We Remember

MARANCHUK, Lena “Lee” (née Sawchuk)

August 30, 1929 — August 31, 2021

With great sorrow for our collective loss, we announce the passing of Lee, at the age of 92.

Lena was the first child of Fred & Katherine Sawchuk. She was born at home on the family farm, located near Margo, Saskatchewan, as were her brothers John and Peter. In 1940, the family relocated to another farm just north of Clair, Saskatchewan, and her sister Darlene was born soon after. As the eldest, Lena supported her parents by looking after, and out for, the growing family, both on and off the farm.

In April of 1948, at age 18, Lee graduated in Dressmaking and Ladies Tailoring from the Dauphin School of Dressmaking and Millinery. In the fall of 1952, while working for Canadian National Railway in Rivers, Manitoba, Lee met Walter “Wally” Maranchuk, who was serving there with the Royal Canadian Air Force. They were engaged in December 1953, and Wally was transferred to Whitehorse, Yukon, soon after. Lee and Wally were married on the Sawchuk family farm in Clair, on June 6, 1954.

For the first 25 years of their marriage, military postings provided Lee with the opportunity to experience a busy, varied, and rewarding life. Whitehorse, Winnipeg, France, Germany, and Edmonton were all places she called, and made, ‘home’. Lee’s first son, Rick, was born in Whitehorse in December 1955. The family was sent to Winnipeg, Manitoba, in January 1956, where son Rob was born in December 1957. From 1965 to 1969 Wally was stationed overseas, first in Marville, France, and later, Lahr, West Germany, as part of Canada’s commitment to NATO during the Cold War. This was an extraordinary time for the family and they eagerly took every opportunity to tour around Western Europe. The next, and last transfer, in 1969, deposited the family back in Canada, this time in Edmonton, where Wally retired from the Air Force in January 1979. Lee and Wally decided the circumstances of their next move, this time to Kelowna, in September 1980. There, for 41 years, Lee continued to enjoy people, activities, and things she loved, including wintering for many years in California and Arizona.

Lee was a very loving wife and a devoted mother to her two sons. She was an outstanding cook and loved to bake, and kept an immaculate home for her family. When her sons were young, Lee sewed much of their clothing. She loved gardening, and her “green thumb” was evident to anyone passing by her flowerbeds or garden. The family delighted in and very much appreciated the fruits of her gardening prowess – the results of her labour in planting, tending, harvesting, and processing or preserving each year’s bounty and then turning that into yumminess for family and friends to enjoy. Bunches of her flowers, in season, made their way to the homes of friends and neighbours, and her beautiful gladiolas helped brighten their Church.

Being raised on a farm, working hard was a given. This work ethic pervaded all aspects of Lee’s life. She often held a job outside the home, adding significantly to the family coffers. While living overseas, Lee held part-time jobs during the day while the boys were off at school. In Kelowna, Lee attained the position of Head Housekeeper at the original Eldorado Arms Hotel and subsequently held the same position during her tenure at the Best Western Hotel. This, in addition to her incalculable contribution to the fortunes of her family as a homemaker.

Lee willingly gave much of her time as a volunteer. In Edmonton, in 1979, Lee was recognized for long service to the “Meals on Wheels” program of the Victorian Order of Nurses. In Kelowna, Lee devoted countless hours to the activities of Rutland United Church, where she was named an Honorary Elder in 1999. Lee contributed her energy, and skills in the kitchen, to innumerable church functions and fundraising events, and was a key member of the team that produced hundreds of pies every fall for that annual fundraiser. When arthritis made the rolling pin too heavy and hard to hold, she continued to contribute by helping shepherd the production team. To recognize her outstanding contributions to the church, Lee was presented with a United Church Women Life Membership.

Lee was a voracious reader and kept abreast of the daily news and world events. Her cursive handwriting was both beautiful and elegant, whether she was compiling a simple grocery list or composing a letter to a friend. Lee was a dedicated walker, an activity that she enjoyed on a daily basis, well into her 80’s. Singing was another passion, and for over 50 years her soprano voice was heard in church choirs and in other singing groups.

Lee leaves behind husband Walter, sons Richard and Robert, of Edmonton, younger sister Darlene Gimas (Melvin), of Weekes, Saskatchewan, and sister-in-law Marlene Sawchuk, of Saskatoon.

Lee was predeceased by her parents Fred and Katherine, and younger brothers Dr. John Sawchuk (Marilynn), of Cando, North Dakota, and Peter Sawchuk, of Saskatoon.

Quiet, polite, unassuming.
Always considered others; never thought of herself first.
Seldom still …
… our foundation, our anchor, our fount


In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to The Good Samaritan Society, gss.org  Please designate to Mountainview Village – Kelowna, BC.

In order to help thwart COVID-19, a celebration of Lee’s life will be held sometime in the new year. Date, time, and circumstance to be announced.

If you wish to send a condolence, post photos, or share a memory, please scroll down the page to the area called “Condolences”.

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The Good Samaritan Society Link: gss.org




  • Jeri Willis & John Black says:

    Our deepest condolences to the Maranchuk family on the loss of your dear
    Mother, Lena. We hope the wonderful memories & deep love that you shared together will help ease your grief during this difficult time.

  • Fr Michael Maranchuk says:

    May God grant her rest and comfort to you and your family.
    From Jessie Maranchuk, V. Rev. Fr Roman & Genia(Janet) Bozyk, Roselle & Doug Paulsen,
    Rev Fr Michael Maranchuk
    May her memory be eternal!

  • Carl & Marg STef says:

    Wally ,We are very sorry to hear of your wife passing . Our thoughts are with you
    Carl & Marg

  • Bob and Cherry Affleck says:

    Wally and family we were so sorry to hear of Lee’s passing. Our memories of your time at Hollydell Gardens are sweet. We are very appreciative of the wonderful neighbours you were. We looked forward to Lee’s gift of those gorgeous gladiolas every year, and seeing her do her frequent walks in the neighborhood always willing to stop and chat. We remember Lee as a busy cheerful person who loved to share her talents with those around her.. Included in that was her involvement with the delicious turkey dinners so many people enjoyed yearly at the United Church.. The memories of her well-lived life are a blessing to many. Bob and Cherry Affleck

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