Catholic 08

Frances (Zelenitsky) Bochurka

November 18, 2020


It is with deep sadness that we announce the passing of our beloved mother Frances Bochurka on November 18, 2020 at the Gimli Community Health Centre at the age of 91 years.

She was predeceased by her parents, William and Rose Zelenitsky, sister Agnes Bristol, husband Edward, son Barry, brother Allan Zelenitsky and brother-in-law Jack Nichol.

Frances was born September 21, 1929 in Winnipeg Beach.  Her father was an ice man and her mother was a homemaker.  Mom was as a young girl, still living at home with her parents when she decided to become a teacher with her first placement in Zbruch, Manitoba.  Frances married Edward in 1948. Mom and Dad had many struggles together as they started out and one of them was dad contracting polio when Barry was just two.  They persevered and worked hard getting through this.  Dad recovered well and didn’t stop with his vision so they were fortunate to continue sharing many years together working in the family business and raising their three children in downtown Winnipeg Beach.  They started their legacy with a small garage which grew into the Coaster Garage and Laundromat contributing to the history of our beloved town. Life downtown included Mom running the gas station, laundromat and doing the business books while having a kid hanging on her hip.  She fed many an employee and packed great lunches for Dad and the boys when they went out to work.   In 1980, life shifted when they moved to 1st Avenue and Hwy 9 where mom worked in that office until after Dad passed.  Coaster Garage had blossomed into Eddies Gravel as it stands today. 

Unfortunately Dad was gone when Mom had to suffer the tragic passing of their oldest son Barry in 2009. This event broke her heart as she longed for her eldest son always.

Mom was a beautiful lady who’s eyes and smile lit up the room.  She was a good listener and best friend to many. Mom took pride in her church, Our Lady of the Lake and was a dedicated Catholic to her religion which she instilled in her family. She took great pride in the Gateway Foundation catering business which was the fundraiser for what is now Isfeld Villa.  She enjoyed volunteering and serving the community. The camaraderie that she shared with the women while they worked making perogies and meatballs for community events was a happy time for her and wasn’t like work at all.

 Mom loved to cook – she was always just a call away if you needed last minute cooking advice or input on a culinary creation.  Going to a restaurant was always entertaining, watching her critique and identify the ingredients so she could recreate it for everyone at home.

She was definitely an adventurer, taking several international trips with her family and friends. She wrote poems about these trips telling stories of horseback riding in her 70’s and the giggles proved the fun they had.   She took great pride telling stories of her day trips around the Interlake to many small towns and lunching at their favorite local diners.  We often teased her and Joanne for eating their way around Manitoba.

She spent many afternoons playing scrabble with her close friends Lilian or Joanne and these events usually included a beer or some wine with many laughs.

Mom had a great vanity about her hair and always had any of us checking to make sure that it was just right.  She had to have some color too so if the cheeks were pale out came the lipstick with a little smudge here and there and that hair tousle which made everything good to go!  This we teased her relentlessly with.

She was an avid gardener who loved canning from the produce that she grew.  We often gathered at the “pickle palace” for 60 quart events. Mom also enjoyed passing her time by crocheting blankets for her family and over 100 throws which she donated to the Children’s Hospital.

We would like to give a special thanks to the Doctors, Nursing Staff, Home care Coordinator and Home care staff of Gimli Community Health Centre for giving our mother their care and compassion and helping her pass with dignity.

Mom is survived by her children, Kevin (Roberta), Janis (Perry), Kathy (Barry);  grandchildren Jason (Christine), Shawn (Brenda), Clint (Amy), Dustin (Christy), Jamie, Leanne (Todd), Harrison (Rebecca), Mikhael, Pam, Nicole (Jordan), and many great grandchildren. Her family left to mourn her are sister Alice, brother Leonard (Linda),  brother Myles (Cheryl), sister-in-law Elsie and many loving nephews and nieces.

Family gatherings won’t be the same without her cooking, her homemade treats (especially her bits n bites), her laugh, and the warmth she brought to every event. She always had a smile.   

Her final message to all of us was to do what makes you happy, live like there’s no tomorrow and go the extra mile for someone whenever you can. She will forever remain in our hearts.

Bye for now, Mom and your hair is great!

A private family Mass will be held on Friday, Nov. 20 at the Our Lady of the Lake Church, Winnipeg Beach, MB, with interment to follow in the Polish Pioneer Cemetery.

To view the Mass click this link

Frances's memory book may be viewed just below the obituary.

In lieu of flowers, donations in her memory can be made to CancerCare Manitoba or the Heart and Stroke Foundation.

To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Frances (Zelenitsky) Bochurka, please visit our floral store.


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