Judy Pownall<p style="text-align: center;">Judy Pownall (nee Szydlik)</p> <p>With great sadness, we announce the loss of our beloved mother, Judy Pownall, on Thursday, January 21, 2021.</p> <p> Mom was born on June 12, 1942 in the family log home. She was the second youngest of six children. Her mother and father, Bernice and Peter Szydlik, were Polish immigrants who met through the Catholic Church. Their priest helped them settle on a farm just outside Libau, MB where most everyone spoke either Polish, Russian or Ukranian. Libau was a good fit. </p> <p> When we were young, we loved hearing mom’s stories of growing up on the farm. She left us with images of herding cattle after school, stooking hay, squirting barnyard cats while milking cows, using the Eaton’s catalog in the outhouse, waking up to snow on the bed and taking outings to Patricia Beach in big brother George’s car. More recently, we learned that the family subsided on welfare due to grandpa Peter’s poor health. He was notorious for his attempts at supplementing the family income with bootlegging. Grandpa’s moonshine was well known, attracting visitors from the city every weekend. Profits were minimal as the transaction generally involved more consumption than sales. Mom remembered the urgency and stress of RCMP raids. She and Linda were sent running to hide bottles in the fields. Fortunately, the police were good customers. They would provide ample notice of their arrival, riding up and down the gravel roads, sirens blaring. Mostly all ended well.</p> <p> At a young age of 15 in the middle of her grade 10 school year, mom was asked to leave school and care for older brother John's new son Jeffrey in Winnipeg. Soon after caring for Jeffrey, she was taken in by her eldest brother George and his wife Jean. George found her a job making milk cartons. Although her salary had to be delayed until age 16, when she was old enough to legally work, she was still recognized as one of the fastest workers. Jean introduced her to a handsome young city slicker named Wayne Pownall who lived down the street. His big brown eyes and sense of humor sealed the deal. They were married in 1962. Marriage was not always easy as dad liked to drink. Mom had grown up in a house of bootlegging and so that didn’t scare her off. Lisa was born a year later and Tannis three years after that. Like many of mom’s siblings, mom and dad took in boarders. The house was always full and the coffee pot was always on. We lived just around the corner from her sister Nellie’s and a short walk to Jean and George’s. Family was always nearby. Even youngest sister Linda and dad’s brother Cecil boarded with us for a while.</p> <p> Life in the city with family was good but Wayne loved horses. Weekends were split between the Szydik family and time at the racetrack. Family time included camping at Patricia Beach and corn roasts in Libau. Friday night entertainment was shopping with Jean. The irresistible teacup, card or palm reading afterwards always generated a lot of excitement. During our teenage years, we moved just outside the city to a small acreage. Dad was able to raise horses and mom got back to her roots with a big garden. Most of mom’s siblings also gardened and so much of the family talk centered around topics like who had made the best pickles.</p> <p> For the Szydlik’s, food was always a big focus. Together, they consulted over the best places to pick mushrooms and blueberries and they shared tips on making the best cabbage rolls. Coordinating the menu at family gatherings just seemed to come naturally. When Lisa moved to BC, mom would make an annual road trip out with dad. Her cooking skills were a huge comfort and reminder of home. Eventually, mom’s BC grandkids, Kevin, Stuart and Anna, would look forward to those amazing cabbage rolls and perogies as well. They loved those visits. It was like a holiday. Gramma seemed to get all their chores done when they weren’t looking. Back in Winnipeg, mom was fortunate to have a hand in raising her grandson Kyle. She was able to look after him while Tannis was at work or off on holidays. Kyle eventually recognized the full potential of grandma’s cooking. He and Grandma started a pierogi making business. With Tannis’ marketing, they could hardly keep up with the orders.</p> <p> Everyone loved our mother. She always made everyone feel welcome in our home and was there to help whenever it was needed. She even took in two of our friends when their home lives were not working out. Mom valued work ethic. She would drive us to the local truckstop for our waitressing jobs and to a cleaning job at the doctor’s office. Back and forth, 5 days a week. When she took on the cleaning job, she would have us help and called it “our” cleaning job. The paycheck was ours to keep as well.</p> <p> Mom’s last months of life with cancer showcased her personality. She rarely complained. She was the perfect patient, sweet, polite and always taking to heart the advice of her oncologist. Even in the end, Tannis and I were often reminded by hospital staff just how lovely she was.</p> <p> Mom will be greatly missed, especially by her husband Wayne of 58 years, her daughters Tannis and Lisa, her two remaining siblings Linda and George, her angel/niece Joan, and her four grandchildren Kevin, Stuart, Kyle and Anna. At the same time, she will be equally welcomed by her many deceased friends and family. Brother-in-law Cease, resting just next door at the Libau cemetery will be there to show her the ropes. Big sister Nellie, her husband Henry and their son Ricky, will be there to share their best places in Heaven to pick mushrooms. Brother Stanley will be happy to have her tag along just like she did when they were young. And just like we remember, the coffee pot will always be on to greet friends, family, and ourselves, as we too eventually come through the door. </p> <p>A celebration of her life will be held at a future date. In lieu of flowers, please send donations to CancerCare Manitoba.</p> <p> </p>
Judy Pownall (nee Szydlik)
With great sadness, we announce the loss of our beloved mother, Judy Pownall, on Thursday, January 21, 2021.
Mom was born on June 12, 1942 in the family log home. She was the second youngest of six children. Her mother and father, Bernice and Peter Szydlik, were Polish immigrants who met through the Catholic Church. Their priest helped them settle on a farm just outside Libau, MB where most everyone s...
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