It is with great sadness that the family of Myrna Jane (nee Sievila) Kartusch announces her passing on July 13, 2018 at the age of 75 years. She navigated her diagnosis of cancer with admirable fortitude, dignity and positivity. At the moment of her graceful passing, Myrna was surrounded by her husband of nearly 54 years Wayne, children Mark, Lisa and Mick, as well as the loving care of other family members both in person and in spirit.
Myrna was born in Ironwood, Michigan to George and Lillian Sievila. She was proud of her Finnish-American heritage. Her siblings included an older sister, Judy (Archie), brother Loren (Rosie), younger sister Kathy (Allen) and half-sisters Lori (Paul) and Lynne (Jim). Myrna went through elementary and high school in Ironwood and upon graduation went downstate to Ann Arbor, Michigan where she worked as an administrative assistant at the University of Michigan. This is where she met a handsome young man from Canada, Wayne, who was attending the U of M on a hockey scholarship. Their first date followed one of his games and as he recalls, he held her hand as they walked through the Law Quad on the way to a party. That was the start of their wonderful life together.
After supporting the completion of Wayne’s postgraduate education, Myrna moved with her husband to Regina, Saskatchewan. They created a loving home which eventually welcomed Mark, Lisa and Mick between 1966 and 1973.
Mom was a wonderful homemaker. She enjoyed cooking, baking, and sewing. Their favourite times were spent back in Ironwood every summer and the occasional Christmas with her family and extended family. Eventually Mom and Dad set up a summer home there where cherished memories were made celebrating birthdays, weddings, anniversaries and the 4th of July.
Mom was an incredibly supportive hockey wife as dad pursued his passion as a hockey coach and administrator in addition to his career with the Regina Catholic School Board. She loved reading through cooking magazines and making popcorn as she faithfully waited with one of her beloved Brittany Spaniels for dad to come home late at night after hockey outings.
Mom worked in various capacities also with the Regina Catholic School Board. Her bright and generous spirit was appreciated by staff and students alike. Many of her colleagues became cherished friends with whom she remained close even after her work life finished.
Mom loved to travel and upon retirement she and dad enjoyed spending time in Playa del Carmen with their winter beach friends. They went on several cruises all around the world and mom was very proud to have seen as much of the globe as they did. To her, this contributed greatly to the adventurous life that she knew she had with dad. As she prepared for the inevitable, she and dad had many conversations about these holidays and how fortunate they were to be together.
Mom was a caring grandmother to Andrew, Nathan, Matthew, Kate, Noah and Layla. They devoured her waffles, biscuit/special toast, homemade pizza, lasagna and spaghetti sauce with glee. She followed their sports and academic achievements with great pride. We know she will continue to watch over them.
The family wishes to thank the generous and tender care that she received from the healthcare professionals at the Cross Cancer Centre in Edmonton, AB, the Central Alberta Cancer Centre in Red Deer, AB, nurse Florence with Home Care, and the Lacombe Hospital Palliative Care unit.
It’s so hard to capture all of what mom gave to this world…but with that said, she was an amazing wife, mother, grandmother, sister, auntie and friend. She was loved. She was happy. She was appreciated. She will be missed and so fondly remembered forever. Rest in peace Mom.
A private memorial will take place at a future date.
In lieu of flowers, please consider making a donation in her honor to Parkinson Canada, www.parkinson.ca or Canadian Cancer Society, www.cancer.ca.