Floral 11

Esther Prystay

November 5, 1944 ~ November 21, 2021 (age 77)


Prystay, Esther Nellie

November 5, 1944 – November 21, 2021

Through sad tears and heavy hearts, we the family of Esther Prystay, announce her passing from this life at the Canora Hospital on Sunday, November 21, 2021 at the age of 77. Together, on that crisp and sunny morning, we began the celebration of her life.

Esther was born on November 5, 1944 on the family farm near Hazel Dell, Saskatchewan. Her education was through the elementary school in Hazel Dell, and then on to the adventures of high school in Sturgis. It was through her education and upon completion of grade twelve at the Sturgis Composite High School that Esther had the opportunity to be offered and accept a one-year position as a Home Economics teacher.

Shortly thereafter, Esther moved to Preeceville to work as a teller in the Toronto Dominion Bank where she was employed for three years. Many happy memories were shared during her time at the bank and the lifelong friendships Esther carried with her from that tenure. While at the bank, one of her many highlights came in the form of being crowned the Preeceville Lions Club Centennial Carnival Queen in 1967.

It was during her time at the bank where she met the handsome and persistent Ed Prystay. Ed and Esther were married in a double ring ceremony held on July 19, 1968 in Preeceville. They enjoyed a reception in Preeceville followed by a reception in Hazel Dell on July 20th. They later moved to the Prystay farm and began their married life working and raising their family together. There is always work to be done on a farm. Esther worked alongside Ed raising chickens, tending to cows, planting and harvesting crops, baling and hauling hay, and of course gardening.

As her children got older, Esther returned to the workforce and spent the rest of her working career as the cashier clerk for the Preeceville Bakery. Many referred to her as Preeceville’s unofficial ambassador, as she was happy to direct travellers, hunters and visitors to fulfill their shopping needs in the variety of stores, find a place to stay the night, or enjoy a relaxing meal in one of the restaurants. Esther enjoyed serving her customers and time spent getting to know something about almost everyone who walked through the doors. For 25 years, Esther worked at the Bakery and enjoyed both the people she worked for and the people she worked with. Even after many of her co-workers retired or moved on, Esther was always pleased to meet up with, or receive a phone call to hear how they were doing and continued to keep in touch over the years.

While Esther always had a love for growing flowers, her passion took over when she officially retired. A local newspaper interviewed her regarding her love for gardening and Esther was quoted to say “My garden is my special place to go when I am having a bad day. It has helped me overcome having cancer and major surgery,” she said. “It makes me happy to spend time in my garden.”

Esther loved sharing her flowers to brighten the day of others. Her arrangements were given to wedding parties, anniversary celebrations, church events and family and school reunions. Her greatest joy came from making and donating bouquets to the long-term care homes, hospital, and for the kind and accommodating people at the Toronto Dominion Bank, the Crossroads Credit Union and Paul’s Drugs store. For many years Esther and Ed made the May long weekend trek to the shores of Manitou Beach where they assisted the SaskTel Pioneers in planting flowers for the campers at Camp Easter Seal. When encouraged to participate in the Sturgis Horticultural Society annual event, Esther immersed herself in learning more about how to grow different types of plants and tried to incorporate at least one new one in her own garden each year. She was a member of the Society for over 15 years and enjoyed the friendships made with other avid gardeners. The rules and guidelines for competing in the horticultural event only challenged Esther to get better and better at showing the bounty of her gardening efforts. While winning ribbons for her efforts was rewarding, Esther most enjoyed sharing what she learned with anyone wanting to know more about growing vegetables and flowers, or how to compete in the show.

Esther’s own garden was always huge, and she made sure to plant extra rows “just in case” someone found themselves in need of produce to feed their family. The sharing of food was always a way for Esther to show others they were important to her. It would be rare if you left a visit to the farm and were hungry. Through the years, many people found their way to the farm if they were alone for the holidays, new to the community or in need of hot coffee and a listening ear.

Esther was predeceased by her parents Sam and Helen Antonio, sisters Nettie and Pauline, brothers Johnny and Paul. She also mourned the loss of Julius and Jenny Prystay, brother-in-law Mike Pasiechnik, sisters-in-law Eldeen Gorski and Bonnie Antonio, and niece Crystal Dziaduck.

To celebrate her life with love and fond memories are husband of fifty-three years, Edward, daughter Deborah (Martin), sons David, and Darcy (Terry) and grandson Justin. Esther is survived by sisters Isabel Pasiechnik and Betty Dziaduck, brother Phillip (Doreen) Antonio, sister-in-law Doreen (Tony) Sousa, brother-in-law Dallas (Dianna) Prystay as well as nieces, nephews, numerous relatives and friends.

The family wishes to express their sincere appreciation for the exceptional care Esther received from the nurses and doctors involved with her short stay in the Canora Hospital. Thank you to Roxanne, Tracy, Donna and April for the direction, care, and kind visitations she received while ill at home.

As per Esther’s wishes, there will be no funeral service. A private family gathering will honour Esther at the farm where she spent countless hours among the trees, the garden, and her yard. She will be laid to rest in the Ukrainian Catholic Cemetery in Preeceville.

Memorial donations in Esther’s name may be made to the Yorkton Lighthouse Food Bank and Care Centre as gifts of remembrance. (Mailing address: 147 Booth Street, Yorkton, SK. S3N 0J7). https://skfoodbanks.ca/food_bank/yorkton-lighthouse-food-bank-care-centre/

In accordance with Esther’s request, if you choose to offer a floral tribute, please instead direct your kind gesture to sending an arrangement to your local long-term care home and a resident whose day could be made brighter by your gift of flowers.

Arrangements have been entrusted to Preeceville Funeral Home.

To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Esther Prystay, please visit our floral store.


You can still show your support by sending flowers directly to the family, or by planting a memorial tree in the memory of Esther Prystay


Yorkton Lighthouse Food Bank and Care Centre
147 Booth Street, Yorkton SK S3N 0J7
Tel: 1-306-783-4650
Web: https://skfoodbanks.ca/food_bank/yorkton-lighthouse-food-bank-care-centre/

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