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Bernice Stefanyk

Born In: Poland
Born: September 16th, 1927

Passed in: Dawson Creek, British Columbia, Canada
Passed on: October 21st, 2011

Bernice was born September 16th, 1927 in a region of Poland which is part of the Ukraine today. At 4 months of age she, her 2 older brothers and her mother and father, Fred and Ahafia Yanishewski, decided to come to Canada. They settled in Blueberry Mountain, Alberta.
Bernice taught school at Blueberry Mountain and Bonanza. She was teaching school in Bonanza when she caught the eye of a young man doing some work at the school. In 1953 she married that young man, Mike Stefanyk (her soul mate, as she would often say). Two sons were born to complete the family. Bob was born on September 28th, 1954 and Greg on July 20th, 1957. In the early 1970’s Bernice retired from teaching school to help Mike fulltime on the farm.
It was hard to get away for a summer holiday as many families do today but many weekends were spent at Moonshine Lake. Bernice had many fond memories of her nieces and nephews playing with her boys.
Bernice always provided for Mike and the boys. Whether it was Christmas or any other special occasion, no one would ever be hungry. Her door was open to friends and neighbors during seeding or harvest. The refrigerator was often raided after a barn loft hockey game.
Bernice also had an extended family by way of a foster child, “Rosa” in Central America. Bernice sponsored Rosa from a young child to a young woman.
Mike and Bernice retired from the farm in 1982 and moved to Dawson Creek to enjoy the grandchildren. They enjoyed their years together watching the family grow. Unfortunately, Mike’s health began to deteriorate and Bernice had to move him to a care home. That decision was very heartbreaking for her. Mike passed away in the spring of 1995.
Bernice continued to be a babysitter, house sitter and dog walker for the boys. It was not uncommon to see her walking from one end of town to the other. She always believed in a good diet and physical fitness.
Bernice sold the house in Dawson Creek in 1997 and moved to Selwyn Place Apartments which would be her home for the next 13 years.
Bernice suffered a stroke in November of 2010. After spending close to 6 months in the hospital, she moved to Rotary Manor which would be her final home. Her last few months were spent in a world only she could understand. Unable to put any words together she still recognized familiar faces that came to visit. She was always ready to enjoy a hot cup of coffee or a cold milkshake.
Bernice passed away peacefully on the morning of October 21st, 2011. A funeral Mass was held October 27, 2011 at Notre Dame Catholic Church, with Father Michael Anyasoro officiating. An interment service was held in the Hillhaven Cemetery, in Bonanza, Alberta.
Expressions of sympathy in memory of Bernice, may be made by donation to the ‘Heart and Stroke Foundation’ 1212—West Broadway, Vancouver, British Columbia, V6H 3V2
Arrangements entrusted to Bergeron Funeral Services & Crematorium Ltd. 250 782-2577 Dawson Creek, British Columbia 800 577-4877




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