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Stefania Olejniczak
January 3, 1919 - April 11, 2015
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<div itemprop="description">Stefania has always carried herself with dignity, she walked tall and rarely cried. She lived through the Nazi invasion of Poland in the Second World War. When the Germans occupied Poland, they kicked her family off their farm and moved themselves in. She worked in the fields on her own farm for them, she ended up escaping to Warsaw, Poland, were the partisan movement was strongest, she was 20 years old. This type of independence and courage made her a trailblazer: she divorced when she was 44, and moved to Canada with me when she was 47 to join her sisters, her mother and their families. Never wanting to rely on anyone for support she landed a job in a factory, two weeks after arriving here. <br /> <br />She bought a home when she was 55, she got laid off from Canada Packers and found it difficult to pay the first and second mortgage. She sold the home in the High Park area a year later, but gave the purchasers a second mortgage. She made a nice profit. She was always a good saver, and what she earned went a long way. <br /> <br />Her passion was dancing, when she was a young girl, her dad would chaperone her at local dances in turn she read his newspaper to him as he was illiterate, they shared a special bond, many times her older brother Peter joined them. When she came to Canada she found a local polish dance club and would go dancing every Saturday till age 70. Whenever I called her she would be out visiting friends to play cards or visiting family, she never stayed still. <br /> <br />I remember going back to when I was a child, my mother had a rigorous exercise routine that she followed into her old age. She rode a bike till age 87, when she recovered from hip surgery she wanted to ride again, but I said it was too dangerous for her, as she had a few mishaps with it in the past. Instead, I bought her a stationary bike, which she used religiously. <br /> <br />Her legacy lives on in my children: Katherine, Jennifer, Joey and Vanessa, they are all health and exercise conscious. <br /> <br />I am proud of the fact that she lived with us for 26 years and did not have to endure ending up in a Nursing Home. She looked after Vanessa since she was 10 months old, in her later years Vanessa helped look after her. <br />Joey helped prepare her breakfast or dinner when I was working or away on vacation. <br /> <br />Rest in Peace Mama &amp; Babcia <br /></div>