It is with great sadness that that family of Valentina Sopko announces her passing. Surrounded by family, Val passed away peacefully at Hogarth Riverview Manor on November 14, 2019.
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Born in the Ukraine in July 1920, she emigrated to Canada with her family and made Thunder Bay her life-long home.
Soon after graduating Grade 13 from Vocational School, she married Joseph Gadowski. Together they built a house in Westfort, invested in various local businesses – Galaxy Lanes, Playtime Lanes, Supersonic CarWash and Joe’s accounting firm – before starting a family.
She took immense pride in her role as wife, mother, and her home was always filled with love, laughter, and the smells of cooking and baking. Her beloved husband Joe passed away in 1968 and she never stopped mourning his loss.
Music brought her much joy. In her youth she danced and belonged to the Ukrainian choir, and played the mandolin. It saddened us all when she began to lose her beautiful singing voice in her later years.
She loved the movies, specifically the old classics, and her home was full of books. She read everything she could get her hands on, from novels to the Financial Post, Reader’s Digest to world atlases, a day didn’t go by without her reading. She could discuss any topic – world news to Hollywood gossip.
When her second husband John passed away in 2005, her brother Edward could be relied upon to keep the walks shovelled and the tools oiled. He cooked her breakfast every morning until she moved into long term care.
Val will be sadly missed by her daughters, Karen (Stephen) Ford, and Paula (Simon) Watkinson; grandchildren Joe (Keltie) Ford, Kaitlyn (Krishna) Tangilapalli, James Watkinson, and Spencer Watkinson; great grandson Nash Ford; and brother Edward Macura. Her extended family was small, but she appreciated the close bonds with cousins David (and Hazel) Novak and Val and Bob Kosloski, and their children.
She was predeceased by parents John and Anna Macura, husband Joe Gadowski, and husband John Sopko, cousin Anne Macy, and life-long best friend Mary Zabiak.
We thank, from the bottom of our hearts, the angels of 7 South at Hogarth Riverview Manor. Val’s caregivers were loving, compassionate, kind, and treated her like family.
Funeral service will take place at WESTFORT CHAPEL, 420 West Gore Street, on Friday, November 22nd at 11:00am.
Val loved pink. If so inclined, please feel free to wear a happy colour in her honour.
In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to the charity of your choice or to the St. Joseph’s Care Group.