It is with heavy hearts that the family of Stella Boyko announces her passing on August 6, 2015, in Porcupine Plain, SK, with her children by her side, at the age of 102 years. Stella (Oleksiewicz) Boyko was born on the farm southwest of Preeceville, Saskatchewan on May 16th, 1913 to Todas Oleksiewicz and Theodosia Shalanski, who immigrated to Canada from the village of Hryhoriw in the county of Buchach in Ukraine. She was predeceased by her husband John in 1988; daughter Rosalie and son Steven in their infancy in 1951. Also by her siblings: Alice (Pete) Prestie, Bill (Olga) Alexander, Tom (Net) Alexander, Annie (Mike) Yanciw, Paul Oleksiewicz, Pauline (Alex) Tomczij, Mike Oleksewich, Mary (Doug) Stevens, Ksenia (Pete) Boyko; in laws : Paul (Polly) Boyko, Irene (Bill) Read, Helen (Paul) Baran, Annie Boyko, Lena (Camille) Jacques and Nellie (Tom) Divorski.
She is survived by her daughter Maryann (Dexter) and their family: son Dexter (Sejin) and their son Ethan, daughter Krystol (Scott) and their children: Alyssa, Jenna, and Natasha, daughter Lila (Larry) and their children: Brittany, Laine, Lawson and Kennedy and their daughter Natalie; son Teddy (Rita) and their family: son Rocky (Jenna), daughter Ria (Darcy) and their children Keira, Isabel and Brady, and their son Gordie; son Jack (Susan) with their family: son Christopher (Jen) and their children Haley and Harley, son Steven (Candy) and son Keagon, daughter Heather and daughter Stacey (Johnnie) and their children: Piper, Phoenix and Presley. She is also survived by brother Steve (Florence) Oleksiewicz, and sisterinlaw Helen Oleksewich, along with many nieces, nephews and many dear friends.
Mom was a true pioneer, born on a farm, where she went to school until Grade 3 then she started working at home. She would relate stories of her childhood days, of helping her pioneer family with chores, having fun without all the modern technology, being chased by snakes, catching gophers, and swimming in the muddy river. She lived through the first inventions of the radio, telegraph and television, where she saw the landing of the first man on moon, and lately the flyby of Pluto. She saw the many changes that brought betterment to the world. At an early age, she moved to the High Tor district to help her brothers Bill and Tom on their homestead. There she put her artistic talents to work to make their cabin a “home.” It was here, that she was welcomed by the High Tor ladies to join the Girl Guides, the soft ball team and of course to expand her English. She then worked for a family, in the Kinloch area, as a domestic.
Again, she was needed at home to help the Oleksiewicz family, who had just moved to the Cherry Blossom district. She gave the Kinloch family her two weeks notice, as they would not give her an advance on her wage of five dollars a month. On her hundredth birthday, she met the man who worked there too. He introduced himself as the “outside slave,” and she was the “inside slave.” After a stint at home she worked as a domestic in the Chelan area. She loved working there.
Again, she went to work at the family farm, where she met her future husband John, whom she dated for fourteen years before getting married at the High Tor Sacred Heart Ukrainian Catholic Church, on October 24, 1940. She and Dad lived on Grandma’s homestead. Just like all pioneers they built a log house, farmed, gardened, trapped, hunted and raised a family. Mom was a “Master” of all crafts. It was said that most people could make nothing out of something but Mom made something out of nothing. She always strove to do the very best in whatever she did. She made sure she knew what was going on in the world around her.
She lived under all the premiers of Saskatchewan and enjoyed royalty from King Edward VII to Queen Elizabeth II. Her faith served her well, she greatly loved her Ukrainian Catholic Church community. She loved her Ukrainian heritage, but was a firm believer in the Canadian spirit as can be seen by “her” Canadian flag. She supported all community efforts, and was very oriented and committed to family affairs. Her family and friends came first with her not too far behind, but she never showed favouritism. She appreciated the help of her family and extended family, her friends and the great health care workers over the years. Her greatest wish in later years was being able to be in “her own home.”
This was her wish and her dream. She is at home at last, less than a mile from her beloved “farm home!” A graveside service was held on August 11, 2015 in the High Tor Cemetery with the Rec. J. Rac officiating. Following the committal service the Redeemer Lutheran Ladies served lunch in the Porcupine Plain & District Sunset Club. Those so wishing may send memorial donations in memory of Stella to the High Tor Cemetery, c/o P.O. Box 777, Porcupine Plain, SK, S0E 1H0. To send online condolences to the family please visit www.blairsfuneralhome.com. Funeral arrangements were entrusted to Blair’s Funeral Home Ltd. Porcupine Plain, SK.