CANORA - Surrounded by family and friends, Lena Kobelka celebrated her 100th birthday on Jan. 28 at Gateway Lodge in Canora, with the party scheduled so that as many could attend as possible.
Lena was born to Andrew and Mary Paskareck on Feb. 1, 1923 on a farm located nine miles south of Canora, according to information provided by family members.
After her mother’s passing, the family moved to Benito, Man., where she grew up with 18 brothers and sisters, as well as stepbrothers and stepsisters. She went to school until Grade 3 and then was out working at the early age of 14.
Lena met her husband Nick Kobelka at a dance in Hyas and they were married on Jan. 14, 1940. In the spring of 1941, they purchased a quarter section of land eight miles southeast of Canora and began farming while raising five children. As was the case with many Saskatchewan farms of that era, the focus was on diversification. In addition to growing crops, they raised horses, pigs, chickens and cattle.
Lena’s family includes children Shirley Derkatz, Ronald Kobelka, Phyllis Kish, David Kobelka and Darrell Kobelka. There are 11 grandchildren, 14 great-grandchildren and one great-great-grandchild.
After Lena’s husband passed away in 1977, she continued to live on the farm until 1983, when she moved into her own house in Canora. In 2006, she moved into the Canora low housing units, and then in 2016 she moved again, this time into Canora Gateway Lodge, her present home.
According to her family, when Lena lived alone she enjoyed cooking and gardening. Winters were spent crocheting, knitting and making quilts for all her children and grandchildren.
She loved attending various country music events. Two of the most memorable outings were trips south of the border to festivals in Nashville and Branson. She also enjoyed attending local country music festivals, and loved to dance.
Lena attributes her longevity of life to her spiritual belief and listening to church services and gospel music.