Mabel was the youngest child of Anton and Eudoxia (Chornomitz) Barteski born on the family farm west of Preeceville on September 3, 1927. She attended Orange Vale School until the family moved to town. After taking some schooling in Preeceville, she was employed as an egg candler at the Coop Creamy. In 1946, she married Steve P. Gulka whose first wife, Lena (Tulik), had passed away. Mabel had just turned 19 and became an instant mother to four young boys: Orest (9): Myron (6), Robert (4), Eugene (2). She did this without hesitation and with a strong commitment to be the best parent she could be. Thereafter, Steve and Mabel had three other children: Jerome (1948), Murray (1950) and Dianne (1955). Not only did she raise all these children, other relatives lived in their home at various times for many years. She worked tirelessly to provide a good life for her family and did so without complaint and modern-day conveniences.
Mabel was a homemaker until they built the Robinson Store in 1962 where her business skills came to the fore. In 1969, a grocery store addition was completed. Later, the buildings were sold and a new grocery store was built on Main Street. Mabel and Steve retired as Eugene and Jerome took over the family business.
Even though she was retired, Mabel continued to be actively involved in the Preeceville community. She was caring and compassionate. It was well known that you could count on her if you needed help. She was an avid church goer, belonged to the Ukrainian Catholic Women’s Club for over 50 years, volunteered at many community events, delivered Meals on Wheels well into her 80’s and pinched thousands of perogies to help build the Preeceville Hospital and Nursing Home. Mabel’s love of her Ukrainian heritage were reflected in her cooking and baking skills. Every Christmas and Easter was celebrated with all the traditional foods and home-made breads.
Mabel was also an avid sports lover. She was a loyal Montreal Canadiens, Blue Jays and, especially, Roughriders fan. She was a curler and bowler and displayed many trophies on her fireplace mantel. She rarely missed any of her children’s hockey or baseball games. Mabel and Steve travelled to many countries throughout their married life. However, their favourite vacation spot was always Radium Hot Springs.
Mabel was predeceased by her husband, Steve,in 1997; her parents; siblings (Joe Barteski, Mike Barteski, Mary Petrowski, Margaret Pantuik,close cousin, Nick Barteski); grandson, Dallas Gulka, and daughter-in-law Brenda Gulka (Myron). She is survived by her children: Orest (Kathy); Myron; Robert (who sadly passed away on March 12th) (Beth); Eugene (Stella); Jerome; Murray and Dianne Gulka-Tiechko (Myron Gulka-Tiechko); her sister, Anne Chimko (age 105 years). Mabel had 16 grandchildren, and many great grandchildren as well as great great-grandchildren.
The family would like to thank the Preeceville Long Term Care Centre staff who provided a loving home for Mabel over her last few years.
In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation in Mabel’s Memory to the Preeceville Long-Term Care Auxiliary (Box 348, Preeceville, SK, S0A 3B0),
Holy Transfiguration Ukrainian Catholic Church (Box 402, Preeceville, SK S0A 3B0), or any organization that supports Ukraine in its fight for independence.