The strongest lady we ever knew, in the peacefulness of her home with family close by, slipped quietly away in her sleep on the early sunshiny morning of June 18th, leaving her frail and broken body behind.
Our cherished Grandma, Mom, and wife was predeceased by her first husband, Mike Bekar in 1976, her parents August and Mary Poschenrieder, and her younger brother Bert Poschenrieder. She is survived by her devoted husband (Tom), son Michael Bekar (Sherri), daughter Kelly-Lynn Bekar Denslow (William), and her beloved grandsons Corey and Cole-her brightest shining lights.
Born February 26, 1936 Mom grew up as a farmer's daughter in the Westbourne area. Life was never easy for her. Winters were cold, snow was high, school and town were far away, in early days accessed by horses much bigger than little her. Getting to school and getting home was scary-"as the oldest and having a little brother scared of horses, it was up to me...they never knew if we were alive or dead until we got home at the end of the day." She was very good in school and very athletic. Mom loved traveling down memory lane of when she could run, do broad and high jump and barrel rolling, before rheumatoid arthritis ravaged nearly every joint in her body and limited her mobility and independence, but rarely her spirit.
She met Dad, the LOVE of her life at 14 years old, the new hired man of her Dad. Her dashingly handsome, guitar/harmonica playing- singer, rodeo riding, beau from SK, was her everything. They married 4 years later and farmed and fished in the Westbourne area. They had a son and a daughter. Both Ev and Mike worked so very hard, but poor municipality drainage and repeated flooding of farmland sabotaged their efforts. They moved briefly to Portage for a year where Dad trained as an elevator worker, moving to Edwin in 1967. For 9 years Dad became the whistling, Wrigley gum chewing, bike riding, manager of the Pool elevator and the volunteer ice and maintenance man for the Edwin curling and hockey rink. Edwin was a wonderful community to raise their family.
Mom LOVED music and was a talented accordionist and organ player, sewer, and on occasion a lay hair stylist for the Edwin community often exchanging 'Toni's' for garden produce. Mom was happiest when she was talking or visiting. Her gift of conversation even worked into a job in her early years in a clothing store (LOVED clothes and shoes, but HATED sales) and as an MTS operator and later at the switchboard at the Manitoba Developmental Centre. Much later in life, when she was unable to work, she spent hours as a telephone volunteer chatting with shut-ins or reading the newspaper to the visually impaired. She also volunteered with the mall Police Citizens on Patrol service coordinating patrols and informing the public of safety. Mom loved helping.
Mom was shattered when Dad, after a short, very painful and heart wrenching battle with pancreatic cancer, died. She was 40 years old. They had recently moved into Portage. Her heart and life were truly NEVER the same, although she did her very best to mask her fear and be strong and carry on for our family.
Mom loved to laugh and had quite the sense of humor sometimes punctuated with a sly wink or a jig. Her love of music and dancing introduced her to Tom Jackson, who remained her devoted husband for 40 years. Eventually her physical body forsook her and despite knee and elbow replacements, she was confined to a wheelchair and highly dependent for a great many of her daily needs. Her mind remained laser sharp almost to the end. Hospital staff, friends, and family marvelled at her attitude. Arthritis and severe osteoporosis, chronic daily pain, two falls and two comas couldn't keep our strong mama down for long. She detested hospitals! When her doctor wanted her to go to ICU, Mom was going home and we took her. At 82 lbs she recently said, "I am pretty healthy if it wasn't for arthritis." That was the BIG spirit of our little Mama.
Mom had a strong sense of right and wrong. She was strict, but also our BIGGEST cheerleader. She advocated for her family and others MUCH better than for herself, had a big forgiving heart, and by example taught her children the importance of health, perseverance, courage, and service. Her saddest regrets were not having the opportunity to become a teacher, not having travelled more, and living too far away from her daughter and her cherished grandsons.
As the seasons of life passed, Mom was very sad to have lost many close friends and family members. Mom, who had always been unwell, had shockingly outlived many of her close friends and family. We became a little guilty of thinking perhaps our little Mama was invincible. Tuesday morning proved she wasn't. Mom left us quietly and heartbroken, but for the first time in almost forever, she is pain free. For her new heavenly body, for her love and her lessons, we give thanks. Till we meet again. xoxoxo
Sharing of music, Love and Memories will be at the Crocus Room, Herman Prior Centre. on Saturday, July 6.2019 at 1:00 p.m.
100-A 1465 Buffalo Pl., Winnipeg MB R3T 1L0