It is with very heavy hearts that we announce the passing of Sophie Brylowski, wife, mother, grandmother, and great-grandmother on August 10.
Sophie was born in Leliwa, Poland, on April 21, 1921, the youngest daughter of Idzi and Franciszka Majewski. After the Nazi invasion of Poland, eighteen-year-old Zosia (Sophie) was taken to Germany as slave labour. There she met Bernard Brylowski, a Polish naval prisoner-of-war. When the war ended, they married in August of 1945. A son, Edward, was born in February 1947.
Bernard, who had apprenticed before the war as a stonemason and bricklayer, emigrated from the DP camp in Weinsberg, Germany, and arrived in Halifax in March 1948. Sophie and Edward arrived in October 1948.
The family first settled in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, but shortly thereafter moved to Edmonton, Alberta. In 1951, they relocated to Toronto. Soon Sophie was earning money sewing, darning, and doing fine needlework. In 1953, Bernard and Sophie bought their first house. By 1958, they had saved enough money to visit their devastated homeland of Poland. But also in 1958, Sophie and Bernard became Canadian citizens, adopting a new homeland.
In 1963, Sophie gave birth to a daughter, Denise, and the family was complete.
Bernard passed away in April 1986. Now a widow, Sophie moved in with Edward (Sheila) and his family. She enjoyed looking after her grandchildren, Lisa (Tom) and Michelle. After Denise married (Richard), Sophie had two more grandchildren to dote on, Danielle and Christopher.
Lisa’s children, Ryan and Kelly, and Danielle’s (Miroslav) daughter, Mila, made Sophie a great-grandmother.
Sophie’s Catholic faith was very important to her. She was devout and rarely missed Mass. Christmas was her most favourite time of the liturgical year. Sophie was a voracious reader. Every morning began the same: coffee and the newspaper. Sophie was opinionated and vocal, especially about politics and current world events. Although she never attended high school in Poland, Sophie was a firm believer in the value of formal education, prodding her children to earn university degrees.
An avid gardener, Sophie’s green thumb could make even the most obstinate plant bloom and blossom. Birds held a special place in her heart and in winter she fed them daily. When asked why, she said she’d experienced hunger and homelessness in her life. Of all the creatures she loved, her “four-legged” friend, Oscar, the family’s Mini Schnauzer, held a special place in her heart.
Denise and I would like to thank the nurses and staff at Extendicare Mississauga for the excellent care they gave to Sophie. Thanks also to the many friends who have commented just how much they were touched by Sophie’s presence.
Sleep well, Mom. You’ve more than earned your reward.
Friends may call at the Turner & Porter ‘Neweduk-Erin Mills’ Chapel, 1981 Dundas St. W., Mississauga (east of Erin Mills Pkwy), on Monday, August 14, 2023, from 6-9 p.m. Rosary Prayers at 7:30pm. Funeral Mass will be held at All Saints Roman Catholic Church, 1415 Royal York Rd, Etobicoke, on Tuesday at 10 am. Interment to follow at Beechwood Cemetery.