WOJTAS, Jadwiga Mary Wojtas - (1933 - 2017) - Passed away peacefully on Sunday, July 2, 2017 with her loving family by her side.
Beloved wife of 64 years to Zygmunt. Cherished Mother of Charles (Barbara), Valerie (Tony) Merlo and Christopher. Predeceased by her daughter Basia (1985).
Deeply loved Babcia of Robert, Justin (Patricia), Adam, Krystyna, and Christian. Beloved sister of Elizabeth (Joseph) Zabek and sister-in-law of Arlene Konopka. Predeceased by her brother Zenon Konopka, her sister Valerie (Cyril) Bulanda. She will be deeply missed by many nieces and nephews.
Jadwiga Mary Wojtas was a woman of compassion, integrity, and honesty, who brightened this world in many ways. She was born on October 15th, 1933 in Lwow, Poland to Marcin and Katarzyna Konopka. After World War II commenced, Jadwiga and her family were uprooted without warning in February 1940 and taken to Siberia, where they were forced to live for almost two years.
From Siberia, Jadwiga’s father joined the Polish Army, while she, her mother and three siblings ventured to East Africa, travelling through Uzbekistan, Persia (Iran), Iraq, and Pakistan (India). For six-and-a-half years, they lived in Tanganyika, a territory administered by the United Kingdom at that time. She often reminisced about the time she spent here, sharing stories with her family about her time in school, playing in the jungle, encountering the Maasai and learning to speak Swahili.
In 1948, Jadwiga’s life took yet another turn when her family moved to England for six months and then onto Canada to begin the next chapters of their lives. Jadwiga worked at General Motors for thirty years. When she was eighteen years old, she had met the love of her life, Zygmunt Wojtas, a WWII veteran, both having joined the church choir in St. Catharines. They married on September 26, 1953 and raised four children. Their marriage stood strong, and lasted for nearly sixty-four years.
In addition to Jadwiga’s loving personality, she was also a woman with style who loved to shop, always with an eye for a bargain and an ability to stretch a dollar like no other. She loved to cook and bake, known for her family-favourites of pierogi, cabbage rolls, meat on the stick and her famous walnut rum tort.
Jadwiga always loved being up north at the family cottage in Bobcaygeon, playing Rummy and Bridge weekly with her family and friends and collecting Royal Doulton figurines.
Jadwiga was a woman of wisdom. She would often remind us that “the older you get, the faster time will pass, so never forget to enjoy the moments of today.” She was a beautiful woman, inside and out, and will be greatly missed.
Heartfelt thanks to Dr. Woodland for his compassionate care and the staff at UMH, in particular Harbour Lane for their dedication and kindness.
Jadwiga is resting at the GEORGE DARTE FUNERAL CHAPEL, 585 Carlton Street, St. Catharines. Visitation will take place Wednesday, July 5th from 2-4pm and 7-9pm. Vigil prayers and Rosary will be celebrated at the Funeral Home Wednesday at 3:00 pm.
Funeral Mass will be celebrated in Our Lady of Perpetual Help Church, 5 Oblate Street on Thursday, July 6th at 10:00 am. The rite of committal will follow at Victoria Lawn Cemetery.
In lieu of flowers, memorial donations to the United Mennonite Home, Vineland would be greatly appreciated by the family.