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Born: Feb 10, 1928

Date of Passing: Nov 22, 2011

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MINNIE SLOBODZIAN It is with great sadness and heavy hearts that the families of Minnie Slobodzian announce her passing. Minnie Slobodzian, age 83 years of Winnipegosis, passed away on November 22, 2011 at the Dauphin Regional Health Centre after a brief courageous battle with cancer. She was born February 10, 1928 to Peter and Tekla (Krokosh) Semchyshyn in the R.M. of Mossey River. She received her education at Small Creek School. On June 23, 1945 she married Alex Mudery of the Lynnville District north of Winnipegosis. They had two daughters and then life changed for her and she moved on to find happiness. In 1961 Minnie married Wm (Bill) Slobodzian of the South Bay District and they had one son. Minnie worked as a farm wife, homemaker and at one time even worked as a casual at the Winnipegosis Bakery which was then run by Joe and Vera Plesh. At that time they belonged to the Ukrainian Orthodox Church and worked hard to establish the parish, working at bingo every Monday night. When the church closed recently they joined the Ukrainian Catholic Church as faith was very important to Minnie and she loved going to Church even when it was difficult because of poor health. Fundraising at the church included making perogies which she talked about anxiously for days prior as she enjoyed the company of others. Minnie was very proud of her garden, growing bushels of produce to preserve and share with family and friends. Many of her acquaintances from the north would stop by during the harvest season to purchase the fruits of her labours. She always looked forward to her customers' return the following year. She faithfully picked the produce herself, being certain not to damage any of the plants as they continue to produce. When her crop was very abundant, she would place a cardboard sign at the gate offering vegetables for sale. Everything that she grew had a purpose. Her preserving included pickles, jams and jellies. Her own homemade ketchup was served almost at every meal. She also enjoyed mushroom picking and wild berry picking. Going to pick blueberries meant the first cucumbers off the garden had to be made into a jar of dills so they could be packed for the picnic lunch at the berry patch. Minnie had apple trees right in front of her kitchen window and couldn't wait for them to flower in the spring. If it rained hard when the blossoms were out she would pray that there would be fruit so she could make homemade apple pies. If there wasn't much room in the freezer, she would make the pie filling and process it in the canner as every apple was put to use. When food processors became common it was very difficult to convince Minnie she should have one. Only recently she acquired one and realized that now she could process five times as much with less work so there were more pickles and more jam. She loved to bake and try new recipes and probably owned every community cook book printed. For many years baking bread was done at least once a week. She had a favourite chocolate cake recipe which she would make almost anytime but she served it for every birthday and the pieces would be cut big so there would be none left at the end of lunch. She always said eat lots, I can make another one tomorrow. A big cookie jar on the counter was very seldom empty. She had many fond memories of the summers that her teenage grandson Ken spent working on the farm. She was determined that she could fatten him up before she let him go back to his parents for the school term. She also enjoyed the few trips that she made to Winnipeg to visit her sister Eileen and brother-in-law Dave. For weeks there would be plans made as to how much they could accomplish in a mere two or three days. Guests at the farm never left hungry. If you didn't have time to stop for a snack you were sent home with something in your pocket or in your hand. A fad which started years ago with the party-line telephone when all the ladies would pick up the phone at a certain time and have a conference call, Mom continued to call on her phone friends and visit. She would know all the events in the neighbourhood in short order and would be concerned if someone was ill or needed something. If a neighbour's animals were out of the fence she would usually know who they belonged to and would try to call until she found someone who could do the roundup. Minnie enjoyed cross stitching and made many cushions and tablecloths. She usually did not need a pattern and if she did she could look at an item and create her own version of a pattern. She also loved to knit and in more recent years used up most of her Phentex yarn and made sure everyone's feet were warm with her cupchi (slippers). Her grandchildren were certain to receive a pair at Christmas time and sometimes they would have money tucked inside as she felt that slippers were not a big enough gift in today's world. She was predeceased by her parents, Peter and Tekla Semchyshyn; brothers Joe, Mike, Bill, Nick, and Metro; and sisters Nellie and Eileen. She is survived by her husband Wm (Bill) Slobodzian; daughters Evelyn Mudery of Winnipegosis and Hope Toporowski of Fork River; son Eli Mudery of Winnipegosis; brother Steve (Freda) Semchyshyn of Regina; sister Annie Natrasowany of Whitemouth. Minnie was Baba to Angela (John) Caroyannis of Winnipeg, Ken (Melissa) Toporowski of Weyburn, SK and Carla (Giuseppe) Aletta of Winnipeg. She was Great Baba to Nathan Caroyannis, Keagan, Jonathan and Rochelle Toporowski, and Ava and London Aletta. She was known as Grandma Minnie by her little neighbours to the north - Belle and Dyllan Maniel. She is also survived by numerous nieces, nephews and extended family. Prayers were offered on Friday, November 25, 2011 at 7:00 p.m. from the Winnipegosis Holy Ascension Ukrainian Catholic Church. Funeral service was held on Saturday, November 26, 2011 at 11:30 a.m. from the Holy Ascension Ukrainian Catholic Church with the Reverend Father Oleg Bodnarski officiating. The Crossbearer was Ken Toporowski. The Epistle was read by Angela Caroyannis and the eulogy was delivered by Carla Aletta. Interment followed in the Holy Ascension Ukrainian Catholic Parish Cemetery. Laying Minnie to rest were Pallbearers Cliff Wiebe, Rick Wiebe, Merlin Semchyshyn, Donald Maniel, Bill Zdarski and Sally Frykas. Donations in Memory of Minnie may be made to a charity of one's choice. Sneath-Strilchuk Funeral Services 1-877-243-4459

As published in Winnipeg Free Press on Dec 03, 2011

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