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Date of Passing: Jul 19, 2021

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A loving mom and nana, a committed teacher, a devoted wife, Evelyn passed away as she lived, with dignity and grace, in the presence of her family on July 19, 2021 after a heartbreaking and brave battle with ALS, at the age of 74 (and we beg the forgiveness of our dear Evelyn for citing this number in public).
Evelyn was born in Winnipeg to Hugh and Agnes McKernan. She was one of five children; sister to Lynda (Elmer), Rosemary (Jerry), Vincent, and Verne (Margaret).
Evelyn took great pride as the mother ("Big Mama") of six children, nana to thirteen grandchildren, and teacher to hundreds of students. As the kids grew, Evelyn worked part-time and took night classes in pursuit of her Education degree at the University of Manitoba which she completed in 1994 as a member of the Dean's Honour Roll.
Through the resilience that defined her, Evelyn found her dream job teaching Grade 2 at St. Edwards School. She began this new career in her early 50s and taught at the school for over 20 years, retiring in 2019. She was a woman of endless energy, and was quick to remind us that she never sat down.
We miss Evelyn dearly. She accepted everyone, and kept us laughing with her sharp sense of humour. She taught her children to be kind, strong, and independent ("use your bloody imagination and figure it out!") while being ever vigilant of life's dangers ("wear a bloomin' helmet!"). She wisely managed expectations amidst all of her remarkable strengths ("I'm not bloomin' Houdini!"). She did not desire wealth or fame; her children were her "blessings" and her husband Andrew was the love of her life .
Evelyn is survived by her husband Andrew; her children, Christine (Amédé), Stephen (Chrissy), Michael (Hyejoon), Catherine (Arden), Eric (Isora) and Andrea (Darren); and her 13 precious grandchildren, Hugo, Nate, Edward, Matthew, Anna, Leo, Anton, Charlotte, Abigail, Bellamy, Willa, Porter and Grace. She is predeceased by her parents, Agnes and Hugh McKernan; and her brother Vincent McKernan.
She passed away surrounded by the love and family that she created. For those lucky enough to have known her, the world has become a little less bright.
Our family is relieved that Evelyn's challenge has ended but we grieve for our loss and are grateful to the staff at the Riverview Health Centre Palliative Care unit for their attention and kindness during Evelyn's short stay under their care.
In lieu of flowers, the family asks that donations be made to the ALS Society of Manitoba.
A private service will be held in accordance with the current restrictions for gathering.

As published in Winnipeg Free Press on Jul 24, 2021

Condolences & Memories (14 entries)

  • My sincere condolences to Andrew and the children Evelyn always brightened the room when she entered She will be in my prayers as will all the family - Posted by: Paul McLeod (cousin) on: Aug 18, 2021

  • I have fond memories of Mrs. Wach from the halls at Oakenwald school to the Royal Bank. I always thought she was amazing, beautiful, and classy with patience of a saint. Reading her story solidifies this and more. I'm so very sorry for your loss. Thoughts and prayers to all of you. - Posted by: Cindy Frost (School friend of Stephen) on: Aug 17, 2021

  • We grew up on the same street. So shocked and saddened to hear of Evelyn's passing..yes I remember her always keeping her age a secret. She worked in the Scotia Bank in the 1960's with my husband. Our deepest condolences to her families and siblings who I grew up with. Linda & Marv Krause Vernon, B C - Posted by: Linda and Marv Krause (Old Neighbor) on: Aug 04, 2021

  • I'm saddened to hear Evelyn, has passed away. I met Evelyn when I was about 10 years of age. We lived on the same street a couple of houses apart. One summer in particular, while sleeping overnight in her parents home, we snuck out in the middle of the night, thru the basement window. There were a few other friends with us, up to some hyjinx. We went thru the neighborhood, garden raiding. It was silly, fun and we felt the excitement of taking a risk. Every so often throughout the years I'd call Evelyn on the telephone, and she brought me up to date on some of the old neighborhood friends. She laughed easily. And I knew her to be a prankster, sometimes at my cost. Wish you were here to play another prank on me, Evelyn. My huge condolences to Andy, all her children and grandchildren. - Posted by: Lana Adams (Friend) on: Aug 04, 2021

