Jennie Kaniuga

September 5, 1929 - May 24, 2018

Photo-Biography produced by members of the Kaniuga family.

GENEVIEVE (JENNIE) MARY

KANIUGA (NÉE KUTKOWSKI)

Peacefully on Thursday, May 24, 2018, Genevieve (Jennie) Kaniuga passed away at the age of 88 after a long illness.

She was predeceased by her husband Mill, mother Zophia, father Bronislaw and twin brothers who died in infancy. Left to cherish Jennie’s memory are her daughter Carol Hall (Jamie) and grandchildren Julia and Noah, and son Patrick (Sherry) and grandson Scotty.

Jennie was born in Winnipeg on September 5, 1929. She attended Florence Nightingale, Faraday and Isaac Newton schools. Her father worked for CP rail and her family lived on Dalton and Shaughnessy Streets, then finally settled on Lansdowne Avenue. Jennie’s Polish immigrant parents instilled in her a strong work ethic. Her father frequently told her how lucky they were to be in the greatest country in the world – something she passed down to us, while sharing many memories of her childhood.

Mom was employed during the 1950s by the Province of Manitoba in the Water Resources Branch of the Department of Mines and Natural Resources. Jennie and the other secretary, Peggy, were highly thought of by the staff surveying land for a new hydro generating station on the Nelson River in northern Manitoba. Jennie and Peggy always ensured the workers had ample supplies and food, so they named the station and the town after the pair. The Jenpeg name holds special meaning for our family.

Jennie was a dedicated wife and mother who loved us deeply. She met the love of her life, Mill, when they both worked at the Manitoba Legislative Building in the late 1950s. They were married in August 1961 and built a home in a neighbourhood on the very western outskirts of Winnipeg, called Charleswood. There they raised Carol and Pat and provided them with a childhood filled with delicious food, backyard adventures and summer camping trips. Mom kept a very tidy house – spotless in fact! She loved raising her kids in Charleswood and enjoyed seeing the deer in the backyard. Mom valued education and was always supportive – whether it was piano lessons, new books or university and college. 

Mom had a special place in her heart for the village of Ethelbert, north of Dauphin. Some of her best times as a child were spent visiting her relatives there and later spending time with us camping at Auntie Nadia and Uncle Ed’s farm in our tent trailer.

Jennie was a wonderful grandmother. She took great joy and pride in all three of her grandchildren. Granny had a generous heart and was always quick with praise, encouragement and gifts. She had more than enough time to listen, laugh and enjoy the young lives that surrounded her, and they adored her too.

Mom will be remembered for many things – among them her sense of humour and her straight-to-the-point, no-guff “Jennie-isms,” her delicious garlic-filled potato pancakes that could knock out a head cold within 12 hours, and her ability to budget. Her money management skills were remarkable. ‘Frivolous purchase’ or ‘impulse buy’ were terms not included in her vocabulary. Mom enjoyed reading and crafts like decoupage and needlepoint, and watching her Coronation Street. When asked how she was doing, Mom would often respond, “Well, I can still run for the bus!”

In her final days Mom continuously expressed gratitude for her life, her family and those around her. We were blessed that even in her dementia she still knew all of her family.

We would like to thank the remarkable staff at the Simkin Centre, Mom’s final address these past three months. The dedicated staff honoured our Mom with their kindness and compassion, and did all they could to ensure that she was comfortable during her final days.

Please join us to honour and celebrate Jennie’s life on Thursday, May 31, 2018 at 2:00 pm at Oasis Church, 940 Elmhurst Road, Winnipeg. A private family interment is planned on another date.

In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to the Grace Hospital Foundation, the Misericordia Health Centre Foundation or the Saul & Claribel Simkin Centre, which all provided wonderful care to our mom during her illness, or to a charity of your choosing.

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