Michalina (Emily) Blocka

Obituary of Michalina (Emily) Blocka

Michalina (Emily) Blocka

October 8, 1925 - February 18, 2022


The family of Emily Blocka, sadly announcing her peaceful passing at Rosthern Mennonite Nursing Home in the early morning on Friday, February 18, 2022, at the age of 96 years.


Left to mourn her passing and cherish her memory are her: children, Donald Blocka, Rosthern; Carol (Ralph) Bowditch, Tisdale; Dianne Joyes, Rosthern; and Sylvia Blocka, Prince Albert; grandchildren and great-grandchildren; sisters Pauline Kryklyw, Toronto; Anne Maruschak, Rosthern; brother, Orest Zaleschuk, Wakaw; sister in-law, Muriel Zaleschuk, Lakeview Pioneer Lodge, Wakaw; Alice Zaleschuk, Wakaw; and many nephews nieces and friends.


She was predeceased by her husband Peter on April 1, 2001; her parents, Wasyl and Mary Zaleschuk (Bokshowan); brothers, Peter (passed away Feb 15, 2022), Eugene, Albert and Victor; one sister, Ann in infancy; sister-in-law Mary (Twarynski) Zaleschuk, Brothers-in-law, Michael Kryklywy and Edward Maruschak.


Emily was born October 8, 1925, in the Fish Creek district SK.  She was the oldest child of eight. Her father passed away at an early age, so her mother Mary, along with her siblings, continued on the farm with a large garden and livestock. During her child/teen years, Mother was taught the value of hard work and it was instilled in her the true meaning of unconditional love and service to others. As the Lord’s prayer says “Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven”


Due to a shortage of teachers in Saskatchewan, Emily was given an accelerated diploma for grade 12.  She was moved through the Teachers College in Saskatoon, then straight into rural schools.


She was put in charge of a one classroom school at Lac Chevelle (north of Duck Lake, SK).  She began with 52 students ranging from grades 1 to 8. She was not much older than some of her students, so it was very natural for her to be out playing ball with them at recess. She continued to teach for three years after her marriage to Peter in July 1947.


While raising 4 children she held many parttime jobs, which in included several departments at Rosthern Hospital, 25 years of janitorial work at Rosthern Medical clinic, as well as cooking at a few Rosthern restaurants. She was busy at times driving to Saskatoon or other places to pick up farm parts for Peter or making lunches for the men in the field. For many years, the matrimonial house on 6th Street, Rosthern, which was purchased in 1950.  She took in many borders and family members who were in need for a room, a bed, or the floor to sleep on. She welcomed all of her children’s friends, family, neighbours, and acquaintances in the home. She insisted on preparing a lunch for them and quickly would bring out food and drinks.  Therefore, they couldn’t leave until they ate.


Emily had many passions.  She planted numerous gardens with more than enough for the family and would give away the rest to many citizens in Rosthern.  She loved to garage sale and attend auctions, but never bought anything for herself.  She was always thinking about others


She had a deep love for nature and all animals. She could never turn away a stray cat meowing at her door seeking a warm refuge, food and water.  She fed the birds year-round, even if that meant digging through 4 feet of snow to get to the bird feeders outside her kitchen window. She loved to travel the country roads and take in the beauty of the land and nature. She knew where to pick the best Saskatoon Berries or wild mushrooms. She found solace and prayer stopping in at “Roadside Chapel” a few kilometres west of the Gabriel Dumont Bridge.


Emily traveled with her husband to the states for Cockshutt Farm Equipment conventions and a very memorable holiday to the Bahamas. She enjoyed the family holidays at Waskesiu Lake

and a holiday in Banff, Alberta, and was overjoyed to see wildlife on or near the road.


She loved to read and do crossword puzzles, until she started losing sight in her one eye in her mid 80’s.  She collected newspapers and through the years she would revisit them and find articles or pictures of Rosthern citizens and proudly would ensure they received the clipping.


A motor vehicle accident in 2013 did not slow her down much. Although she had not fully recovered from injuries, she would be out planting a garden, raking her lawn, trimming the fruit trees, or walking to the grocery store.


Due to failing health, in January 2018, Emily moved in to the Rosthern Mennonite Nursing Home.


Emily had a heart of gold, she was kind, warm, loving selfless woman always giving to others before herself. She rejoiced in the pleasures of the little things in life.  She had the gift of making everyone feel valued.


Poem by Daughter Dianne with many of Mothers words


Don’t Grieve for me when I am gone  
I followed the path God has laid, you see.
I took His hand when I heard him call
I turned my back and left you all.


When you feel the wind against your face,

Or See stars dancing in the sky

Or a memory which will make you laugh or cry

Remember me

I am there right beside you, sending my love from heaven


Carry on my legacy. Be selfless, kind, loving and forgiving to all.


Cherish my memories, I will live in your hearts



Our heartfelt thank you to all the staff at the Rosthern Mennonite Nursing Home for their kindness and care.  As Emily would say “Thank you, Dear”


As per Emily’s wishes there will be no service.  There will be a small family gathering summer 2022, to lay her to rest.  Donations made in remembrance of Emily Blocka to Sts. Peter and Paul Ukrainian Church / Ukrainian Catholic Cemetery Rosthern and The Roadside Chapel by contacting Perry Yamchuk at pys.place@gmail.com.


Arrangements entrusted to Funk’s Funeral Home, Rosthern, SK (306) 232-5245.


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