  • It was with sadness that I read of Evelyn's passing. My deepest condolences go to Andy and your entire family as you grieve the loss of a beloved wife, mother , grandmother etc. Our family connected with the Wach family in the 1980's and 1990's when our oldest sons became friends with Stephen and Michael. Through that connection I spent time with Andy and had a glimpse into your growing and loving family. My connections with Evelyn were less extensive than with Andy and the boys but I did connect with her on occasion when she worked at the Royal Bank. I always found her to be friendly, competent, assured and always interested in our boys and our family. The loving care and connection to her family as articulated in her obituary would be a testament to her and Andy's parenting and grandparenting. So sorry that she and you her family had to endure the difficulty and pain of ALS. May the peace of God that surpasses all of our human understanding be with you all in the days and months ahead. With fondest memories of your family I wish you well. - Posted by: Garth Manness (Family Friend) on: Jul 28, 2021

  • We were very sorry to hear about Evelyn's passing. I knew Evelyn McKernan back in junior high school days at Andrew Mynarski. Even then, she was "going steady" with Andrew and they had a truly remarkable love story from that time on. Sincere condolences to Andrew and family. Allan & Janet Neale (Victoria). - Posted by: Allan Neale (Friend) on: Jul 27, 2021

  • Please accept my sincere condolences to the passing of Evelyn. As a childhood friend of Vern I only knew Evelyn in passing. I am so sorry to hear of her struggle with ALS. As an alumni of St. Edward's, I wish I had her for my grade 5 teacher. I had 7 years of nuns! God bless the McKernan family. Chris Vitt. - Posted by: Chris Vitt (Friend of Vern's) on: Jul 26, 2021

  • Andy and family. Sending you my deepest condolences. Evelyn was a great lady, and a good friend. She will be missed by many. Sending love and prayers to all of you. - Posted by: Daneta Lemieux (friend) on: Jul 26, 2021

  • Sending your family love and condolences from Denmark ♥️ - Posted by: Mehgan Sørensen (Friend of the family) on: Jul 26, 2021

  • Eternal rest grant unto your soul, Evelyn, and let perpetual light shine upon you. Condolences to the bereaved family. Be assured of my prayers. Evelyn was a very graceful and funny co-teacher. Whenever we had a chance to talk to each other at school, laughters were always part of it. Her sense of humour had always lightened our school days. Rest in peace my dear friend. - Posted by: Rose Millet (Former co-teacher) on: Jul 24, 2021

  • While we only met Evelyn on occasion, we know her son Steve who married into our family. We are certain she is sorely missed. Our deepest condolences to the Wach family. - Posted by: Dianne Szelag & Bruce Henderson (Friends of the family) on: Jul 24, 2021

  • I am so grateful to have had Aunt Evelyn in my life. She has always been an inspiration and role model for me. Her never ending energy, drive and refusal to put boundaries on herself are characteristics I strive for in my daily life. She was never afraid to be her authentic self- which is why I was so drawn to her. I loved her passion for life. I have fond memories of riding in the station wagon as she sang opera at full volume. Sending my thoughts and condolences to your family. Warmly Laura - Posted by: Laura Skibo (Huculak) (Niece ) on: Jul 24, 2021

  • Few people have been kinder or more gracious. We join in mourning your loss. - Posted by: allan mitchell and janet knubley (friends) on: Jul 24, 2021

  • I have lots of happy memories of Mrs. Wach. She was so kind, so funny and so loving. Thinking of all of you and sending you all of our love, Alexandra, Chad, Clark, Boedy and the Smith family. - Posted by: Alexandra Cunningham (Friend ) on: Jul 24, 2021

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