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Kowal VeraKOWAL, Vera (née Wasylyk) - Vera, born September 24, 1932, passed away at Lakeridge Health Centre in Oshawa on January 22, 2021 in her 89th year.

Devastated by the passing, on January 12, 2021, of Anthony, her husband, soul mate and love of her life, Vera suffered a massive stroke three days later, on January 15, 2021.

Six days after her stroke, she passed away with her devoted son, Christopher, by her bedside.

Beloved and devoted wife of Anthony.

Cherished mother of Jeannette, Richard, Christopher and Jacqueline (Robert). Adored grandmother of Krystian and of her predeceased grandson, Mark Anthony.

Of Ukrainian descent, Vera was born and raised on a farm in Pickering. She was the sister of Josephine and the second of only two children born to Julia and William Wasylyk. Vera attended public school and high school in Pickering before their family moved to Oshawa.

After high school, she attended nursing school at Oshawa General Hospital School of Nursing, completing her practicum at Toronto General Hospital and at the (former) Whitby Psychiatric Hospital in 1954.

After graduation, she became a floor-duty nurse at the Oshawa General Hospital (now Lakeridge Health Centre).

During this time, she met her soon-to-be husband, Anthony, and they were married in 1955. They were completely devoted to one another, inseparable in life and now in death. They would have been married 66 years on February 12, 2021.

Professionally, she was quickly promoted to evening Head Nurse and subsequently to evening Supervisor of Nursing at Oshawa General Hospital. She worked part-time while raising 4 children with her husband and accepted a full-time position at the hospital after her children went off to university and college.

An active professional life along with raising four children left her little time to nurture her own hobbies and outside interests. After retirement, she enjoyed tending her garden, playing Sudoku, and caring for and helping to raise her grandson, Krystian. 

Vera had incredible strength of character, a generosity of spirit and an unrelenting work ethic that permeated everything she did in her life. This work ethic was instilled in her from an early age when she was required to dutifully help her father on their farm.

She had an unwavering moral compass and firm set of values and principles that she lovingly imparted to her children.

Vera was a kind, gentle, unassuming, generous, and selfless woman with a modest and self effacing nature. She was shy and introverted, but enjoyed attending as many Polish and Ukrainian events as possible because she simply loved dancing with her husband.

Together they made a strikingly handsome couple. Even as they aged and experienced limited mobility, they would still get out on the dance floor, lovingly support each other, perhaps sway a little for a song or two, and have a wonderful time just being together.

Vera’s husband and children were her life. She was incredibly proud of all of her children. She embodied the essence of motherhood, always putting the well-being and needs of her children first, never needing or wanting to be the centre of attention but instead shunning the limelight so her children could shine.

She felt heart-breaking empathy towards her children, experiencing their pains, trials and tribulations as though they were her own.

Even though years of hard work, various physical injuries, and arthritis began to affect her mobility resulting in a great deal of physical pain, she kept the suffering hidden from others, never complaining, always continuing to put the needs of her family before her own.

She remained fiercely independent to the end, insisting on doing everything herself, and only reluctantly accepting help from others.

Vera was an extraordinary wife, mother and grandmother who will be lovingly cherished and live on forever in the memories of her adoring children and grandson.

We know that somewhere out there, Mom, you are dancing to your favourite song, “The Last Waltz," with our beloved Tatuś.

“I fell in love with you, The last waltz should last forever.” 

Now, at the end of this dance called life, Mom and Dad, you are dancing your last waltz together and it will last forever as it was always meant to.

We love you and miss you both incredibly. The unbearable void that has been left can never be filled.

We, her remaining family, are incredibly grateful to the staff at Lakeridge Health Centre C5 stroke unit, especially Dr. Lee and nurses Tracey, Samantha, Haley and Christina for their loving care, attentiveness, and guidance throughout our mother’s brief final journey. 

A visitation will be held for Vera together with her husband, Anthony, on Wednesday, January 27, 2021 from 3 pm to 5 pm at ARMSTRONG FUNERAL HOME.

Due to the ongoing pandemic restrictions, the number of visitors allowed is very limited and will, as a result, need to be scheduled on a first-come-first-served basis.

To book a scheduled time to attend the visitation, please either call Armstrong Funeral Home (905-433-4711) directly, or visit the website and book online at ARMSTRONG FUNERAL HOME

A private funeral mass will be held for both Vera and Anthony together at St Hedwig’s Church on Olive Ave. in Oshawa.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Heart and Stroke Foundation or to the Arthritis Society.

Condolences may be shared at armstrongfh.ca .

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