with you and cherished them all.
A memorial celebration will be held at 11:00 a.m. on Saturday, February 4 at the Unitarian Universalist Church at 603 Wellington Crescent.

Hunter Funerals

As published in Winnipeg Free Press on Jan 28, 2023

Condolences & Memories (1 entries)

  • My condolences Pat on the passing of your mom. What an incredible life story she had. - Posted by: Karen Zapisocki (Friend of Pat) on: Jan 28, 2023

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