Elsie Rita Porznak (nee Herdy)
Elsie passed away peacefully at St. Boniface Hospital on Sunday, September 19, 2021. She courageously faced many health issues over the years, but she could not win this final battle.
Elsie was born in Winnipeg on May 29, 1930 to George and Maria Hrydylowsky. She was predeceased by her husband Frank in 2002, and by her brothers John, Bill and Harry, and her special sisters Anne and Olga. She is survived by her three daughters, Patricia (Murray Ternovetsky), Linda (Kevin Davidson) and Paula (Lyndon Trudeau). Elsie also leaves behind six grandchildren, Michael (Julia), Julie (Josh), Katie, Scott (Kara), Noah and Haley, and six great-grandchildren.
Our mom grew up on the family farm in Middlechurch. She attended elementary school in Middlechurch, and went on to St. John’s High School. She was a star athlete, excelling in speedskating, baseball and track. After graduation, she took a secretarial course at Success Business College.
We believe that Elsie met Frank at his sister Jean’s graduation dance at St. Andrews School. They married on November 29, 1952. During their first year of marriage, they lived with Frank’s parents while they built their 1000 square foot “dream home” at Lot 67, St. Andrews. This is where they raised their three (smart and beautiful) daughters! Frank and Elsie spent endless hours maintaining their park-like property. Friends and family could often be seen gathered around the fire pit in the backyard. And, if you drove by on laundry day, you would see clean sheets blowing in the breeze on the clothesline!
Elsie worked as a secretary at Manitoba Pool in downtown Winnipeg for many years. She enjoyed spending her lunch hours “shopping” at Birks and Eaton’s. (She and her sister Olga loved to try on hats!) In the early 1970’s, she worked as an office assistant at Red River Brick and Tile in Lockport. After the brick plant closed, at the young age of 60, Elsie applied for a part-time Christmas position at The Bay. This turned into a 10-year career selling ladies’ dresses.
Elsie was a spiritual woman who loved her God. She was very involved in church affairs at Holy Trinity Ukrainian Catholic Church in Gonor, was active in the UCWL, and served as church secretary for Father Bozyk. In later years, she became a member of St. Anne Ukrainian Catholic Church, and most recently she enjoyed Sunday afternoon services led by Hermann Dueck, the Chaplain at Concordia Village.
Elsie’s hobbies included knitting, sewing and needlework. Her daughters and others were grateful recipients of her crafts. She was secretary (do you notice a common theme?) for Rossdale Ukrainian Dance School where Paula danced. We remember that she once even performed a dance at a concert at Pantages! Elsie coached baseball and was involved as a ringette parent. She particularly enjoyed bowling in several different leagues. As she often said, her musical talent was “playing the radio”!
Frank and Elsie enjoyed traveling to the Caribbean, Mexico, Hawaii, Florida and Vegas. After Frank’s passing, she made short trips within Canada to visit her family.
In October, 2010, Elsie reluctantly moved to a new suite at Concordia Village III. Much to her surprise, she quickly grew to love living there. She made many new friends, including special friend Jack McKenzie. Elsie volunteered at every opportunity, doing tasks like selling daffodils, delivering meals to shut-ins, assisting Jane with Christmas concerts and (once again) she resumed her secretarial position by being elected to the Concordia Village Resident Advisory Council. She loved participating in the excursions and outings organized by the Concordia Village recreation team. She was usually the first one to sign up for destinations like the casino, Folklorama and the race track. We would like to send a big thank you to the great staff at Concordia Village, especially Mandy and Gabby. Thank you to all of Elsie’s amazing home care workers and nurses (particularly Marlene, Connie, Jasmine and Nan). You were her lifelines during the worst of the COVID restrictions, and our mom so appreciated your visits.
Elsie’s family would like to sincerely thank Dr. Ken VanAmeyde for providing our mother with excellent care for the past 16 years. Mom loved you and told everyone that she had the best doctor!
We are ever so grateful for the compassionate staff on the 6th floor of St. Boniface Hospital. You treated Elsie with dignity and respect during her final days.
A small family graveside service has been held. In the future, when COVID restrictions are lifted, we will gather for a celebration of Elsie’s life.
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