Maria Zaraza

It is with extremely deep sorrow we announce the passing of the biggest hearted woman we have ever known. Maria touched the hearts of so many with her sweetness, generosity, sense of humour and feistiness. Her braveness impressed many during her lifetime and her will to get better impressed many more during this past year. Maria passed away peacefully on Sunday, Jan 7, 2018 at the age of 81, with her loving daughter Elizabeth (Ela #1) and son-in-law Steve (Stiv) by her side.  Beloved and devoted wife of the late Jozef (2008), beloved mother of the late Jozef Kazimierz (2014) and beloved sister of the late Krystyna Romanek (1999). Was also surrounded by the rest of her immediate family who deeply loved her, Elizabeth Theresa Zaraza (Ela #2-late son Joe’s loving wife) and all her grandchildren (affectionately known as Babcia), Christopher, Kasia, Danny, Nicky and Andy (Booboo). Also loved by her step-grandson Johnathon. Maria will also be fondly missed by friends and other family members: nieces, nephews and many family members in Poland. To Maria’s dear extended families (you know who you are), know that your love and support meant so very much to her. Her smiles said it all. Pani Jasienka, your daily care, love, concern and support is indescribable and Maria always called you her sister.

Maria was born in Poland in 1936. Her young life was very difficult during the war years. She immigrated with her husband Jozef in 1959 and arrived in Canada with 2 children and 2 suitcases. Their resolve to make their children’s futures brighter and live in freedom was of utmost importance. They worked hard and tirelessly to achieve their goals, no matter what.  Maria loved her farm and enjoyed gardening.  She was very talented in many areas and excelled, with her golden hands, at anything she did. She loved to cook and bake for family and friends and many enjoyed her pierogies, cabbage rolls, cheesecakes, cookies and homemade sauerkraut dishes. Babcia always made sure there was plenty to send home with her grandchildren. Flower arranging and crocheting were hobbies she loved and many family members received her beautiful afghans. A favourite with many, were her multicoloured “happy” blankets. Hopefully, now, those blankets will be somewhat comforting when we use them. A hug from Maria.

We first and foremost would like to thank Dr.’s Bokhari and Qawi and staff for giving Maria a fighting chance. Chuck, Erika and Lindsay, you were a big part of that. Also, thanks to Dr. Ali for his care and help. To the many nurses and staff with big and compassionate hearts, we thank you!  Lea, you got the biggest smile!

Family and friends will be received at the GEORGE DARTE FUNERAL HOME, 585 Carlton St., St. Catharines on Wednesday, January 10 from 2-4 and 7-9 p.m. A Funeral Service will be held on Thursday, January 11 at 11 a.m. in the funeral home ceremony room. Interment to follow at Victoria Lawn Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to the Canadian Cancer Society.