It is with gratitude and much love that we say goodbye-for-now to our beautiful mother, Nancy Stewart.
Mom passed away comfortably on Saturday, July 15, 2023 at the age of 85 years, in the presence of great love. She was the best Mom (and Grannie) ever. Mom was smart, funny, resourceful, strong, resilient, caring, kind, generous and could whip up the most delicious meal that could feed an army out of the simplest of ingredients. The proudest mother to her eight “babies”, we will forever carry the memory of her incredible love of family.
Mom was born Jan. 16, 1938 in Prairie Echo, to Olga (Kuchuk) and John Zahacy and was proud of her Ukrainian heritage. Life was hard, but family, friends and neighbours pulled together and made for a great community.
Mom attended the rural country school and shared memories of her time at the home of Aunt Mary and Uncle Pete Zahacy. Long walks to and from school and time spent together cemented a bond with her cousin Joe Zahacy, who held a very special place in mom’s heart.
When mom was 16 and working in town, she met a handsome young cowboy, Wally Stewart. Mom and Dad were married on June 2, 1955 and began a legacy of love and family. Mom and Dad raised our family on the farm in the river valley south of High Prairie, and we all have cherished memories of farm adventures (including baby calves, pigs and chicks in the house, and a number of farmyard mishaps), community gatherings, school bus rides and many visits; our neighbours became our friends.
Mom’s door was always open, the kettle always on, and some delicious baking was always available for those who stopped in for a visit. We remember getting off the bus after school and opening the door to the smell of Mom’s freshly-baked bread just out of the oven, butter she had churned from the cow she milked, and wild strawberry jam made from the tiniest berries she had meticulously picked; everything tasted better with the main ingredient of Mom’s love added in.
When the Elks Hall became known as the Bingo Barn, mom and dad began working there; Dad would call bingo and Mom would do a multitude of tasks required to keep everything running smoothly. Mom spoke often of the wonderful people they met while working bingos over those many years.
Mom was a dedicated volunteer with the Agricultural Society, including the annual fair that was held for years; she helped the Royal Purple during the rodeo, and was a frequent vendor at the Enilda Farmers Market, where her baked items and canning were in great demand.
In 2005 Mom was diagnosed with meningioma, a brain tumour, and her life (and ours) was changed forever. Mom handled the operation and treatments with courage, resilience and strength, however for the rest of her days faced challenges many of us could not imagine.
Toward her caregivers, Mom remained gracious, appreciative and kind, and we are truly grateful for their help.
Mom was predeceased by her loving husband Wally Stewart, parents Olga and John Zahacy, brother Matthew, son-in-law Larry Caudron, daughter-in-law Erica Stewart and granddaughters Amy Prince and Samantha Stewart.
She is survived by siblings Kathy Engebretson, Doris Messaros, and Dennis Zahacy; her children Brenda (Clifford) Prince; Cheryl (Jules) Bastien; Cindy Stewart (Russell Lamarche); Donna (Pat) Dubé; Clayton (Andria) Stewart; Joyce (John) Stokes; Tracy Stewart and Dale (Jason) Robinson and grandchildren: Larry-Jo (Crystal), Claire (Dan), Clifford Jr. (Connie), Colin (Nadia), Kevin (Elise), Lindsay (Michael), Travis (Kristin), Lauren (Tim), Camille (Kyle), Mario (Chelsea), Sara (Mel), Larkin (An), Tanner, Cameron (Rhanda), Connor, Kyle and Bradley; great-grandchildren Stanley, Lily, and Jewely; Shaylynn (Nate), Brooklyn and George; Sierra, Ava, and Zola; Sophie; Kennedy (Tristan), Alexis, Liam, and Lucas; Carter and Jack; Isaac; Emmy; Luc and Daphne; Hailey and Breton; Mackenzie and great-great grandchildren, twins Vivianne and Amelia.
Thanks to Mom (and Dad) for making all of these “Stewart kids” and giving us the luxury of having the best life ever surrounded by the best friends ever, to this day. Our family wishes to extend our heartfelt thanks to Dr. Osa, all staff at the High Prairie Hospital and Emergency Department, as well as each staff member at Pleasantview Lodge and J.B. Wood Continuing Care. Their professionalism and genuine caring for Mom will never be forgotten.
Thank you as well to everyone for keeping our family in your thoughts, and for messages of caring and sympathy. You have been so kind.
“There are no goodbyes for us (Mom). Wherever you are, you will be in our hearts.” (Mahatma Gandhi)
Mom shied away from the spotlight, and so we are honoring her request that no funeral service be held. Mom’s legacy will live on in acts of kindness, the smile of a child, and the smell of freshly-baked cinnamon buns.
It is said that we should all strive to leave the world a better place than we found it, and Mom accomplished that goal completely.
Rest easy Mom, with love in your heart. And know that we could not have loved you more…!