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Born: Apr 18, 1941

Date of Passing: Jun 04, 2022

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April 18, 1941 – June 4, 2022

With profound sadness, we announce the passing of Gladys Jane Bodnarus on Saturday, June 4, 2022 at Concordia Hospital.
She leaves to mourn her sisters, Rose and Eugenia (Dave); brother Melvin and sister-in-law MaryAnn. She is also survived by seven nieces, five nephews, seven great-nieces and eight great-nephews. She was predeceased by her parents, Peter and Pauline (Shyk) Bodnarus; her brothers, Adam and Walter; her sister Mary (Walter) and sisters-in-law, Violet and Ruth.
Gladys was born at the Hunter Memorial Hospital in Teulon on April 18, 1941, the fifth child and third daughter in a family of seven. She attended grades one to ten in Komarno, MB and grades 11 and 12 at Teulon Collegiate. In 1958, she attended Manitoba Teachers College and secured a teaching position for grades one to eight in a one room school from 1959 to 1960 at Netley School. The following year, she taught at Kirkfield Park School with the St. James School Division. In 1963 to 1965, she taught at Crestview School and from 1965 to 1969, she was off to Europe for a teaching position with the Department of National Defense. She taught 1965 to 1967 in Marville, France and 1967 to 1969 in Lahr, Germany. She travelled extensively throughout Europe and experienced many wonderful adventures during this teaching sojourn.
She returned to teach in Canada in 1969, securing a position with the St. James School Division, teaching at Hedges Junior High until 1976, when she transferred to Westwood Collegiate until 1983, then to Silver Heights Collegiate from 1983 to 1989. From 1989 to 1992, she taught at John Taylor Collegiate. In 1993, she taught Special Education and became an Employment Specialist and Coordinator for Special Needs. In 1996 she became the Leader in Resource, Guidance Counsellor, Attendance Officer, and the Employment Specialist for the Work Experience Component of the Special Needs Program. She retired from her Education career in June 1996.
After retirement, she contributed many hours volunteering to numerous organizations; Cancer Society, Heart and Stroke and Humane Society were dearest to her heart.
She was kind-hearted to a fault. She loved her family, helping when she could, always interested in their ventures and adventures and encouraged everyone to pursue their dreams. We will miss her dearly.
The family would like to thank the following Home Care staff for their care and support, Naomi, Sam, Kim, Jocelyn and Ricki.
Flowers gratefully declined; donations can be made in her memory to a charity of your choice.

Vichnaya Pamyat - Memory Eternal
MacKenzie Funeral Home

As published in Winnipeg Free Press on Jun 11, 2022

Condolences & Memories (6 entries)

