Katie Hawrylenko (April 18, 1931 – November 19, 2021)

Our beloved mother, grandmother, great-grandmother, sister, aunt and friend, Katie Hawrylenko (nee Milkovich) of Rycroft, AB passed away on Friday, November 19, 2021, at the Central Peace Health Complex, with family by her side, at the age of 90 years.

Katie was born to Croatian immigrants Ivan Milkovich and Manda Pavelić on April 18, 1931, on the family homestead near Rycroft. Marrying Nick Hawrylenko in 1955, they lived in both Rycroft and Spirit River, AB before settling in Rycroft permanently in 1962.

Mom worked for almost 50 years in the service, hospitality, and home care sectors. She was a great believer in community involvement and was a member of the Catholic Women’s League, Royal Canadian Legion and Rycroft Community Hall Board. Her passion for helping others and giving back to the community included: volunteering, baking, and cooking for special events; helping and visiting the sick and elderly; and providing support and encouragement in times of need or tragedy. Family, friends and card players were always welcomed to her home with coffee, tea and an assortment of homemade baking including pies, cinnamon buns, doughnuts, cookies and cakes.

Some highlights of granny’s life included: travelling to Croatia, Germany, Austria and the Czech Republic; trips to Quebec, Alaska, Yukon and British Columbia; beating cancer in her 80s; crocheting 24 afghans for sick children at Ronald MacDonald House in Edmonton; various awards and accolades for her gardening, cooking, baking and canning; and a limited celebration of her 90th birthday with friends and family this past April.

Katie will be dearly missed by her sons: Ken and Jim; grandchildren: Dustin, Sonia and Janine; great-grandchildren: Tyrese and Kaide; brothers: Nick, Matt and Bill; sisters: Annie Potrebenko, Matilda Milkovich and Helen (Lyle) Boman; as well as many special nephews, nieces and cousins in both Canada and Croatia. Particularly special is her aunt Marija Pavelić of Zagreb, Croatia.

Mom was predeceased by Dad: Nick; brothers: John, Louis and Joe; sister: Mary Potrebenko; brothers-in-law: Alex Potrebenko and Walter Potrebenko; sisters-in-law: Ann Milkovich and Irene Milkovich; and nephew and godson Stephen Milkovich.

“Little Grandma” (as she was fondly referred to by her great-grandsons) was immensely proud of her family, particularly Dustin and Sonia and their two special boys, recently stating they were “such a nice little family”.

At Katie’s request, there will be a private graveside service in the spring.

The family is forever grateful for the kind and compassionate care and attention provided by: Dr. Wolfaardt and Dr. Zamponi, the staff and management at Central Peace Health Complex; the EMS team; nieces Karen and Jeanie; and Father Savarimuthu for offering the last rites.

As mom’s health declined, she often repeated that she had done quite well given all the health challenges she had faced over the past few years.

In lieu of flowers, memorial donations to the Central Peace Health Complex Auxiliary (P.O. Box 886, Spirit River, AB, T0H 3G0) would be appreciated.

“Mother, you left us beautiful memories,
your love is still our guide,
although we cannot see you,
you’re always at our side.”

The family has requested that condolences not be sent online.

Funeral arrangements by Oliver’s Funeral Home.