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Born: Oct 17, 1943

Date of Passing: Dec 22, 2009

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LEONA MELNYCHUK Leona Melnychuk (née Babych) passed away suddenly, but peacefully, on December 22, 2009 in her home in Gimli, Manitoba at the age of 66 years. Leona was predeceased by her loving husband Nick and her parents Mary and Michael. Left to forever remember Leona are her sons Mark (Bev) and Grant (Alexandra), grandson Mathew (Vicki), granddaughters Cecily and Eloise, and step-grandchildren Brittany, Nathan and Nicole. Leona is also survived by her brothers Edward (Tillie) and Steve (Ollie); sisters Lakeria, Ann (Erwin), Gloria (Elmer), Victoria (Fred) and Bertha (Bob); and numerous brothers-in-law, sisters-in-law, nieces and nephews. Leona was born in Musidora, Alberta on October 17, 1943 and raised on the family farm. She attended school in Two Hills, Alberta and Edmonton. After finishing school, Leona moved from Edmonton to Winnipeg to study to become a Licensed Practical Nurse. Leona nursed briefly at hospitals in Winnipeg, Selkirk and Gimli before coming to the Betel Home in Gimli, where she spent the majority of her nursing career. In 1965 Leona married Nick - her partner and best friend. They spent 39 happily married years together before Nick's passing in January 2005. Throughout their married life, they enjoyed spending time with family and friends and many outdoor summer activities. Leona was also an avid sports fan. She enjoyed playing softball and volleyball as an adult and following her favourite teams in the NHL and CFL. Although Leona had mobility challenges in recent years, she took great pride and comfort in being able to remain in her home where she and Nick raised Mark and Grant. This couldn't have been possible without the great network of friends, neighbours and volunteers that she developed to help with household chores and day-to-day errands. The family would like to particularly thank two individuals whose friendship Leona cherished - Erika Barteaux and Olga Capar. The family would also like to thank the many local volunteers and home care staff that helped over the years. Leona was a generous and caring mother and a proud and doting grandmother. She will be sorely missed and forever remembered. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in Leona's name to the Sacred Heart Ukrainian Catholic Church, the Gimli Community Health Centre, or to a charity of your choice. A funeral mass will be held Thursday, December 31, 2009 at 10:30 a.m. at the Sacred Heart Ukrainian Church in Gimli with interment to follow at the Holy Ghost Cemetery. Gilbart Funeral Home, Gimli, in care of arrangements.

As published in Winnipeg Free Press on Dec 29, 2009

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