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JELKA (HELENA) MRAK
Born: Sep 16, 1928
Date of Passing: May 04, 2020Send Flowers to the Family Offer Condolences or Memory
JELKA (HELENA) MRAK
September 16, 1928 - May 4, 2020
Left to cherish her memory are daughter Barbara Budnick (Paul), son Walter Mrak (Cathy); grandchildren, Christine Budnick (Jeff Stadnyk), Karen Budnick (Frank Baldwin) and Andrea Mrak (David Jones); great-grandchildren, Dawson and Hunter Reynolds, Pippa, Hudson and Penny Baldwin, and nephew John Zezula. Her loving smile and generous heart will be missed by all who knew her.
Helena was predeceased by her parents, Anton and Milka Komljenovic; six siblings, Danica, Nikola, Mile, Anka, Martin and Katica in Croatia; and her beloved husband Branko Mrak in 2006.
Mom was born in Rastovaca, Lika, Croatia (in former Yugoslavia) on September 16, 1928, the youngest of seven children. By the end of the Second World War she was the only surviving sibling. In 1941, due to the war, she moved to Slavonia with her mother. There she met Branko Mrak, whom she later fell in love with and married on January 1, 1949. Life was difficult in post-war Yugoslavia, so with their two children, the family immigrated to Canada by way of Austria and settled in Winnipeg in August, 1958.
Mom loved Winnipeg and soon felt at home. Her first job was at the Nanking Restaurant and then as a sewing machine operator in various garment factories, while her husband pursued bricklaying and construction. Her employers commended her for her speed and dedication. She was hard-working, adaptable and dependable. She learned to drive a car at 55 years of age and from then on she provided lifts for friends who did not drive. She was always eager to learn new skills and adapt to new technology. Her determination, strong will, resilience and sense of humour saw her through some hard times.
In addition to her job she was always busy cooking, baking, knitting, crocheting, sewing, gardening, preserving and sharing the bounty of her garden. Mom's passion was growing plants both outdoors and indoors. Each new house she moved into would soon be surrounded with flower beds, a vegetable garden, flower pots on the deck and houseplants, with seedlings at every south-facing window. She planted her last garden when she was 86, despite the pain from her arthritis. Her home was always open and welcoming for friends and family to drop by for coffee, pastries and a visit. She was generous with everyone, helping people in need, whether it be lending them money, a place to stay or a helping hand.
Mom was happiest when she was with her family, either picnicking at Patricia Beach when the family was young or entertaining us in her home well into her 80s. She cherished her grandchildren and great-grandchildren, eagerly babysitting, playing games, laughing with them and making their favourite foods such as her famous fried chicken, cabbage rolls, strudel, donuts and pastries. She found great pleasure in all family events, especially birthdays and holiday celebrations. She was a wonderful mother, grandmother, and great-grandmother, who was wise and generous, full of fun and laughter.
Mom volunteered at the Croatian Pavilion during Folklorama for many years. In her retirement, she added needlepoint to her list of hobbies, always eager to learn new things. Mom and Dad went on several memorable trips, including a tour of the Hawaiian Islands, Croatia and Las Vegas. Her adventurous spirit led her to try new experiences like a hot air balloon ride when she was 72 years old. When her husband passed away after 57 years of marriage, mom continued to live in her home independently for 10 years until moving to supportive housing at the Rosewood.
Her family is incredibly grateful for all that Mom/Baba has done for us throughout these many years. We will treasure our wonderful memories of her, her generosity, her love and her infectious laugh. We will miss her immensely.
The family wishes to thank the staff of Norberry House at the Rosewood who cared for Helena and enriched her life, especially Branka, Mary Lou, Joanne and Christine. Thank you also to friends who visited her, especially Marica Cindric. We are grateful to the staff of 2N at West Park Manor Personal Care Home who lovingly cared for mom for the past four and one-half months. Our thanks to Brenda and the nurses for their compassion and kindness in her final days.
Due to the COVID pandemic, a family funeral will take place at Glen Eden Funeral Home with Father Peter Nemcek of St. Nicholas Tavelich Croatian Catholic Church officiating.
If you wish, donations in Helena's memory may be made to St. Nicholas Tavelich Croatian Catholic Church, Siloam Mission or to the Alzheimer Society of Manitoba.
Family and friends may sign a Book of
Condolence at www.glenedenmemorial.ca.
Glen Eden Funeral Home
As published in Winnipeg Free Press on May 09, 2020
Condolences & Memories (1 entries)
My (kuma) Helena was the most wonderful person anyone could ever meet in life! I will never ever forget her beautiful smile! When we went to visit her I knew she couldn’t remember me, yet she was still smiling! After awhile she would ask - I know you don’t I? I will also never forget how good and kind her and Kum Branko were to our family when we came to Canada! To Barbara, Paul, Walter, Cathy and their Families please accept our deepest Condolences! If it’s any consolation, it is that she will be at peace now and will see your father/grandfather again! Počivaj u Miru Božjem Draga Naša Teta/Kuma Jelka ❤️🌹❤️🌷❤️🌺❤️🌺❤️💗❤️🌺❤️ - Posted by: Mira Perko (Goddaughter(Conformation)) on: May 09, 2020
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