Lucyna Ludwika Pielak was born Saturday, February 4, 1922 in Wola Boglewska, Poland. At an early age her family moved to Warsaw, Poland, where Lucyna lived for many years.
Lucyna’s mind was always sharp and could vividly remember details of many parts of her life, including her struggle for survival during World War II in Warsaw. When Germany invaded Poland in 1939, Lucyna was 18 years old. She was separated from her family for many years during this time and was forced to live alone. During the German occupation, she endured many hardships - such as food shortages- and witnessed the deportation of the Jewish/Polish population, including some of her friends. During this time, she was fortunate to work at various jobs to provide for herself, but was forced to live a restricted lifestyle. Under the codename Osa, she was witness to and a participant in the Warsaw Uprising. Her role was mainly as cook and nurse to the Resistance, which ultimately failed in Poland’s efforts to rid themselves of their occupiers. After the Russians seized Warsaw, Lucyna managed to evade Russian persecution by running through a farmers’ field. A stolen set of fine silver spoons ensured she could continue to hide from the Russians until it was safe to return to Warsaw. She seldom spoke of the brutality of the occupation and how she survived. She believed her religion and devout faith in God had a lot to do with her survival.
After the war, Lucyna was reunited with most of her family and continued to live in Warsaw under the Russian Communist regime. During this time, freedom was somewhat restricted, however Lucyna was able to secure a lifestyle for herself by working hard as an accountant. She worked hard enough to be able to purchase a small concrete condo for herself and her only daughter Eva, which was a major accomplishment in Lucyna’s life. Lucyna lived in that 290 square foot condo for for 40 years, with no phone until 20 years after she moved in.
After Eva emigrated to Canada, Lucyna retired from work. She visited Canada often to spend time with Eva and, in particular, her two grandchildren, Christopher and Lucyna. She enjoyed spending time with and caring for her grandchildren and watched them grow from babies to adults. She credited her grandchildren for teaching her English, and continued to communicate with them in their special unique language they had created for themselves, right up until her passing. She loved to knit, cook and bake for them, and would send Christmas baking during the years when she was not in Canada. She is soley to blame for her grandson’s love of Polish food, in particular perogies, cabbage rolls and kapusta. She loved listening to music, particularly classic French songs and Chopin. During her visits to Canada, she enjoyed travelling throughout Western Canada and spending time with extended family. She also loved the fresh Canadian air, even during the cold winters.
In 2010, Lucyna made the bold decision to sell her tiny condo and immigrate to Canada to live out the rest of her years with her daughter. This decision allowed her to be closer to her family, which had grown to include the new loves and joys of her life; her six great grandchildren: Zavier, Anya, Emerson, Ava, Fiona and Callum.
During her time in The Pas, she enjoyed her small circle of friends who had great love and respect for her. She continued to cook her favourite dishes and enjoyed taking care of her flowers in the summer, which truly thrived. Her unmoving Catholic faith kept her spirits high and kept her going through some very difficult times. As with many Polish people, Pope John Paul II held a very special place in her heart. Lucyna practiced her faith nearly daily through her readings and prayers of the rosary. While living in Canada, she loved to watch Polish television and read Polish magazines. She continued to stay in touch with friends in Poland over the telephone. It was a long way from not having a telephone at all for nearly 20 years. She was the kindest, gentlest, most caring soul and will be missed by all.
Lucyna is survived by her daughter Eva (Percy); grandson Christopher (Dawn); granddaughter Lucyna; great grandchildren Zavier, Anya, Emerson, Ava, Fiona and Callum; niece Maryla, and nephew Roman and Agnieszka and Ola. Also her extended family Gerald (Wendy), Valerie (Terry), Sharon (Larry), Renee, Kelly, and Darren.
Lucyna was predeceased by her father Jan; mother Antonia; brothers Joseph and Alfons; as well as JP and Kathy.
Mass of Christian Burial To Celebrate The Life Of
Saturday, November 14, 2015 1:00 pm
Our Lady of the Sacred Heart Cathedral, The Pas, MB
Presider: Fr. Vijay Deivanayagam, OMI
Assistant: Debbie Lane
Music Ministry: Rochelle Rydberg
Eulogy: Jim Scott and Sharon Bunney
Scripture Readings: granddaughter Lucyna Mackay, grandson Christopher Pielak
Prayers of Intercession: granddaughter-in-law Dawn Pielak
Preparation of Gifts: Debbie Lane
Polish God and Angel Prayer: Eva, Christopher and Lucyna
Royal Canadian Legion Branch 19 Club Room.
Aniele Boży, stróżu mój,
Ty zawsze przy mnie stój.
Rano, wieczór, we dnie, w nocy
Bądź mi zawsze ku pomocy,
Strzeż duszy, ciała mego,
zaprowadź mnie do żywota wiecznego.
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