Obituaries — 10 January 2018
Thelma Joyce Graboski – March 22, 1933 – December 25, 2017

Thelma Joyce Graboski – March 22, 1933 – December 25, 2017

It is with great sorrow that we announce the sudden passing of Thelma Graboski. Thelma, age 84, after living a happy and loving life, passed away Dec. 25th 2017 at the Dryden Hospital.

Thelma is survived by her children Robert, William (Lynne), and Linda LeFave, grandchildren Nicholas, Adam, Alex, Christopher, and Callie, siblings Louise (MB) and Shirley (ON), numerous nieces and nephews and many friends that she met throughout the years.

Thelma was born March 22nd 1933, in her family home on William Ave. in Winnipeg, Manitoba. She was the daughter of Rose and William, sharing the house with just one bathroom with her eight brothers and sisters. This is where Thelma picked up her lifelong trait of speaking her mind and never worrying about telling others ‘how it is’. Growing up she was an all-city athlete and she also felt very honored for being one of the few females in the work force at the time.

Thelma met and married Nick Graboski in 1954 and had Robert in Winnipeg MB. Shortly after, Nick got a job in Dryden at the mill, so they packed up and ‘Thelma the city girl’ moved to a small town in Northwestern Ontario. Here they bought a house on Dingwall Parkway where they put down roots and grew the family to include Linda and William.

In 1974, Thelma took a job at the Hudson’s Bay Store, where she worked her way up to office manager. She happily celebrated working over 15 years there. Though she loved her job and colleagues, once her grandchildren came into the picture, she decided to retire. Family meant the world to Thelma and she was extremely proud of all of her grandchildren. She would attend many of their sporting, schooling, and life events in both Manitoba and Ontario.

Pets, which were more like family members, included Sandy whom Thelma and Nick loved for 20 years. Later in life they enjoyed the company of her “spoily brats” as she would call them, Scamper and Chuckie. She always had to get after Nick for sneaking both of them treats, but everyone knew those dogs were her world.

Thelma enjoyed her summers at the camp with family on Edward Lake. While the boys were fishing she completed her puzzles and crosswords in “Gramma’s corner” in the veranda and was always preparing large family meals for when they returned. When not at camp, Thelma could often be found having lunch by the parrot at Kuppers, caring for and gushing over her grandchildren, keeping up with Coronation Street, making the best hot chocolate and playing intense games of Mario Party, talking on the phone for hours with her sisters and daughter, cheering for the Montreal Canadians, or giving the biggest hugs. If there was one thing Thelma loved, it was giving her hugs.

Thelma will be remembered for talking, laughing, and for the love she had for her family. Our love for Thelma will remain in our heats forever as beautiful memories. She referred to herself as the ‘Matriarch’ of the family, as she truly was the rock. May she now be reunited with her beloved husband Nick.

Our family extends our deepest and heartfelt thanks to our friends and the staff at the Dryden Regional Health Center for their love and support at this time.

Cremation has taken place and a private ceremony will be held on Opening Walleye Weekend in May at her camp on Edward Lake.

If friends desire, donations are welcome to be made to the Second Chance Pet Network through the Stevens Funeral Home, P.O. Box 412, Dryden, ON P8N 2Z1, in memory of Thelma.

Condolences may be posted at www.stevensfuneralhomes.ca.

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About Author

Chris Marchand is a native of Dryden, Ontario. He served his first newspaper internship at The Dryden Observer in 1998 while attending journalism studies at Thompson Rivers University in Kamloops B.C. He's worked desks as both reporter and editor at the Fernie Free Press as well as filled the role of sports editor at the Cranbrook Daily Townsman. Marchand was named editor of the Dryden Observer in Aug. 2009.

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