Helen Gulka was born on June 24, 1926 near Hazel Del, SK. Helen was the 6th of 16 children (1 brother died in infancy) born to Lawrence and Annie (nee Barteski) Novakowski. She grew up on the farm in the Dobrowady district, south of Hazel Del.
Helen married Steve Gulka in 1942. They resided and farmed SW of Preeceville, Sk. They had 1 son, Nestor, who grew up and farmed alongside his parents. Nestor later married Elsie (Mudry), and they too built a home, and raised their 4 daughters, on the same property as the Gulka family farm, near Helen and Steve.
Helen is survived by her granddaughters Sheryl (Shane Longworth), Claudia Gulka, Cammy (Rob St. Laurent), and Coralie Radawetz, her great- grandchildren Justin Bodnarchuk (Jess), Rebecca Sushetski (Dylan), Ryan Radawetz, Kaden St.Laurent, and Teron St.Laurent, step great-grandchildren James and Jeremy Longworth, and her great-great grandchildren Bentley and Harley Bodnarchuk and Brynlee Sushetski.
Helen is also survived by her siblings Pauline, Steve, Rosie, Edward, Rudie, Frank, Joe, and Paul, all of whom now live in BC.
Helen is pre-deceased by her son Nestor, daughter-in-law Elsie, siblings Walter, Bernice, Mary, Carl, Mike, and Eddie; as well as her parents Annie and Lawrence Novakowski.
Helen and Steve mix farmed up until retirement and then moved into Preeceville in 1999. She worked hard milking cows and alongside Steve raised a variety of livestock including chickens, geese, turkeys, pigs and cattle.
Helen also grew (more than 1) vegetable garden on the farm, which she did many picklings and preserves from, and ensured a full cold storage for the winter months. Helen also loved creating beautiful colorful flower gardens, both on the farm and in town, as is evidenced by so many pictures taken with family and friend, as their back drop.
Baba was also a fantastic cook and loved to bake. She always had home-made, meatballs, perogies and cabbage rolls in the freezer or cookies, squares and desserts on hand at the drop of a dime in the event someone popped in unannounced.
Baba’s true passion was her family. She lived for us girls and loved and enjoyed and often bragged that she helped raise us girls as her own, as we lived so close by. We were always staying over.
Baba embraced her heritage and was a devote catholic lady. She prayed daily for her family and loved going to church often, until her age and ill health prevented her attendance.
Helen was a wonderful grandmother, and a kind, generous, and caring soul with a heart of gold. She could be formal and proper (like the queen lady she admired), but she also had a stubborn independent strong will, and a subtle sense of humor, I think few got the pleasure to witness. Baba was game for almost any adventure – especially where us girls were involved – and she was always excited to come along.
Helen has left behind, a beautiful legacy, of her 95 years of life lived. Her strength and perseverance, is to be revered, and her beautiful, and soft-spoken gentle personality will be remembered and sadly missed by all.
Arrangements have been entrusted to Preeceville Funeral Home.
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