Katie (Sowchyn) Kennedy
March 17, 1928 to August 30, 2022
It is with deep sadness that we announce the passing of our beloved mother. Katie Kennedy passed away peacefully on August 30, 2022 at the Royal Alexandra Hospital in Edmonton.
Born in Edmonton, Alberta on March 17, 1928 to Dora and George Sauchyn, Katie survived her eight siblings, Mary, Annie, Margaret, John, Jim, Al, Walter and Bill. Growing up in the Riverdale area of Edmonton, mom loved relaying stories about growing up during the depression! Marrying Jim in 1953, their life entailed moves between Saskatchewan and Alberta. After our dad passed in 1983, mom moved to Red Deer for a few years before returning to her favourite place - the home of the Edmonton Oilers. Having resided at Ritchie Pioneer Place for 27 years, Katie led a busy life and was an active member of SCONA Seniors Centre. She relocated to Ottewell in 2021, where she acquired the pleasure of less housework and delightful meals prepared for her to enjoy in the company of other diners. Over the years, we listened to stories from the days of working at the Woolworth’s bakery during mom’s early years. With a passion for baking and decorating cakes, we all had animal-shaped and elaborately decorated cakes for our birthdays, back in the day. Being well known for her pierogies and cinnamon buns, our freezers were always packed following a visit. With a love for cooking, mom was quite intrigued when pizza became a trend. She would stand outside the window of the new pizza joint scrutinizing the live demo of the chefs preparing this new food craze. Our friends soon knew whose home to go to for home made pizzas! We give credit to her for our appreciation of new foods and experimenting with recipes. Along with these interests, we can add knitting, crocheting and any popular craft that came along. There are not many people who don’t own at least one knitted dishcloth of hers. With the patience of a saint, our mom was frequently looking after other children, often being referred to as “Mama Kay.” She never stopped worrying about and trying to nurture her own children long after we had grown.
A fondness for the holidays has also been passed down the generations- from dressing up at Halloween to decorating for Christmas, Easter, Valentine’s Day, birthdays and any celebrations in between. It is with certainty that sports topped the list of “the best things in life.” As a child, I remember her coaching baseball despite the fact none of her children had an interest in the game. She was not deterred by our lack of enthusiasm as she volunteered with Cubs and Boy Scouts. But she was a devoted mother, our greatest fan and supporter in the many activities she encouraged us to partake in. During hockey season, we would be guaranteed a phone call if the Oilers were beating the Calgary Flames. But if the roles were reversed, the chances of her answering our calls were slim. Some of us avoided phoning when curling was on TV because we knew we would be subjected to a play-by-play. It was not unusual to see this lady with hockey on TV and football on the radio at the same time. Not being one to frequent bars or drink alcohol, we were surprised to find her in the lounge at her daughter’s wedding. That is, until we noticed the football game was on the screen. An abundance of curling trophies adorned our house as we grew up. League Bowling was also an important event long into mom’s senior years. Always respected for being a hard worker, our mother will also be remembered for her generosity, abundance of energy, welcoming nature and especially her sense of humor. She loved to go for coffee and chat with friends, whom she made acquaintance with easily. Being a social person, she established numerous lifelong friendships. Always up for a game of cards or crib or a jigsaw puzzle, everyone knew who to call on. Another affection right up there at the top of her list was the Grand Ole Opry. I doubt she ever missed a radio broadcast over the years. Her lifetime dream came true when she celebrated her 80th birthday in Nashville and attended the Grand Ole Opry not once, but twice! Luck was with her as all the favorites happened to be performing. She took in the country music Hall of Fame and experienced all that was dear to her heart. Following that trip she remarked, “Now I can die happy!” We were blessed to have celebrated our mother’s 90th birthday with her being surrounded by loved ones from near and far. Appreciating her upbeat and positive nature, we cherish the memory of hanging up the phone and smiling (undeterred by her abrupt end to phone calls.)
Katie will be sadly missed by her children Judy Garlinski of Grande Prairie, Lori (Michael) Stefanishion of Drumheller and Don Kennedy (Marina) of Edmonton. Katie’s memory will be cherished by her stepson Roger (Eleanor) Kennedy of Saskatoon and their families. Grandchildren Kyra (Walter), Michael (Jenny), Amy (Ryan), Amber, Janna, Jamey, and Dasha will hold precious memories in their hearts forever. Katie also leaves her great grandchildren Braeden, Katie, Mason, Margaret, Skylar, Bentley, Gracie, Everlie, and Sofia to remember her.
Katie is also survived by her sister-in-law, Olive Sowchyn, numerous nieces, nephews, great nieces and nephews, along with many dear friends.
Recalling the side of mom ‘s fridge, it was obvious how many children were special in her life.
Respecting our mother’s wishes, her ashes will be interred at a later date.
Friends wishing to honour Katie are invited to make a donation in her name to SCONA Seniors Centre - 10440 84 Ave NW, Edmonton, AB T6E 2H2.
Today there is an unfinished knitting project, a jigsaw puzzle and that bowl of candy which was always ready for anyone who happened by.