It is with great sadness that we announce the unexpected passing of our mother, Justine Kozuchar on April 23, 2012 at the Dunrovin Hospice House in Quesnel, BC. Justine’s loving family were with her during her short illness and end of life.
Justine’s life was celebrated by her family and many friends at a service held at Clayton’s Funeral Chapel on Friday, April 27, 2012 with internment at the Quesnel Municipal Cemetery followed by a luncheon at the Royal Canadian Legion Hall.
Justine was predeceased by her son David in November 1970 and her loving husband Steve in November 1984.
Justine, born on July 12, 1921, in Endeavour, Saskatchewan was the first-born child of Pentley and Annie Wiwcharuk. She was raised in Regina, Saskatchewan and in 1942 enlisted in the Royal Canadian Air Force and became a stenographer.
In 1943 she met and married Steve Kozuchar. Justine and Steve left Regina and went to Cedarvale, BC where Steve worked road construction, building the Terrace/Prince Rupert Highway. In the years following 1944 they travelled to where the jobs were. Their journey took them across the western provinces to Prince George where Steve worked building the Prince George Airport and to Davidson and Carlyle, Saskatchewan, where Steve worked in the farming industry. On July 12, 1953, they moved to the homestead in Ethelbert, Manitoba to farm and raise their growing family of eight children: five sons and three daughters. In 1965 Justine heard on CBC radio that BC was like “the land of milk and honey” and she convinced Steve to make the big move from Ethelbert, Manitoba to Quesnel, British Columbia where Steve built the family a new home.
Justine continued to raise the family and support Steve while he built his excavating business. During this time she worked for the BC Ministry of Forests in the Silviculture department for many years. With the family growing up, marrying and leaving home, Justine found time to make significant contributions to her community in Barlow Creek: she was prominent in organizing and mentoring the women of Barlow Creek Rainbow Club, she was a member of the Royal Canadian Legion, the Quesnel Writers’ Guild and the Kersley Womens’ Institute, where she enjoyed the fellowship of like-minded women.
In 1984 she experienced the loss of her husband Steve. In 1991 she relocated to Victoria for a time and then returned “back home” to Quesnel in 1993 where she continued to live among many of her children and their families. She happily greeted grandchild after grandchild, and nurtured the growing family circle with dinners and happy times.
Justine loved the simple things: the beauty in nature, whether it was the clouds, birds singing, sunsets, storms, butterflies, rocks, or scenery. She was informed, current and knowledgeable about the world around her and the universe beyond her. Her gardening talents were truly awesome! Justine loved music – from Bluegrass to Vivaldi and everything in between. She sang, danced, read and painted, leaving a treasured collection of her paintings over the years.
She loved cooking, teaching cultural culinary skills to her grandchildren, and everyone else wanting to learn. She nurtured our family values and traditions and mentored everyone who came into the family.
Justine will forever be remembered for her motto: “Families stick together no matter what…if anything happens to me, keep the family together”.
We thank Justine for her love, support, guidance, courage and for the beautiful legacy of Family she gave us.
Justine is survived and lovingly remembered by her Children: Shirlee, Donnajune, Joyce, Ray, Barry, Don and Ken; the wonderful partners they chose; the many Grandchildren and Great Grandchildren; Nieces and Nephews – that make her family so special. She will be dearly missed by her brothers Connie and David, and sisters Evelyn, Jean and Elsie.
“ May the Circle Be Unbroken “