My cousin Katrina did a beautiful job co-creating the eulogy for my grandmother. She found the words to describe what was in our heads and hearts.
We are here today to honour a woman with many names. She was born Mary Magdaline Mazur, and in 85 years Mary had many wonderful titles; mother, grandma, great-grandma, and finally great great grandma, or Grandma GG.
My name is Katrina, and I am one of Mary’s granddaughters. I am honoured to share some of our family’s fondest memories.
Grandma was born on the family farm in the Roan Mine District, July 9th 1927 to Joseph and Katharina Mazur. Together with her sisters Johanna and Eva, and brothers Ben and Ed, they lived humbly on the homestead near Minton, Saskatchewan. Grandma told me that they were poor – incredibly poor, but they didn’t know it because everyone was poor! Grandma had the utmost love and respect for her family, and often referred to her father as the kindest and humblest man she had ever known.
In 1942, she met the man that would stand beside her through 60 years of marriage, Joseph Klein, the man we called Papa Joe. They were married on October 19, 1944 in the Berkfield church. Together, they created the most amazing legacy….14 children, 36 grandchildren, 42 great grandchildren, and 2 great great grandchildren.
In 1953 they moved their family of 5 sons to a farm south of Griffin. Five years later, the family moved into Griffin where it grew to 10 sons and 4 daughters.
Grandma saved money from selling eggs, cream, and chickens for the down payment for the family home. Grandma told me they got the house, and a cow, for $3000. Recently the house sold for $165, 000. Grandma was thrilled to have had a recent visit to tour the house and talk to the current owner; to share stories of the house when it was old, and marvel at the changes now that it is new….
In 1989 Grandma and Grandpa moved into Weyburn to Metheral Bay, and then into the condo in 1996. She enjoyed condo life and the many friends she made there.
Grandma spent countless hours providing for her ever growing family – baking and cooking, sewing and patching, gardening and tending to animals, and managing a household with none of the conveniences that we have today. She was an excellent seamstress, making pajamas to wedding dresses and everything in between. Over the years, thousands of loaves of bread and countless dozens of buns were made. Doughboys were a favorite treat among the Klein kids, next to perogies. I know many of the family picked her brain for recipes from the past, especially the perogy recipe.
My Uncles have told many stories of how Grandma ruled with a stern hand. If she felt that the discipline needed a higher power, the threat of “just wait til your father gets home” was all she needed to say.
Recently, she enjoyed going to garage sales with her cousin and friend, Eleanor, then off to the KFC for supper. There were many coffee breaks at Welsh’s Kitchen, she loved playing cards with her family and friends – especially Ed and Beryl – and attending Red Hat Society outings. Grandma became high tech, operating her lap top computer to send out birthday and anniversary wishes by email and Skyping with her family. Grandma was not without a sense of humour, and she enjoyed watching the Blue Jays play, especially Adam Lind whom she thought was “such a cutie”! Grandma was a member of the CNIB Vision Support Group, and an active member of the St. Mary’s Altar Society and the CWL. In May of this year, Grandma was very honoured to receive her 60 year CWL pin. Her family was incredibly proud of her.
Grandma cherished her family. My favorite room in the condo was the den. I referred to it as the picture room. Grandma had photos of each and every one of us in there – school photos, graduation photos, wedding photos….her fridge was covered with the more recent baby photos, and Grandma knew them all. Her family was a constant source of joy and pride. Mere weeks ago, I visited with Grandma at her 85th birthday gathering, and her eyes filled with tears as she told me that Grandpa would be so proud to see the family today. She told me that times were tough, and they couldn’t provide alot of help to get their children on their way. She was so proud of each and every one of them for making their own way in the world on their own. Her strong faith, I know, played a major role in raising this amazing family.
As we think back over Grandma’s life, she was our “superhero”. She gave thanks at times there was not much to give thanks for….she gave when there was not much to give…..she loved us all even when we weren’t all that lovable. She didn’t have to preach God’s word all of the time because she lived it for all of us to see.
I can only speak for myself, but I wouldn’t be the person I am today if not for Grandma and the lessons learned along the way;
Be grateful for what you have….
Work hard for what you want….
and know that you have love, all around you, all the time….