Ethel Pearl Rach
April 25, 1924 — Nov. 16, 2015
Ethel Pearl Rach ( née Wonnacott) passed away on Monday, Nov. 16, 2015, at St.Paul’s Personal Care Home in The Pas, at age 91.
Born in Winnipeg on Friday, April 25, 1924, Ethel spent her first three years in Miami, MB, before the family moved to a farm near Grand Marais, 60 miles north of Winnipeg.
As a young woman she worked at Matt’s Grocery Store, which primarily served summer vacationers at Grand Beach, then later moved to Winnipeg where she spent several years working as a waitress.
In the mid-1960s, Ethel moved to Toronto and worked for several years at the Royal York Hotel, until striking out on her own, selling cookies and baked goods at Farmer’s Markets in various communities surrounding Toronto.
A lifelong fan of country music, she cherished a photo taken of her with popular singing star Porter Wagoner at a concert in Toronto. For years after, she would refer to him as her “boyfriend.”
In 2000 Ethel moved to The Pas to be near her sister-in-law, Vivian, after her brother Leo died.
She is lovingly remembered by her son, Alan (Melinda) of Calgary; sister Martha (Liz) Goerzen of Gretna; sister-in-law Shirley Wonnacott of Grand Marais; grandchildren Laurie (Monty) Sealey of Creighton, SK; Doug (Liza) Rach of Flin Flon, and Warren (Donnette) Rach of Martensville, SK, and former daughters-inlaw Lynne Ewen Rach of Saskatoon, and B. Lynne Rach of Olds, Alberta.
She is also survived by four great grandchildren, Chelsea, Tyler, Megan and Dylan, and two great-great grandchildren, Bentley and Lexton.
She is survived by nieces, Leona (Wonnacott) French; Alice (Wonnacott) Smith; Sherry (Goerzen) Kehler; Betty (Goerzen) Froese. Nephews, Eugene, Richard, George, Bill, Tim, Bob and Lance Wonnacott, and Matt Goerzen.
Ethel was predeceased by her eldest son, Richard (Rick); brothers Leo and Dick Wonnacott; brother-in-law Frank Goerzen; sister-in-law Vivian Wonnacott; parents George and Mae Wonnacott; ex-husband Arthur (Archie) Hugo Rach, and her later-in-life partner Paul Colamartini of Toronto.
Ethel loved being surrounded by family and would travel as often as she could to visit her children, grandchildren and siblings in Manitoba, Saskatchewan and Alberta.
Until failing health and a stroke robbed her of her mobility, she enjoyed frequent social outings with friends, playing cards and indulging one of her passions — BINGO!
The family wishes to express sincere thanks to the staff at St. Paul’s for the devoted care and attention paid to Ethel during her six years at the care home.
Cremation has taken place through Hemauer Funeral Home in The Pas. If friends so desire, memorial tributes may be made to a charity of their choice.
A memorial service will be held next summer at St. Jude’s Anglican Church cemetery in Grand Marais, where Ethel’s ashes will be interred beside her parents as she requested.
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