Helen Marie Zavidoski passed away at Hogarth Riverview Manor on Saturday, April 21, 2018 at 104 years of age. She was born in Elma, Manitoba to parents, Karoline and John Kutasiewich, the second of their nine children. She completed grade eight and raised her seven younger siblings while her Mom and Dad worked the family farm. Employment took Helen to Whitemouth only eight miles down the road and she was thrilled when she could hitch a ride which meant jumping on a wagon pulled by a horse. Somewhere in between those towns she found and married Louis Zavidoski in 1933. During their 49 years together, they ran a gas station and they farmed - a farm on which every chicken had eyeglasses, really! Louis taught her to drive in a Model A, but when she took the corner on two wheels, driving lessons ended. After their daughter, Trudy, was born, they moved to Fort William. She made a home for the three of them and later worked as a custodial helper for the Separate School Board. Life centered around family - her children Trudy and Stan Korol, her grandchildren, Cathy and Kelly, Deb and Bruce, her great grandchildren, Amanda and Collin Tsubouchi and Erin and Will Gordon, and of course all those nieces and nephews and children of St. Mary’s and St. Vincent’s schools. She was affectionately dubbed “Great”. She practiced hospitality and was generous to a fault; a visit to her house meant a meal on the table in fast order with enough food to feed an army. You could not leave her home without fresh food from the garden or a jar of pickles or a bouquet of flowers. She gave dance lessons in the kitchen, turned hallway dusting into skating with dust rags attached to our feet and created the Daytona 500 of tricycles in her basement. She taught us how to make perogies but no one could match her pace. Her kids had innate accuracy in predicting when the cinnamon buns were out of the oven and of course, pumpkin pie was an excellent gift for a twelve year old. She was an avid volunteer for Grandview Lodge residents. She had a reserved seat at McDonalds for morning coffee which was protected by the regulars. She was a member of St. Patrick’s and St. Agnes’s worshipping communities. When asked about the most exciting events in history, she stated, “the end of the Second World War and the first man on the moon.” Her words of wisdom: “The world is moving too fast. It’s time to slow down” or said another way at the age of 99, “I think it’s time to stop shoveling snow.” And that was surely postfaced by, “God willing.” She was very grateful, as was the family, for the loving care provided by the health care workers on 5 South, Hogarth Riverview Manor. P.S. Wicked nails, Great.
Cremation has taken place and a memorial service for Helen will be held on Wednesday, April 25, 2018 at 12:10 pm in the St. Agnes Church, with Rev. James Panikulam officiating. Interment will follow in Mountainview Cemetery. If friends desire, memorials to the St. Joseph's Care Group or the Ronald McDonald House would be appreciated.
Helen Zavidoski will be remembered in the Blake Funeral Chapel Memorial Grove. Annual dedication service Sunday, June 9, 2019.
Ronald McDonald House
240 McCaul Street, Toronto ON M5T 1W5
St. Joseph's Foundation
63 Carrie St., Thunder Bay ON P7A 4J2