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CATHERINE KOSTELNUK

Born: Jul 16, 1935

Date of Passing: Feb 26, 2021

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CATHERINE KOSTELNUK

Sadly, on February 26, 2021 our family of one son, two daughters, six grandchildren and four great-grandchildren lost a very special person who will forever impact their lives.
Sadly missing their mom will be her son Craig (Candace), and daughters, Suzanne Carpenter (Wayne) and Rebecca Galego (Maurino). Missing their "Nana and Grandma" will be Tara and Travis, Shane, Carmine, Amber, and Daniel, as well as missing their "Gana", Kian, Avaya, Taven, and Torin.
Catherine was born on July 16, 1935 in Kirkland Lake, Ontario and lived the majority of her life in Winnipeg, Manitoba, where she was married and raised her children. She lost her husband, Daniel, who passed away previously at the young age of 55, with whom she assisted in establishing and running a family business in 1969, which still exists today to support her family. She used her many talents to support her family, such as making her children's clothing, and gardening vegetables to provide food. Her excellent skills of cooking and baking produced food that not only tasted like perfection, but also looked beautiful. Her eclairs were legendary.
She was a spiritual person, and as part of her legacy to her children, was instilling in us an appreciation for Christian qualities of selflessness, giving, caring, integrity, kindness and faith. She was one of Jehovah's Witnesses for over 68 years and showed by example all these things. She comforted people and was known for her encouraging nature. It was important to her to share her hope that she would again be with her family in a paradise earth where we would never have to experience sickness and death as promised to us in Revelation 21: 3,4.
Much like her own mother, she also instilled in her children love for family, strong family values, respect for others despite their nationality, culture or race, an appreciation for education, and a strong work ethic by example.
Catherine's work history was as diverse as she was. She was the only woman in her high school graduating class in 1953 to be given a scholarship for University. Though she was unable to attend due to limited family funds, and a necessary move for her family for health reasons, her love for people motivated her to make the choices she did. She knew the value of a job and what education could bring, not only in a way to help support her family, but also as a way to give back and inspire others to do the same.
Her many years in healthcare inspired her eldest daughter, as well as two of her grandchildren, to follow in her footsteps. She will be remembered by many with great respect and admiration for what she accomplished at both Health Sciences Centre and Seven Oaks Hospital in her various positions, trying to make things better for patients and their families. In her final position as Medical Administrator for the Department of Geriatric Medicine for 10 years, she was able to help families navigate the Home Care System, and provided a support system for children of parents coping with the care of elderly parents, their illnesses and loss of those parents. Everyone around her knew no matter what her workload was, she was always willing to provide that support. She was greatly appreciated by Residents working in the area whose schedule of working long hours always reflected many adjustments by Catherine so they could maximize the precious time they had with their own families in-between. Being fiercely independent, not wanting to be a burden to her family, she worked sessionally for the Manitoba Legislature for the last 10 years to help provide for herself until her retirement at the age of 73.
Even though our mom accomplished much in her life, to her, family was everything and felt her children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren were her greatest gifts. She believed each of us had our own talents and was proud and supportive of all of us. She always made sure to send notes of love and be present in our lives for graduations, weddings, job changes, newborn babies, and every other important moment that happened in our lives, and everything in-between. You could guarantee if there was any way possible to do so, she would be there celebrating it with you. Her example showed us the importance of establishing priorities in life, and spending available time with our families wisely. We are grateful because applying her wisdom has given us many memories of time spent as families with her, to reflect on.
These memories include family time and family trips, which took her from the Pacific coast to the Atlantic coast, and both North and South. She loved to travel. There were walks in the forests of British Columbia listening to the sound of birds, wind in the trees, and seeing the pleasure she had for hours picking shells and rocks by the ocean. There she planted her own trees and flowers, which she meticulously cared for. We smile often thinking of her in the early mornings dragging the hose up and down the hill making sure they had enough water. For Mom she always told us that gardening and being out in nature was a place where you could think and be at peace with your life. Over 30 years of summertime days were spent by the lake in Minnesota curled up by the campfire with her children and grandchildren, watching loons and listening to their beautiful call, fishing and baiting her own hook, and trying to catch sight of a falling star. During many drives across the United States, there were many stops to go antiquing, something she loved to do. She always had a story to tell about the things we saw and the history behind them. There was always something that came home with us that we will look at in the future fondly remembering where we had been together. As a lover of horses, it was her idea to go horseback riding in the beautiful Tennessee mountains with us. As the eastern part of Canada held special memories of her childhood, we have memories of being with her cooking lobsters in the highlands of Cape Breton, and having an Irish coffee in pubs in Halifax while listening to music she loved.
Her grandchildren will remember her for sleepovers, where epic treasure hunts she uniquely created occurred where the first handwritten clue was set by their pillow for when they awoke in the morning. They have since been recreated for the delight of her great-grandchildren. There were always lots of games, crafts, and times baking cookies. Even her great-grandchildren have always asked "can we go over to "Gana's" for a sleepover" or "can she come here?" They have many memories of dining on cinnamon buns, and Mcdonald's, reading books, baking and time spent at the park. The smile on Mom's face during these visits could have lit up a room.
Catherine touched the lives of many others including siblings, Mary, Richard, Eddie, and Darlene, as well as their families. She was an incredibly compassionate person, her heart and generosity knew no bounds. Her door was always open to immediate family and relatives, friends and colleagues, all who knew they had a place to stay for a few minutes, hours, days, and months, where they would find her there listening, comforting, supporting and helping in any way she could. She loved to give her time to others. As our mother and grandmother, we knew that she would always be there to do the same. She didn't lecture or judge us for the decisions we made, she was just there loving us whenever we needed her.
Her grandchildren always knew at "Nana's" place, she would be there to listen, share wisdom and advice always given in love, as well as shelter from the storms in their lives and a safe place to "perch" for awhile. Even in her advanced age when she had become more frail, it was very important to her to still be useful to her family in anyway she could. She was still showing and teaching us by example of not perfection, but of strength and resilience needed in the face of life's challenges as part of the legacy she left for us to pass on to our children and their children.
There is a part of her in each of us, something she gave but asked for nothing back in return. It didn't take much to make her happy, a phone call, a visit, being included as part of a family trip somewhere, or sometimes just a hug. She lived to make all our lives better. She was truly selfless.
We would like to express our appreciation for friends who visited, as well as for the family and the caregivers she bonded with who assisted in helping us make Mom's wish to remain in her home as long as possible a reality. We would like to express special thanks to Angele Gavin, her friend and caregiver, who took the lead in always advocating for the best care available for our mom while being kind, caring, always supportive when we needed it most.
There will be memorial service via Zoom, on Monday, March 15, 2021, with a video beginning at 6:30 p.m. and a talk at 7:00 p.m. Please email for login:

