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Born: May 27, 1935

Date of Passing: Feb 26, 2004

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MARY T. BRASKO It is with great sadness we announce the passing of Mary T. Brasko. Following a brave battle, Mary passed away peacefully, surrounded by her family on Thursday, February 26, 2004 at the Health Sciences Centre. Mary leaves to cherish her memory, her husband of 50 years Jerry J; her children, Melanie and husband Richard, Christine, Pauline, Jerald and wife Cindy, Katherine and husband Stephen, Cassandra and husband Rod; grandchildren, Matthew, Mark, Derek, Carlene, Joelle, Colt, Jace, Rylee, Easton, Garrett, Ethan and soon-to-be baby Smith; her brother Bernard (Gus) Bolunicky and wife Phyllis; and many nieces and nephews. She was predeceased by her parents Maria (Jablonicky) and Stefan Bohunicky; brothers William Bohunicky and Steve Bowen. Born on May 27, 1935 in St. Boniface, MB, Mary attended Immaculate Conception Catholic School, St. Marys Academy, high school in Toronto, ON and finished her education at Tech Voc High School in its opening year. As a young girl growing up in the North End, she enjoyed baseball, skating, sewing, played piano through the Toronto Conservatory of Music and was very involved with the Slovak Community. It was within this community that she met Jerry J. and three years later, married on July 24, 1954. Mary and Jerry J. founded TATRA Ornamental Iron Works Ltd. in February 1962 which has run successfully for over 40 years. TATRA FC Soccer Club was also founded by Mary and Jerry J. in 1969 and continued until 1984. Mary was an active member at the Visitation of Our Lady Slovak Church till its close in 1996. One of the many pioneers, she held every position available, an active member of the Catholic Womens League with its yearly teas and dinners. It was through the church that Mary coordinated the Slovakia/Bratislava Pavilion of Folklorama up until 1994, which also produced the "From Our Slovak Kitchen" cookbook. As lifetime members of the Slovak World Congress, it allowed Mary and Jerry J. to travel and see the world abroad while having a strong involvement with the Slovak community. They were invited to the 2000 Diplomatic Forum held in Winnipeg as representatives of TATRA Ornamental Iron Works Ltd. for the Private Sector of Manitoba. Until her passing, Mary worked diligently to preserve the Slovak Culture found and celebrated throughout Manitoba. Not only was Mary a remarkable wife, mother and grandmother (cherishing her grandchildren above all), she was a successful businesswoman, a pioneer for Slovak Heritage and a tireless volunteer. She was never afraid to speak her mind and was able to command the attention of all around her in a way that no one would forget her. Mary always put her hardships aside and her familys needs and wants ahead of her own. Never once did she complain or wish for things to be different. She provided us all with the courage to be strong, to be proud of our heritage and never give up what we believe in. She gave us the gifts of family, honour, strength, duty, love and laughter. Prayers will be held on Friday, March 5 at 7:00 p.m. at Chapel Lawn Funeral Home, 4000 Portage Ave. Funeral service will be held on Saturday, March 6 at 12:30 p.m. at Chapel Lawn Funeral Home. Mary will be laid to rest in Chapel Lawn Memorial Gardens. Fr. Gerry Ward officiating and the Very Rev. Fr. John Melnyk assisting. A reception will follow in the Chapel Lawn Reception Centre. Pallbearers will be sons-in-law Richard LaPage, Stephen Kuklica and Rod Smith; grandsons, Matthew LaPage and Derek Ferreira; cousin Jozef Brasko. Honorary pallbearers will be Dr. Anton Brasko, Joe Capka, Andrej Koprajda, Jozef Kiska and Andy Modla. The family would like to thank the entire staff of GH4 of the Health Sciences Centre for their personal care of Mary. A special recognition of thanks to Hugh Chan (aka Stu) and Gus C, the comfort you provided to Mary and to all of us cannot be adequately expressed in words. We love you both. Aunti never left Marys side, your endless love and comfort will never be forgotten. A mass for Mary will be held by Fr. Gerry Ward at St. Timothy Parish, 135 John Forsyth (St. Vital) at 11:00 a.m. on Sunday, March 7. In honour of the passing of the co-founder of TATRA Ornamental Iron Works Ltd, Mary T. Brasko, the company will be closed Friday, March 5. Flowers gratefully accepted or donations may be made to the Heart and Stroke Foundation, 200-6 Donald St., Winnipeg, MB R3L 0K6. God looked around His garden, and found an empty space. He then looked down upon the earth and saw your tired face. He put his arms around you, and lifted you to rest, Gods garden must be beautiful He only takes the best. He knew that you were suffering, He knew that you were in pain, He knew that you might never Get well upon this earth again. He knew the road was getting rough And the hills were too hard to climb. So He closed your weary eyelids and whispered, "Peace be thine". It broke our hearts to lose you, But you did not go alone, For part of us went with you the day God called you home. We will miss you and love you forever.... Arrangements entrusted to: CHAPEL LAWN FUNERAL HOME CEMETERY AND CREMATORIUM 885-9715

As published in Winnipeg Free Press on Mar 03, 2004

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