It is with deep sorrow that we mourn the loss of our beloved Violet (Kawulok) Kowalchuk, of Athabasca on May 11th, at the age of 88 years. She passed peacefully with her loving family at her side. She will be dearly missed by her son, Barry (Sue); her daughters, Cheryl (Rob) Balay, Darlene (Ken) Day, Marjorie (Garry) Peterson; and her grandchildren: Marcie (Dean) Whalen, Greg (Danielle) Balay, Jeff (Courtney) Day, Cara Day, Brandon (Kristy) Peterson, and Leah Peterson; and her great-grandchildren: Isabelle Violet, Adalee, Charlotte Daisy Jean, Jaclynn, and Mackenzie Whalen; Atlas and Iliya Balay; Harvey and Hayes Peterson. She also leaves behind her sister, Esther Sawchuk and her brother, Andy (Claire) Kawulok. She will be fondly remembered by numerous other relatives and dear friends.
She was predeceased by her husband, Gene Kowalchuk (2017), her parents, Andrew and Annie Kawulok, her sister, Essie McConnell, and other family members.
Vi was born and raised in the Athabasca area. She attended Big Coulee School and then she continued her education in Athabasca, where she met the love of her life, Gene. They married in 1954 and were blessed with four children, six grandchildren, and nine great-grandchildren who were their pride and joy. Vi celebrated and acknowledged every family milestone and countless achievements, from the smallest to the most significant. Family get-togethers were particularly important to Vi and Gene. They were always pleased to see their children continue this tradition.
After her high school graduation, Vi attended the University of Alberta to obtain her teaching certification. While teaching, she continued to take university courses during the summer and the winter to complete her BEd. She started teaching in a one-room schoolhouse with multiple grades and then she taught in different schools throughout the county. Vi was well respected as a professional, conscientious teacher who was firm but caring. Many remember her as a stylish, well-dressed lady with matching accessories. In her 28 years of teaching, she left a lasting impression on many students and colleagues.
An avid reader, an artist who dabbled in painting and drawing, with a flair for writing, she used her talents to write two family history books and also contributed to local history books. Vi was involved in various community organizations, most notably with the Red Cross for 44 years. Throughout her life, she loved many different sports, and, then later in life, she was the number #1 fan of her children and grandchildren in their sporting endeavors.
Her family was very fortunate to have many vacations in B.C. and parts of the U.S. and, after raising their family, Gene and Vi travelled to many different parts of the world. Wherever they traveled or lived, they made many wonderful friends, and they valued their friendships throughout the years.
After Vi retired, spending more time with her grandchildren and great-grandchildren brought her much joy and she was so looking forward to the arrival of Jeff and Courtney’s baby, her 10th great-grandchild. She will be forever missed for her love and generosity, kindness, sharp-wit, and dedication to her family. Within the last year, she was very pleased to return to Athabasca, which she considered to be her home.
The family would like to express sincere thanks and gratitude to Pleasant Valley Lodge staff, Wildrose Villa staff, and the many nurses and doctors at the Athabasca Healthcare Centre for the wonderful care they gave to Vi. The family is forever grateful for their kindness and compassion.
A funeral service will be held at All Saints' Anglican Church, 4904 – 51 Street, Athabasca, AB on Monday, May 23rd, 2022, at 2:00 p.m.
To watch a live stream of the funeral service, please use one of these links to connect at 2:00 pm.
Anglican Church of Athabasca Facebook page:
St. Andrew’s Anglican/Zion Lutheran Church Facebook page:
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Athabasca Healthcare Centre Auxiliary Association. Memorial Donation envelopes will be available at the service or at the Athabasca Healthcare Centre Gift Shop.