catherinekmemorial2021@gmail.com

MOM,
"Because you listened to me,
I grew up knowing my words mattered.
Because you saved
my crayon drawings,
I understand the importance
of a child's gift.
Because you let me
speak my mind,
I learned to speak up for myself.

Because you showed
your love for me,
I know it has no bounds.
Because you shared your laughter,
I learned I could laugh at myself.
Because you talked to me,
and were interested
in what I had to say,
I gained the confidence
to go out into the world to find happiness
in being who I really am
today."
THANK YOU FROM YOUR CHILDREN

GREEN ACRES
Funeral Home and Cemetery
(204) 222-3241
Condolences may be sent to
www.greenacresfuneralhome.com

As published in Winnipeg Free Press on Mar 13, 2021

Condolences & Memories (11 entries)

  • We knew Cathy through the River Park congregation. She never forgot us. Always spoke to us. Our conversations were like that of best friends. A pleasure to be with, around. We will miss her dearly. - Posted by: Milt & Dody Brown (Friends) on: Mar 15, 2021

  • We would like to extend our condolences to the entire extended family at Cathy's passing. She was a kind person who we appreciated in our congregation. May your faith and convictions give you strength at this time. Thinking of you all. - Posted by: Brad & Wendy Elenbaas (Friend) on: Mar 15, 2021

