Our beloved mother, Viola Domanski, passed away peacefully on Thursday, April 5, 2018 at the age of 95 at Rainycrest Long Term Care Home in Fort Frances, Ont.
Mom was born in Axvall, Sweden on Jan. 13, 1923 to Carl and Emma Anderson. In 1930, with high hopes, the family, including six-year old “Lola,” as Mom was called as a little girl, three-year-old Birget, and baby Gus, boarded a ship called the Drottingholm headed for Halifax, N.S.
After a brief stay in Winnipeg, Man., they settled on a farm just outside Fort Frances. As for most immigrants, times were difficult for many years as the family struggled to make their dreams of prosperity and happiness come true.
A baby sister, Joyce, was born when Mom was 13.
In her teens, Mom met Carl Domanski at the Fort Frances arena skating rink. He was a dashing and dynamic young man of Polish and Ukrainian origin. They married when Mom was only 17 years old, in 1940, a wedding precipitated by the war.
Mom followed Dad to Souris, Man., where he was in training and when he left for Europe, she moved in with his parents in Port Arthur, Ont., where the family ran a hotel along with Dad's brother, Eddie, and his wife, Claudia.
There began a lifelong friendship between Mom and Aunty Clodie, and a closeness between the two families that we all cherish dearly.
The families flourished with the birth of Gary, our cousin, in 1947, Julie in 1949, and then Jamie in 1955. The decision was made in 1956, just before Karen was born, to move back to Fort Frances and purchase the Rainy Lake Hotel.
Nothing was more important to Mom than her family. She and Dad also had a close group of so many wonderful friends who seemed like family to us kids. Mom learned to cook the Ukrainian dishes we all loved while making sure we got some Swedish pancakes every once in a while!
She loved reading, decorating her home, playing Bridge with her friends, and entertaining. She was an intrepid traveller, ready to take off whenever she had the chance to attend our children's births, babysit, and visit with her widespread family.
She instilled in us love of lifelong learning that we value deeply.
Mom is survived by her sister, Joyce Soboleski; three children, Julie Mowery (Blair), Jamie (Bev), and Karen Oudin (Philippe); grandchildren, John Mowery (Allison), Beth McGrath (Sean), Craig and Kevin Domanski, and Madeleine and Nicolas (Su Yi) Oudin; and great-grandchildren, Caroline, Ray, Chloe, and Eloise.
She also is survived by her nieces and nephews, Barry (Pat) Anderson, Brian (Nancy) Anderson, Maureen (Jim) Gartshore, Carla (Dale) Hallquist, Mary Beth Soboleski, Wally Golab, and Georgianne and Andrea Domanski.
She was predeceased by her husband, Carl Domanski; sister, Birget, and husband, Ray Mercier; brother, Gus Anderson and wife, Doris; brother-in-law, Edward Domanski and wife, Claudia; nephews, Gary Domanski and Raymond Mercier; and niece, Lori Golab.
A celebration of life for Viola will be held on Friday, April 13, 2018 at 11 a.m. at St. Mary's Roman Catholic Church in Fort Frances, with Fr. Alan Albao officiating.
If friends so desire, in memoriam donations may be made to the Rainycrest Auxiliary, 550 Osborne St., Fort Frances, Ont., P9A 3T2 or the Friends of the Library, 601 Reid Ave., Fort Frances, Ont., P9A 0A2.
Online condolences may be offered at www.greenfuneralhomefortfrances.com