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Obituary of GLORIA LORRAINE MATSKIW
It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of Gloria Matskiw at the age of 80 on Wednesday, February 1, 2023 at the Health Sciences Centre. Her loving daughter, Laurel, and son-in-law, Danny, were at her side. About a week before she passed, Gloria suffered a stroke and heart attack.
Gloria is survived by her son, David Jones, and her daughter, Laurel Irving (and partner Danny Blair).
She was predeceased by her son William, her husband, Al Matskiw (2002), and her parents Margaret Firman (nee Wevursky) and Michael Firman. Among the many who mourn her passing are her brother, Jerry Firman, cousins Nancy Wevursky and Lovey Wevursky, and dear friend Lynn Saunders.
Gloria was born on August 8,1942 in Oshawa, Ontario but grew up in Fisher Branch, Manitoba. After graduating from high school, she attended Teacher’s College in Winnipeg, where she met the love of her life Al Matskiw. Gloria and Al married in July 1961 and embarked on their life of adventure and fun, inseparable for 41 years until Al’s passing.
Gloria’s insatiable curiosity and love of learning led her to obtain her Master’s Degree with a focus on Cultural Anthropology. Her Master’s Thesis was based on the life of carnival workers, and Gloria’s whole family followed the summer carnival circuit over several years in rural Manitoba, which was a literal playground for her two children. Gloria taught courses in Cultural Anthropology, Folklore and Women’s Studies at both the University of Manitoba and the University of Winnipeg for many years.
She also ran a jewelry business with her husband Al for over 20 years. Al was a resource teacher for Winnipeg School Division No. 1, but his love of digging crystals and rocks, and turning them into unique pieces of jewelry took the family throughout North America during the summer months, travelling to various gravel pits, rock piles and mines, creating exciting and fun adventures for the whole family.
Gloria and Al’s love of travel took them worldwide, exploring the pyramids in Egypt together, admiring the art and history of Italy and chillaxing in Greece.
After Al’s passing Gloria continued to share her love of travelling with her dear friend of over 40 years, Lynn Saunders, the two of them embarking on adventures in Europe, and most recently partying on Bourbon Street during Carnival in New Orleans.
Gloria was also a volunteer with the Winnipeg Police for 20 years, becoming a Team Leader with the Community Volunteer Program, and was recognized as Volunteer of the Year in 2013. In addition to her role as Team Leader, she participated in many community events and special projects including the WPS Half Marathon, and she was a member of the WPS Choir. Gloria was a tiny little spitfire who loved telling Police Officers two feet taller than her “what was what”.
Gloria was a life-long lover and supporter of the arts, with season tickets to the theatre, and she could be seen rocking out at almost every Classic Rock concert that Winnipeg had to offer.
Right up to the day she had her stroke, Gloria was vibrant, active, very intelligent and fiercely independent. Her neighbor called her the “Energizer Bunny”. She was also a devoted wife, a wonderful and loving mother, a hearty laugher, an avid gardener, and a joy to be around.
The family thanks the dedicated and hard-working staff at St. Boniface Hospital and the Health Sciences Centre for their care and compassion. Special thanks go out to the GH-7 ward at HSC.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Heart and Stroke Foundation.
A celebration of Gloria’s life will be held at Cropo Funeral Chapel, 1442 Main Street, Winnipeg, Manitoba,
at 10:00 am on Saturday, February 25, 2023.
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