  • I first met Catherine when I joined Hansard at the Legislative Assembly. She was always so warm and sincere, and we shared many conversations as we sat next to each other. I really admired her wisdom and wit, not to mention her impeccable sense of style! I recently came across a card Catherine had given me when I left Hansard to move on to another position. The card was so reflective of Catherine's kindness and those words on the card are most fitting of Catherine - "You'll be missed". My deepest condolences to Catherine's family on your great loss. - Posted by: Karen Kawaler (Former co-worker) on: Mar 15, 2021

  • We worked with Catherine in Medical Administration at Seven Oaks Hospital when she was hired to work for the Head of the Department of Geriatric Medicine. For many years, we stayed in contact with her after she left the Hospital. Catherine worked for all the legends in healthcare and was well known for her proof-reading abilities. Catherine was a great listener and helped you work through your issues. She had a smile for everyone and was always very welcoming to all who came to the office. Although she often had pain, she bore it with dignity and grace. She had a great sense of humour and a close professional relationship with her boss, who she stayed in touch with him for many years. The four of us would meet for lunch at least twice a year. She had us over to her homes a couple of times. We were all amazed at her decorating skills and always enjoyed seeing what she had done in her house since the last time. We enjoyed pot-lucks with the physicians and other staff and Catherine would bring her corn casserole and/or her mushroom crepes. She will also be remembered as a gardener extraordinarie. She sometimes brought flowers from her garden into the office and we always enjoyed seeing what she had grown. Her memory and her presence will always be with you. We pray that you find comfort in this knowledge and your faith. Sharon and Christine - Posted by: Christine Dawe and Sharon Etsell (C0-Workers at Seven Oaks Hospital) on: Mar 14, 2021

  • Remembering the good old days when our families traveled back and forth from Minnesota to Winnipeg. Those memories we made back then bring us joy as we reflect on them today. Remembering the good times with the Kostelnuks' and the Hecks'. Those we hold most dear to us never truly leave us- they live on in the kindness they showed, the comfort they shared and the love they brought into all of our lives. Sharing your grief. Auntie Connie - Posted by: constance heck (aunt) on: Mar 14, 2021

  • So sorry to hear about your loss. Keeping you all in our prayers. Ps 142:2,5. - Posted by: Glenn & Beckie Klymiuk (Friends) on: Mar 14, 2021

  • I was very saddened to hear of the loss of Cathy. Both her and your Dad were very kind and loving to me as a young Pioneer back in the 70’s in West Kildonan. I always appreciated the love they showed. And every time I saw your Mom since she was so sweet. What a beautiful person she was!! - Posted by: Michele Gillies Murphy (Friend) on: Mar 13, 2021

  • We were so sorry to hear of Cathy’s passing. She was such a kind, sweet, and caring lady. We can’t wait for her to be reunited with her family again soon. - Posted by: The Bridals (Friends) on: Mar 13, 2021

  • We are so sorry to hear about your Mom/Grandmother. She was a Special person and I especially enjoyed giving her big hugs when I saw her. She held a special place in my heart and I always enjoyed talking with her. Even though I knew she didn’t feel well a lot of the time she never wanted to complain about her problems but was more interested in how we were doing. It will be so nice to see her healthy and well again soon and pick up where we left off. Our hearts and prayers are with you all at this time. - Posted by: Terri and Bruce Ramm (Friend) on: Mar 13, 2021

  • Sorry to hear of your your Mom/Grandmother's passing. We remember her as a warm & care giving spiritual sister who had a love for all. We also have fond memories of your Dad who always had time to visit us at the Grand beach cottage with the family. Our Love to the Family - Ann, Donald,Elizabeth Yewish - Posted by: Ann Yewish edan @ mymts.net (friend) on: Mar 13, 2021

  • To Cathy’s family: We were very much saddened to hear the news of Cathy’s passing. Such a wonderful, kind person. Always interested in others. Sorry for your loss. Thinking of you all. - Posted by: Craig and Jennine Brown (Friends) on: Mar 13, 2021

Green Acres Funeral Home and Cemetery

Green Acres Funeral Home and Cemetery

No. 1 Hwy. E. & Navin Rd. (Map)
Ph: 2042223241 | Visit Website

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