  • Miss Bodnaris was my grade 5 teacher at Crestview Elementary in 1965. The year before I'd had an awful time when my parents were fighting constantly, my father had to be arrested for his violence (unusual in those times), and he left. At school, the teacher I'd had was equally violent, inclined to yell and punish with the strap, rulers, slapping and humiliating in any way she could. Miss Bodnaris I think knew what grade 4 had been like for us and was the fair opposite. She was kind, uplifting, supportive, and never raised her voice to anyone. She laughed at even the silliest of jokes, never seemed to punish us and never seemed to need to because we never stepped out of line. We didn't want to disappoint her and we enjoyed being with her. At Christmas, our class was given the task of doing the nativity at the Christmas pageant and she wanted me, of all people to be Mary. My mom couldn't afford to make the costume, a blue draping dress and white sheet turned into a kind of vest with head cover. When I told her, I thought I couldn't be Mary because of not being able to make the costume. She said she'd make the costume for me. She said it very matter of factly, like it was no big deal. I felt such relief and I felt like the most beautiful Mary in any nativity that was every performed ever. Every holdiay that came up felt awkward because I didn't have a dad and that was odd in those days. For art we were to make some chore gifts for our dads but she just said, just make a card. No mention whether I would give it to him or not, that didn't matter. She was so wonderful, because she knew that my dad was nowhere to be found. He was long gone with his paychecque. She was also interesting. If a student had an interesting pet, she let them bring it to class. One student had a snake and she held it in her hand as she carried it around for all of us to see close up. We went on field trips, sometimes out to literal fields to see what grew there but also to a sugarbeet factory to see how sugar is made, to the provincial legislature to see the display of King Tutenkamen's riches which were touring North America and Winnipeg was one of only a few stops. And she never stiffled conversation if it was leading to learning. Like with the snake, she allowed our minds to lead and carry the conversation where it needed to go and for us to learn. One day we made butter. She brought in some nonhomogenized milk, we took turns shaking it until it turned to butter, then squeezed out the buttermilk, salted it, and she brought enough crackers for us to all have a taste. At the end of June, we all were becoming curious about who our teacher would be the following year. I was dreading it because I didn't want my grade 4 teacher again or anyone like her. I wanted Mis Bodnaris again. I didn't want to leave my grade 5 class. It was finally a place where I felt safe, where I could learn, and I had a teacher who knew, who understood. I can't say enough about how much she did for me and I honestly think she saved my life. I really don't know what would have happened if I hadn't had her for my grade 5 teacher, I really don't. Throughout my life, I have thought of her often and thanked her in my prayers. Her kindness and softspoken supportive manner made it possible for me to get through the rest of my grade school years. I'm 68 now and still, I think of her. She is my favourite teacher. As a Baha'i, I believe in bequeathing something to education in the name of our teachers. However, for me, there are teachers who nearly drove me to suicide, my grade 4 teacher being one of them. When I wrote my own will, I arranged a donation to an educational organization in her name. Until I found this obituary, I didn't know her first name but I've always called her Miss Bodnaris. She has been a true hero to me and I thank her for my life. - Posted by: Diana Bliss (student in 1965) on: Feb 02, 2023

  • I have fond memories of Gladys, back in the days when we taught junior high at Hedges in St James. She was a delightful person and one you could always depend on to help you with any problem that required patience, understanding and a solution. I loved her sense of humor which was truly subtle, but never judgmental. Gladys also taught my 3 children at Westwood Collegiate and I knew that they were the lucky ones and that their High school English skills would always serve them well in their future. Because I have lived on Vancouver Island for the past 33 years, I lost touch with so many of my past teaching colleagues, nevertheless, Gladys was and will always remain a fond memory. Her family was always the most important constant in her life and I know you will miss her terribly. Please accept my love and condolences at this sad time. - Posted by: Alene Gold,( Whitlaw) ,(Briggs) (Former colleague At HEDGES JUNIOR HIGH ) on: Jun 27, 2022

  • We are deeply saddened at Gladys' passing. She was family; devoted to us all, always interested and supportive. She never missed important family events whether happy or sad and was there with hugs and comforting words or congratulations. We lost a woman of compassion and integrity. Gladys loved life and lived it to her ultimate fullest. We will miss you so. Vichnaya Pamyat. Stephanie (Semeniuk)and John Karalash - Posted by: Stephanie (Semeniuk)John Karalash (Family ) on: Jun 19, 2022

  • We remember Gladys as a hard worker at our pig fests. She was always willing to do what was needed and we all enjoyed the fruits of our labors. - Posted by: Alf & Eva Loewen (Long time friends) on: Jun 13, 2022

  • To the Bodnarus family I am heartsick at the news that Gladys passed away. I met Gladys about 20 yrs ago when I worked at the Cancer Society and Gladys was a volunteer canvasser in her building! We've stayed connected all these years and know how deeply she loved her family and her passion as an educator! Throughout the years she fought a difficult battle and did well to persevere! Take good care of each other and know that my thoughts are with you! I already miss her dearly - God speed “I would like to be known as an intelligent woman, a courageous woman, a loving woman, a woman who teaches by being.” Maya Angelou Lynda Ruban dear friend/ staff at he HSC Foundation - Posted by: Lynda Ruban (staff at Health Sciences Centre Foundation) on: Jun 13, 2022

  • I taught for 2 years with Gladys at Westwood Collegiate, and will never forget her kindness and optimism. As a brand new teacher, I was taken under her lovely wing and learned so much about the importance of being genuine… My condolences for your family’s loss, and may she Rest in peace. Donna Hunter - Posted by: Donna Hunter (Friend and fellow teacher) on: Jun 12, 2022

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