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*Sincerest apologies, we ran into technical difficulties with livestreaming Jean's service. It is not available at this time.
With great sadness we announce the passing of Jean Josephine Monita (nee Drebnisky) on October 29, 2023, with her children at her side at St. Paul’s Personal Care Home in Dauphin, MB at the age of 93 years. Jean succumbed to congestive heart disease after a ten month battle.
Jean was born on April 7, 1930 in her grandfather’s house in Keld, Manitoba to parents Peter Drebnicki and Annie Drebnicki (nee) Tokar.
Jean was the first-born child, followed by twins Shirley and a male child who died shortly after birth. Shirley passed away with Diphtheria at around 10 years of age. After Shirley there were brothers Joe, Tony, and twins Leonard and Russell, (these twins both contracted Diphtheria and passed away when they were toddlers.). Born next were Frank, Rosalind and last was Nestor.
Jean attended the Lemberg School in the Keld district which was also attended by many of her cousins as the Drebnicki and Tokar families had all settled in the area.
Jean met her husband, Peter, in the summer of 1946 and they married on November 2, of that same year. Their first- born Hank was born 11 months later, followed by Barbara within a year, and then Ray 16 months after that. The young couple joined Peter’s parents on their farm just south of the town of Dauphin in the foothills of Riding Mountain called the Banks District. In 1955 their fourth child, Lester, was born.
Farming was hard and busy work but Jean, even with 3 children under five, was up to the challenge. With kids in hand, she was out every morning milking cows and feeding chickens and livestock, like pigs, cows and one or two teams of horses. She baked bread, tended a large garden, and cooked for threshing crews. During harvest, she hauled grain from the field to the granaries and played a hand in offloading the grain and returning to the field for another load.
When mom’s father-in-law took ill, Jean and Peter became primary owners/operators on the farm.
In 1957, when her father-in-law passed away, the young family gave up farming and moved into the town of Dauphin.
Once in town, Jean started working outside of the home. Her first job was with the Dauphin Herald as a press setter. Jean rode a bike to work and on occasion she had to take her youngest, Les, to work with her. One day when she was checking on the toddler her fingers got caught up in the press. As the job required full use of all fingers, she gave up that job. After that, mom worked for the Hadaway’s in their IGA grocery store on main street of Dauphin for 3 years. This was followed by 13 years for the Breslaw’s who owned The People Store and another 8 years at the shoe department of the Dauphin Coop. Jean was indeed a true pioneer of working moms.
After retirement, Mom and Dad did a little travelling but mostly they enjoyed their time at their cabin at Hills Camp on Lake Manitoba.
Jean was a member of the Ukrainian Catholic Women’s League and in 2020 she received her 50 year service award. She was an avid volunteer on the St. Paul’s Auxiliary and at the Dauphin Active Living Centre.
Jean was predeceased by her husband, Peter in 2002, and her parents Peter and Anne. Her sister Shirley and twin Russell, twins Russell and Leonard, and brothers Frank and Joe.
She is survived by her children, Hank (Belle), Barbara, Ray (Jeanine) and Les (Isabel). Grandchildren, Steve (Canda), Chris, Erin (Justin), Dave (Jess) and Julian. Great grand children, Maria, Jonah, Ian, Gianna, Rafael, Evie, Avery and Jace. Brothers Tony (Stella) in Dauphin and Nestor in Regina, sister Rosalind (Ron) in Calgary and sister-in-law Thelma in Dauphin.
A Memorial Service will be held for Jean on Friday, November 3, 2023 at 11:00 am from the Sneath-Strilchuk Family Care Centre in Dauphin, MB.
Interment will follow in the Riverside Cemetery - Dauphin.
Should friends so desire, donations in memory of Jean may be made to the Ukrainian Catholic Church of the Resurrection, Heart & Stroke Foundation or the Dauphin Active Living Centre.
Ukrainian Catholic Church of the Resurrection
801 Jackson St., Dauphin MB R7N 2N3
Heart & Stroke Foundation of Manitoba - Winnipeg
1379 Kenaston Boulevard, Winnipeg MB R3P 2T5
Dauphin Active Living Centre Inc.
55 – 1st Avenue S.E., Dauphin MB R7N 2A2