In Loving Memory of
23 November 1931 - 8 November 2023
A truly gentle soul, Bronie Huska, fell asleep in the Lord on November the 8th at Saint Joseph Hospital in Gravelbourg, Saskatchewan.
Bronislava Stebnicki was born on November 23rd, 1931 in St. Boniface, Manitoba to Tomas Stebnicki and Pawlina (Dombrovich) Stebnicki. The family lived in Winnipeg’s North End surrounded by many of Tomas’ family. Before Bronie had started her schooling the family moved to Montreal (Pointe-Saint-Charles) to be close to Pawlina’s sister Maria.
Bronie began her schooling at Saint Gabriel’s School where she fell in love with reading, music and singing. In Montreal she had many cousins who were like brothers and sisters to her. Her life in the Pointe was centred on school and on the Church. She learned the deep faith of her parents which became her guiding Light throughout her life.
Her life would change dramatically with her first trip to the Prairies. Pawlina had a cousin living northeast of Fir Mountain, Saskatchewan. A train ride across the country brought them to what would eventually be her new home, for it was here that she met Michael Huska. Michael made a trip to Montreal and a year later she and her parents moved to Saskatchewan.
Bronie had wanted to be a June bride and that was soon arranged. In a couple of months Michael’s parents moved off the homestead and Bronie’s new life near the Wood Mountain hills began. For her the hills were always a source of beauty. However, life on a prairie homestead was vastly different than urban Montreal. Embracing the freedom of the country required her to abandon many of the conveniences of the large city. But the joy of living near the hills on the rolling prairie soon found its way into her spirit and never left. Days of exploring. Days of becoming.
Gardening, cooking, canning, field work, harvest and animal care were all embraced by Bronie. As always, she tried to do what needed to be done. Here her life centred on the family, the farm and the Church. Michael and Bronie had been married in the local Ukrainian Catholic Church and actively pursued their life of faith. Days of faithfulness. Days of service.
In 1960 Bronie and Michael moved to a new house they had built east of the homestead. Here she would live for almost 64 years. That year they welcomed with great joy their son Peter. The year also had its sadness as Mom’s father Tomas, who had been living with them, passed into Eternal Life. Mom’s mother Pawlina continued to live with them. Two years later their joy increased all the more with the arrival of their daughter Marianne. Mom took on the raising of children with her usual do the best you can attitude. In a few years Michael’s young nephew Gene came to live with the family for a couple of years. A few years after he left, Michael’s father, Theodore, became part of the household until his death. With these various adventures Mom continued to increase in wisdom and generosity.
The 1980's arrived and droughts made farming very difficult. Into those difficult years Marianne’s marriage had brought the joy of a Grandson, Terence, and a Granddaughter, Tasha. The only thing better was that in her later years Terence and Bonnie would bring in the great grands Emerson and Cassidy. Tasha with Kyle would add to her joy with River and Reno. The grandchildren and great grandchildren brought many days of happiness to Mom. Days of smiles.
As the 1990's unfolded they brought the sudden loss of her husband Michael and her mother Pawlina. Days of letting go.
Mom believed there was no place better than life on the farm, participating in the decision making for 70 years. She was so grateful that she could remain in her home on the farm until just a few days before her death. A home that love built.
Bronie’s health problems increased in her 85th year. No longer able to be active in many things she prayed all the more for the needs of family, friends and neighbors. “They also serve who watch and pray.”
Mom’s life was made of these. A table surrounded by people and filled with food. Coffee or tea with a friend. Family of all ages. Quiet times in prayer. The solitude of suffering. Compassion. Caring for the sick. Singing in Church. Picking fruit off her own trees. Cabbage rolls. Perogies. Chiffon cakes. A glass of wine on Sundays. Joy at seeing the mountains. Cats and dogs and other critters. Reading. Singing Christmas carols. A friendly game of cribbage. Kind words. Forgiving. A listening ear. Smiling blue eyes. Concern for others. Love, never counting the cost.
Bronie was predeceased by her husband Michael (1995), her parents Tomas (1960) and Pawlina (1997), by Aunts and Uncles in Winnipeg, Montreal, Poland and Ukraine. Also by her brother-in-law Peter Huska, and sisters-in-law Christina Todd and Anna Grega. By nieces Doreen Selody and Helen Calder, also nephews Richard Todd and Gene Grega.
Bronie is survived by her son Peter Huska. Also by her daughter Marianne Poirier. And Marianne’s children: Terence (Bonnie) with the great grandchildren Emerson and Cassidy; Tasha (Kyle) with the great grandchildren River and Reno. She is also survived by her niece Louise Todd, her niece Lois Todd, her cousins Stella(Montreal), Eddie(Vermont), Ivanka(Ukraine), Halya(Spain) and Roman(Ukraine).
The family would like to thank all those who helped care for Mom in her final few months in hospitals and at home. Thank you for your many kindnesses.