Mary “Maria” Berger
1915 ~ 2016
Mary “Maria” Berger passed peacefully at home on January 8, 2016 in Lacombe, AB at the age of 100 years with her daughter by her side.
Maria was born in a sod house on the farm in Saskatchewan in 1915 to Ukrainian immigrant parents. She grew up, however, in Detroit and Dearborn, Michigan, while her father worked at Ford Motor Company.
After they came back to Canada, settling near Edmonton, Maria lived in Rocky Mountain House, Alberta, Creston, B.C., and Lacombe, Alberta.
She loved to dance, including Ukrainian and tap, as well as play the violin. She was always positive. She had a smile on her face, a song in her heart and kind words for everyone.
She particularly enjoyed her mother’s homemade wine and often talked about how she missed it, even until days before she left this earth. She was an amazing cook, preparing authentic Ukrainian dishes.
Maria wanted to live to 100 to get her birthday greeting letter from the Queen – and she did it.
She was pre-deceased by her parents Maxim and Xenia Szach, sister Anne Oleshko, brother Alex Shaw, husband Anton Berger, her partner John Joy Jr., and her son Gary Berger.
She will be greatly missed by her children: Ion Berger (Los Angeles, California), Xenia Stanford (Kelowna, B.C.), Neal (Brenda) Berger (Sherwood Park, AB), Ruth Berger (Rocky Mountain House, AB), Aileen Joy (Victoria, B.C.), Keith (Val) Joy (Vernon, B.C.), and Lisa Joy (Lacombe), as well as many great- and great- great-grandchildren, nieces and nephews.
A Celebration of Maria’s life was held Friday, January 15, 2016 at 1:00 p.m. at Wilson’s Funeral Chapel, 6120 Hwy 2A, Lacombe, AB. Interment followed at Lacombe’s Fairview Cemetery.
Condolences may be made by visiting www.wilsonsfuneralchapel.ca. Wilson’s Funeral Chapel & Crematorium, serving Central Alberta with locations in Lacombe and Rimbey in charge of arrangements. Phone: 403.782.3366 or 403.843.3388. “A Caring Family, Caring for Families”