Peacefully in Toronto, on Thursday, August 8th, 2019, aged 98 years. Paula was a loving wife to Jakob (deceased 1981). Survived by her son, Jacob (Margaret) and grandsons Jonathan (Valerie), Michael and Robert (Alecia), and by Jonathan’s children, Alex, Jacob and William.
Paula was born Oct. 18th, 1920 on a farm near Poltava, Ukraine. Her father, Leontiv, was a Cossack and served in the Czar’s army for the mandated 25 years prior to returning to the family farm and starting a family. Her mother Fedora had the foresight to encourage the family to leave their farm, during the collectivization. Leontiy’s relatives did not leave and all died in Siberia. Paula relocated several times due to collectivization, unrest and WW2. Paula moved from farm to town to the city and the family managed through the years.
She began university in the Ukraine, studying Engineering and met her husband, Jakob at the university where he was studying German Literature. Jakob was a Mennonite from the Molotschna colony in the Ukraine. The University was closed in 1941 due to the war and the couple married and ultimately travelled to Germany and became civilian workers. After the war, they were sponsored to Canada in 1948 by cousins of Jakob. They moved to Winnipeg.
Her son, Jacob was born in 1949 and another son, Ronald in 1953. As a young mother, she returned to school earning her science degree and her teacher’s certificate. Paula was fiercely proud of being the first female Physics teacher in Manitoba. Paula developed curriculum for the province and retired from Daniel McIntyre High School where she spent many years of her teaching career.
In 1963 Paula sponsored her parents and they immigrated to Winnipeg where she cared for them for the rest of their lives.
After retirement in 1988, she moved to Mississauga to live near her son and grandchildren.
She was raised in the Ukrainian Orthodox Church and changed to the Mennonite church after meeting her husband. Paula was active in the Mennonite Church in Winnipeg and in Mississauga.
Paula was a strong, purposeful woman who moved to be with husband or family. She valued her heritage as a Ukrainian and managed to return to visit some cousins in 1995. She spoke four languages beginning with Ukrainian and Russian, learning German and finally English. She loved gardening and flowers and would gladly start a garden wherever she lived. She left behind established gardens at her Inverhouse condo, at the family cottage and at the Credit River Retirement home. The last garden was completed at the age of 97.
Paula valued her independence always. Paula chose to drive to Winnipeg by herself in her 90’s, despite contrary advice. She returned to her Inverhouse condo to live after major surgery. Paula only left the retirement home after a major stroke in 2018. Paula subsequently required greater support and was fortunate to settle in Fudger House a long term care home in Toronto. The family is thankful for the excellent care provided by the 2East staff at Fudger House.
Visitation will be held at Neweduk Chapel on Aug 15th from 6-8 pm. with Service on Aug. 16th at 11 am. In lieu of flowers, please donate to Plan International or the Mennonite Benevolent Society.