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SHALKOWSKY – Alice Barbara (nee Krzyz)

December 1, 1916 – May 4, 2011

It is with heavy hearts that we announce the passing of Alice Barbara Shalkowsky surrounded by her family on Wednesday, May 4, 2011 at the age of 94 years.

Alice was born in Poland and left in 1944 (during the war) with her two young sons, William and Cristian, fleeing to the safety of Denmark. As a single mom, Alice immigrated to Canada in 1948 and lived in Alberta and Ontario for a brief time until settling in Winnipeg, MB in 1950. In 1952, Alice gave birth to a daughter, Jennifer, a new sister for Bill (William). Alice worked hard and raised her son and daughter as a single mom. Although Alice worked in Poland at a government job as a secretary prior to the war (1939), arriving in Canada unable to speak English, she worked at whatever she could find and do – cooking and cleaning homes. As she learned to speak English she became a waitress extraordinaire and then graduated to a cashiers position at Shoppers Drug Mart at Garden City in Winnipeg where she worked for twenty years. Alice loved the theatre and music and was a member of the Polish Sokol Choir for twenty-five years. During that time the choir travelled to Poland a number of times. The choir also performed at the Winnipeg Folklorama Festival each year. Alice remarried in 1987 to Ernest Shalkowsky which started a new chapter in her life. For the first time since 1940, she had someone to take care of her. Alice and Ernie moved to Calgary in the summer of 1995. Her love of music continued and even though she had just turned seventy-nine, she discovered Karaoke and became a star. She always wowed the audience when she sang her favourite songs. The crowd went wild when she sang “How much is that Doggie in the Window” and “Que Sera Sera”. That is how Alice lived her life that, “whatever will be will be”. She faced each challenge and gave it her best. We played these songs for her as she was leaving us. As her daughter-in-law Kathy always said “she was the kindest, sweetest person she has ever known” and everyone agrees. She was very social. Everyone loved Alice and she will be missed greatly by everyone who knew her.

Alice is survived by her daughter Jennifer Ferenc; son and daughter-in-law, Bill and Kathy Schmidt; grandchildren, Cheryl, Darren, Dean and Ian; and great-grandson Keaton. She was predeceased by her son Cristian Schmidt; her first husband Waldamere Schmidt; and her second husband Ernest Shalkowsky.

We love you Mom and miss you. You were a wonderful mother and grandmother and we are who we are because of everything you were in our lives.

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In living memory of Alice Shalkowsky, a tree will be planted at Fish Creek Provincial Park by McINNIS & HOLLOWAY FUNERAL HOMES, Fish Creek Chapel, 14441 BANNISTER ROAD S.E. Telephone: (403) 256-9575.

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  1. Marilyn Goode :

    It was with sadness that I read of Alice’s passing. I knew Alice when I worked at Ben Moss Jewellers in Chinook a couple of years ago. She would visit us regularly and we would hang her coat in our back room so that she could go off shopping. Upon her return, always excited, she would always model her latest piece of clothing or an accessory that she’d bought. On some visits she would simply tell us stories as she loved to make us laugh. With her wonderful sense of humour, Alice seemed to live her life in the moment and loved every day of it. She was a true delight! We missed seeing her regularly when she moved to the Northwest but we certainly thought of her often. We know that she will be missed by many.

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