It is with great sadness that the family announces the peaceful passing of Pearl Anne Slobodzian (nee Lytwyn) of Winnipegosis, MB, age 104 years, at the Winnipegosis and District Health Center with her loved ones at her side.Pearl was born to Onufrey and Rose Lytwyn (nee Suchey) on November 8th, 1914 in Cork Cliff, MB where she grew up on the family farm with her four brothers. Pearl, as the only daughter, was very close to her father and always spoke of him fondly, sharing many stories of his kind and compassionate nature which had a great influence on her own outlook on life.rowing up, education was very important to Pearl. Encouraged by her father and teacher Gladys (Cartwright) Ward, she went to school in Cork Cliff until grade 9, continuing her high school education in Winnipegosis and completing grade 12 via correspondence. In 1935 she left the farm and moved to Winnipeg to attend the Manitoba Commercial College where she attained her Secretary Certificate and took an additional Civil Service Course. While in Winnipeg she lived with a family on Manitoba Avenue in the north end and walked or took the streetcar downtown daily to school. She often shared stories about her time in the city, the challenges people there faced in the 1930s and how different it was from life back home.
After graduating from college, she worked for a short time in Winnipeg, but jobs were scarce in the “dirty thirties”. She soon returned home to rural Manitoba, where she found employment as a book keeper at the new Spin-Well Woolen Mill in Sifton. Pearl spent weekends during this time, back at her parent’s farm helping with chores and participating in community hall events concerts and plays with the Cork Cliff Dramatic Club.
In October, 1939 Pearl married Dmetro (Mac) Slobodzian at the Winnipegosis Ukrainian Catholic Church after dating for many years. Together they raised three sons, farmed and ran a store and post office in Volga, MB from 1940 to 1974 after which they retired to Winnipegosis. The Volga store was a popular stop and meeting place for many and Pearl was well known for her hospitality. She enjoyed sharing stories of all the interesting visitors and dinner guests that stopped in over the years. This was a busy time in Pearl’s life. In addition to raising her sons and helping run the store and post office, she kept a large garden, raised chickens, was a leader for the Don 4H Garden Club, taught at the Don School on occasion and was a member of the Don Dramatic Group. Known for her kindness, warm smile, determination, positivity and optimism. Pearl had a kind word for everyone and was always willing to lend an ear when needed. She was an avid storyteller and historian and her family never tired of listening to tales of her experiences. Pearl loved tending to her flower and vegetable gardens, baking and oil painting and passed these passions on to her grandchildren and great grand-children. She enjoyed spending time with visiting family and friends, knitting, attending Bingo and playing cribbage and whist at the New Horizons Seniors Centre. Pearl loved to travel when opportunity arose and always said she wished she had seen more of the world. She and Mac took a memorable trip together once retired, to the southern and eastern United States. Over the years, various trips with friends and family were made to the Dakotas, Mount Rushmore, British Columbia, Vancouver for Expo 86, and the eastern Canadian provinces. She went on many a Folklorama bus tour to Winnipeg. Pearl always enjoyed listening to her children and granddaughters relay tales of their travels as well.
Throughout the challenges in her life, Pearl relied on her faith and love of her family. She was an active member of the Ukrainian Catholic Church in Winnipegosis, attending services well past her 100th birthday. Pearl always felt strongly about preserving the heritage of the ‘Little Farm Church’ (The Church of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary). In 1995, for the church’s 90th anniversary, she helped organize an anniversary service and fundraise to erect a cairn at the site to recognize its founders, their faith and dedication. Pearl was devoted to her community. She spent countless hours volunteering with local groups such as the Royal Purple (O.O.R.P.), Ukrainian Catholic Ladies, Pastoral Care Program, 60 and Over Club and New Horizons Seniors Centre. Pearl was recognized for her dedicated volunteer efforts with a Manitoba Volunteer Award and an Honorary Lifetime Membership with the Royal Purple (O.O.R.P.).Pearl is survived by her son Don (Donna) Slobodzian. She was blessed with five granddaughters, Erin (Geoff) Peters, Trista (Eric) Straver, Shelly (Moby) Christoffersen, Laurie (Jason) Sahulka, Jamie (Justin) Maguet and 10 great-grandchildren, Margaret, Natalie and William Peters, Theo and Julianna Straver, Felicity and Garret Sahulka, Liam Christoffersen, Jemma and Juliet Maguet. She also leaves to cherish her memory, her sister-in-law Stacia (Mike) Smelski and many special nieces and nephews, extended family and friends that all played a very special part in her life.
She is predeceased by her husband Dmetro, sons Jim (Rose) Slobodzian and Richard Slobodzian and her four brothers Bill Lytwyn, Nick (Mary) Lytwyn, Paul (Eileen) Lytwyn and Mike (Millie) Lytwyn.
Pearl’s legacy will live on in all the special memories left with her family and friends. She has inspired generations and will be greatly missed by all who knew her.
Prayers were offered on Tuesday, November 27, 2018 at 6:30 pm from Sneath-Strilchuk Family Care Centre in Dauphin, MB.
Funeral Liturgy was held on Wednesday, November 28, 2018 at 11:00 am from Holy Ascension Ukrainian Catholic Church in Winnipegosis, MB with Very Rev Father Oleg Bodnarski officiating. Interment followed in Holy Ascension Ukrainian Catholic Cemetery in Winnipegosis, MB. Pallbearers were Larry Lytwyn, Matt Lytwyn, Mike Lytwyn, Rick Lytwyn, Steve Bobinski, George Lytwyn.
Should friends so desire, donations in memory of Pearl may be made to the Winnipegosis Historical Society P.O. Box 336 Winnipegosis, MB R0L 2G0