We Remember

SERWA, Helen

Helen Serwa, our beloved mother, grandmother, great grandmother, and great great grandmother, affectionately known as Bapka, died on January 22, 2018 at the age of 106 and a half. Her kindness, patience and caring ways always made you feel welcome and special. Her work ethic, wisdom and willing spirit has been and will continue to be an inspiration to her family. She encouraged all of us to be the best we could be and passed on the importance of honesty and integrity. She had 5 children, 18 grandchildren, 21 great grandchildren and 2 great great grandchildren. Sadly, she was predeceased by her husband Jack in 1987, her daughters Ruth Kuhn in 1994 and Lillian Berry in 2007, as well as her great granddaughters Brittany in 1989 and Lola in 2011.

She is survived by her loving family:

The children of her daughter Ruth Kuhn (Al), Donna Drought (Peter); Chris Kuhn (Marjory) and their children Amanda and Brandon Kuhn

Her son Cliff Serwa (Lois) and their children Brad Serwa (Terri) and their children Kristi, Jason and Kelsey Serwa; Tanya Courtorielle (Victor) and Tanya’s son Shawn Goertzen; Kevin Serwa (Teri-Lyn) and their son Matthew Serwa; Peter Angle (Krista) and his children Dillon and Mikayla Angle; Susan Angle (Justice); and David Angle (Allie) and his sons James and Andrew Angle

Her daughter Doreen Large (Phil) and their children David Large and his sons Quinn and Zander Large; Michael Large (Lisa) and his children Christopher and Alexandrea Large; Jackie Large and her son Brenden Large-LeLievre; Jennifer Large and her son Keagan Potash; Teri Large and her son Nate Litowitz

The children of her daughter Lillian Berry, Tawny Berry; Lori Stone and her children Gary Stone (Amy) and their children Keith and Paisley Stone; Stefanie Stone.

Her daughter Helen Potts (Tom) and their children James, Daniel and Michael Potts

In 1899, Helen’s parents emigrated from Ukraine to Canada. In 1911, she was born in Garland, Manitoba, the tenth of thirteen children. Helen started school at the age of eight without knowing a word of English. She grew up a true Canadian pioneer. Light came from coal oil lamps, water was drawn from the well with a rope and bucket, gardens were their source of food and cows provided milk. Grain and hay was cut with a scythe, then raked and stacked by hand.

Helen finished grade 12 and became a teacher in a one room school. Earlier when she was 14 and a half and he was 19, she met Jack at a wedding and thought he was very handsome. After a long friendship they were married in Dauphin on April 5th, 1932. They started their family during the Great Depression. He worked as a cook, a trucker and eventually had his own sawmill. She helped Jack as much as she could.

They moved to Kelowna in 1945 and Jack started the Serwa Bulldozing Company. In 1948, they built her dream home on Pacific Avenue and Helen gradually landscaped the large yard creating a park-like haven. In 1957 she helped to establish the Ukrainian Orthodox Church in Kelowna, sang in the choir, played the mandolin, created and sewed many ethnic dancing costumes and later excelled in Ukrainian university courses. She wrote two family history books in her 90’s and at the age of 100, she received the award for the best vegetable garden in Kelowna. Helen continued to live in her home, independent and active, until she was 105.

The family wishes to thank Dr. Michael Bobyn, an exceptional doctor and the kind and caring staff in Cottage 2 at Good Samaritan Mountainview Village. The funeral service will be held at 1:00 pm on Saturday, January 27, 2018 at Springfield Funeral Home, 2020 Springfield Road, Kelowna, B.C.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to a charity of your choice.

1:00 pm on Saturday, January 27, 2018

Springfield Funeral Home

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In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to a charity of your choice
Memorial donations may be made to a charity of your choice


Service Information

Service Details

The service for SERWA, Helen is scheduled for 1:00 pm on Saturday, January 27, 2018 . Below you will find the map for the service location and the contact information should you have any questions.

Address & Contact for Service Location:

Springfield Funeral Home

2020 Springfield Rd Kelowna, BC


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  • Alan Ungaro says:

    Cliff and Lois, So sorry to hear of the loss of your mum. What a blessing it must have been to have someone like her in your lives for so many years. Allan Ungaro

  • Wilma Schellenberger says:

    May I offer my heartfelt condolences to the Serwa family. I feel privileged to have met Mrs. Serwa when at the age of 100 she won the Community in Bloom Best Vegetable Garden award. What an amazing Lady!

    Wilma Schellenberger
    coordinator for CiBloom Green Thumb Garden Contest

  • Rolli and Mary Cacchioni says:

    Our heartfelt sympathy and deepest condolences go out to all of Helen Serwa’s family. Helen was a beautiful lady and Mary especially has fond memories of singing Ukrainian songs with her many years ago. You are all in our thoughts and prayers. Sincerely, Rolli and Mary Cacchioni

  • Linda Bonin and Roger Erikssen says:

    Our condolences to all the family. Roger and I have wonderful memories of Aunt Helen and she will always have a special place in our hearts.

  • Malgosia and Gerald Thiessen says:

    Those we love don’t go away.They walk beside us every day…unseen, unheard but always near, still loved, still missed and very deer.
    With Sympathy

  • Shirley Andreychuk says:

    So sorry to hear of your loss. I cherish the memories when my mother and visited when we visited with my brother Terry. No matter what time of day we visited, she always laid out a full course meal for us.

  • Theresa Kostiuk says:

    Bless this beautiful lady with all titles on mom, babka, great babka,great great babka ,sister,friend ,aunty and best gardener , Rest In Peace. I only met u once but knew your brother in PineRiver,man. Condolences to the families.

  • Ken Ziolkoski says:

    My deepest condolences to family and friends, Aunt Helen always expressed the importance of family and her wisdom and compassion regarding life’s obstacles will always ring true with me. A truly exceptional and amazing lady. RIP with Uncle Jack.

  • Charlene & Manuel Pelly & Family says:

    Sending our Condolences — Wow 106.5 what a Beautiful Life for such a Beautiful & Intelligent Women – No one will ever forget her — She leaves a lot of Very Good Memories — I still remember Uncle Jack coming to visit my mom Ludvina Kimacovich but better know as Lucy Irwin from Selkirk, Manitoba and our family and Aunty Helen would always send Christmas Card with a letter to mom – which mom treasured — Sending your family condolences Love from Charlene & Manuel Family and Family

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