Peacefully, on Sunday, November 6, 2016 Sandra died peacefully at home at the age of 81 years.
Sandra was predeceased by her loving husband, Michael. She was also predeceased by her parents Carl and Mildred (nee Ekeberg) Blom; brother Al; sister Gail Mayerchak and sister-in-law Patsy Venables. To these people and others, Sandra always gave her unconditional support and love.
Sandra will be lovingly remembered by her Sister Joan Murray, and her nieces Debbie Blom (brother Al) Sherri Smart (sister Gail), Sandra Piccinato, Belinda Chin Pang, Patricia Escuyos (sister Joan) as well as great-nieces and nephews: Christopher, Samantha, Josh (Sherri), Tyson and Gillian (Sandra), Tyler (Belinda), Cody and Riley (Patricia) who all loved her very much. She will also be sadly missed by sisters-in-law Ramona Barsy, Jenny McDonald, and Marquerite Larocque; brothers-in-law, Pat and Dick Byrnes and her adopted grandchildren Jeremie, Daniel, Mario, Sylvie, Christianne: their children Aimee, Celeste, Emelie and Jayden. Sandra will also be missed by many loyal and loving friends.
Sandra was born December 12, 1934 in Minneapolis, Minnesota and later on her family moved to a farm in Baudette, Minnesota. When her brother went to war, she and her sisters took over many of the farm chores, milking cows, driving a team of horses or a tractor. She attended a country school near-by and then high school in Baudette and from there a Teachers College in North Dakota. Upon graduation she taught all eight grades in a German community not far from the college. She would walk to school or ride a horse and spoke no German which led to some interesting times.
Sandra married Mike Byrnes in 1955 and moved to Canada in 1956. They lived in Ontario; Rainy River, Atikokan and Fort Frances where she worked for Canada Post. Sandra also worked in Regina, Saskatchewan and Churchill, Manitoba and Winnipeg, Manitoba where she worked for The Hudson’s Bay Company.
Sandra became a member of The Catholic Church in 1958 and then joined The Catholic Women’s League of Canada. Sandra’s life was enriched as a 58 year member of The League and her devotion manifested in her service as: President of her Parish council of St. Joseph the Worker; President of the St. Boniface Diocesan Council; and President of the Manitoba Provincial Council. In 2005, Sandra was made a Life Member in The League.
For more than 20 years, Sandra served on the St. Boniface English Council of Development and Peace and was a part of The Manitoba Aboriginal Rights Coalition (MARC) for over 10 years. Sandra also loved her garden, canning the fruits of her labours; reading; doing crafts was her specialty; as well as she also enjoyed knitting, crocheting and needlework.
Sandra is eternally grateful to her CWL Sisters of St. Joseph the Worker Council for their love and support; and for the friendship of League Members and friends across Canada.
In keeping with Sandra’s wishes, cremation has taken place and a memorial mass will be held in her memory on Friday, November 18, 2016 at 10:00 a.m. in St. Emile Roman Catholic Church, 556 St. Anne’s Road.
In lieu of flowers, if friends so desire, memorial gifts in memory of Sandra may be made to IKWE WIDDJIITIWIN (Indigenous Women’s Shelter),
P.O. Box 1056,Winnipeg, Manitoba R3C 2X4, CancerCare, Manitoba, or to the Heart and Stroke Foundation.