Obituary of Rose Borys
December 30, 1924 – February 12, 2023
“To everything there is a season, and a time for every purpose under heaven”.
Rose (Negrich) Borys of Regina, Saskatchewan (SK) fell asleep in the Lord at home on February 12, 2023, with the younger of her two sons by her side. Her well-lived life centred on her dedication to her family and is a vibrant metaphor for the four seasons of the human journey.
The Spring of her early life was one of humble beginnings but defined by the love of her large family. Rose was born on the family homestead near Shevlin, Manitoba (MB) on the second last day of 1924 to immigrant parents Nicholas and Pearl (Yarema) Negrich. She grew up on a farm where there was always good food, even during hard times in the 1930s, and special family moments; attended school in Shevlin; and enjoyed laughter during happy times with her many brothers and sisters. She especially loved her horses Prince and Sandy. She continued her education at the Dauphin School of Dressmaking and Millinery where she was certified as a seamstress. This led to a work opportunity at the hospital in Yorkton SK, where she met her future husband, Alec (Al) Borys.
The young couple was married on September 29, 1946, and began their wedded life in Yorkton. They enjoyed watching their new “Mail-Order Aladdin House” being put together after the pieces arrived by train and moved into it in 1949. They loved attending dances every weekend, watching the latest movies at the cinema, and strolling the busy streets of 1940s Yorkton with their pals. Their many friends and family members joined them in welcoming the eventual births of their two sons in the 1950s. The young couple undertook a small business venture in Lemberg SK in the early 1950s, where they teamed up to operate Al’s General Store, with Rose doing seamstress work for added income.
In the Summer of her life, when Al joined the Federated Cooperative movement in the mid-1950s and became a general manager, the young family relocated to various communities as transfers occurred. These included Sandy Lake MB, Melville SK, Bengough SK, and Hartney MB. Rose worked at home while her sons matured, thereby guaranteeing a hot lunch on the table, tending to the gardening and household chores, ensuring both sons could read before they began to attend school, and teaching them the important values that would guide them through their young lives: the Golden Rule, respect, responsibility, and compassion for those who were less privileged. There were also many matching shirts sewn for her sons! Rose was always involved in community activities including recreation and church groups, Co-op Ladies Guild, women’s groups, charitable canvassing, and sewing for others while supporting her husband in his work. She participated in ladies’ softball, curling, and loved to cycle. During the Summer of her life, Rose was also blessed in the 1970s with the arrival of a daughter-in-law and two granddaughters whom she dearly loved.
The Autumn of her life saw an early retirement with Rose and Al returning to Yorkton to renew acquaintances with family and friends, thus coming full circle to the place where they met. Always very proud of their Ukrainian heritage, they participated actively in the life of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church, attending regularly and contributing hours of their free time to church executive and fundraising activities, coordinating volunteer workers, and working at banquets at the church hall. Trips to Clear Lake in July and August had the growing family gather regularly in a special place. Al passed away after a short illness in 2001 and Rose gracefully faced the challenges of a new stage of life without her beloved partner. After four years alone in Yorkton, she decided to relocate to Regina to be closer to her grandchildren and moved into her totally renovated condo at the Birchcrest in the south end of the city. During the Autumn of her life, she also welcomed the arrival of Terry’s partner, a grandson through marriage, and two great-granddaughters—with the joyful opportunity to hold each of them in her arms on the days of their births. She loved the family activities in Regina, Winnipeg, and Victoria. Family was everything for Rose.
While the three first “seasons” of her life defined her as a very active woman well into her 90s, driving her car clear across Regina every Sunday to the Ukrainian Orthodox Church and driving her “lady friends” from the Birchcrest and the Elmcrest to the Regina Casino at midnight (“when the machines gave better!”), Rose truly began to feel the Winter chill when her older son Barry was diagnosed with a brain tumour in 2016. The thirty months of living that he accomplished with all the challenges of his diagnosis saw her suffer as only a mother does when her child is ill. Jamie’s and Barry’s departures from the family in 2018 and 2019, respectively, were shortly thereafter followed by personal health challenges.
As her life’s winter continued and Covid19 arrived, Rose agreed to her younger son’s invitation to live in his home—mother and son were reunited permanently under one roof for the first time since he was 17! The “roommates” got on remarkably well and the joys of Rose’s Winter of Life were morning coffee conversations, her morning phone call from her daughter-in-law Lillian, Happy Hour with her son (ginger ale for her and wine for him), keeping in touch with her three remaining younger sisters, one younger brother, and friends, and the special delight that comes from family visits and events. She loved watching grandchildren flourish in their careers and lives and great-granddaughters grow from infants to young women. Rose learned to love the time she spent with the kind and caring CCA staff members of the South Network of the Regina Primary Health Care and was blessed with a special new neighbour and friend, Linda Fromm, who provided extra special friendship, care, and support for both her and her son during her challenging winter time. She also loved the regular home visits with her “spa team”: Riba for weekly hair appointments, Lisa for manicures, and Nicole for foot care.
The trials of her Winter, impact of declining health on a tired body, and the sadness resulting from the passings of three younger siblings in a short period in the past two years took its toll. The wonderful palliative home care nurses and a team of dedicated Homecare CCAs helped her son guide her through her final three weeks at home.
Added to Rose being predeceased by her husband Al in 2001, and her son Barry in 2019, she was also predeceased by her parents, Nicholas and Paraska (Pearl) Negrich; Al’s parents, Metro and Mary Borys; her sisters and their spouses, Mary, Alice, Anne, Beatrice, and Olga and her brothers; most of their spouses, Anthony, Michael, William, John, Peter, Steven, and James and all of Al’s brothers, John, George, Metro, Nick, Steve, and sisters, Mary, Jessie, Kathleen, Nettie, Emma, and Molly, and their respective spouses.
Rose will be lovingly remembered by her surviving son Terry, Barry’s wife Lillian, her granddaughters Renée and her husband, Jason Nicurity, and Janelle Borys, and her great-granddaughters Mékélie Borys, and Téah Nicurity. She will also be missed by her one remaining younger sister, Julia Cottick of Winnipeg, her sister-in-law, Margaret Negrich of Dauphin, many nieces, nephews, friends, and the furry family members, Buddy and Cosmos.
The funeral rite will be held at the Holy Transfiguration Ukrainian Orthodox Church in Yorkton, Saskatchewan on February 15, 2023 at 1:00 pm, officiated by Father Michael Faryna. Mask-wearing is required. Interment will follow in Yorkton City Cemetery.
You have lived all the gifts and challenges of the four seasons of a very long life, Mom. You have loved and been loved. You will now return to the arms of Dad, Barry, and your loving family members and friends who will welcome you. It will be “a time to laugh and a time to dance” once more, and as you promised me, you will find me when I arrive one day in the future. You have earned your eternal rest. The entire family loves you and we will miss you.
Flowers are gratefully declined. Those who wish to donate in memory of Rose are invited to contribute to the Regina Humane Society, Inc, 79 Armour Road, RM of Sherwood, SK, S4K 0A8 or https://rhsalmosthome.ca/donate
Vichnaya Pamyat! Memory Eternal!