May Violet Pankewich (nee Shalen)


It is with deepest sorrow, yet great joy that our family announces that Saturday, April 23rd, 2016, our beloved mother MAY VIOLET PANKEWICH, peacefully left this life and journeyed home to be with Our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ, at the age of 91 years young.

Left to cherish Mom’s wonderful memory are eldest son Alexander “Sandy” Pankewich, daughter Bonnie (Kevin) Gilbert, granddaughters Kelsi, Kathryn, Jennifer, Melissa, Elizabeth, and grandsons Sean and Timothy, along with numerous great-grandchildren and nieces and nephews. May was predeceased by her parents, Samuel and Matilda (Tillie), her siblings Gladys, Roy, Cora, husband Alex, and son Laurie.

May was grew up in north Edmonton, graduated from Victoria High School in June 1942. She then went on to graduate with a Certificate from the Special Business Course at McDougall Community School in 1943.

May lived through trying times (the great depression, WWII) with strength and determination, always finding immense comfort in her faith in Christ. May truly was a kind, generous, down-to-earth, steadfastly loving soul who touched many, many people with her BIG smile and BIGGER laugh. Innately curious, May enjoyed really talking with people. She loved animals, and was more than happy to allow her children to have quite the home ‘menagerie’ over the years that included at various times: “Ali” the alligator, hooded rats, a chameleon, gerbils, guinea pigs, a garter snake, and even “Cheekie” the squirrel monkey!

A music lover from a very young age, May was self-taught on piano and organ, and she loved bringing that same love to the young people in the choirs at her Church (MacDonald Baptist) for many years prior to marriage to Alex in July, 1955.

May had a long and successful career with the Railways spanning 44 years; first with Northern Alberta Railway (NAR) in 1943, then CN Rail from 1943, retiring in 1987.

May loved to travel and with Alex, visited many interesting placed in Canada and other countries, always bringing back many spell-binding stories to share about their antics in those far-off places.

May’s family wishes to thank the many wonderful, compassionate staff and families at Extendicare Holyrood for their wealth of loving kindness and care showered on Mom and her family during our Mom’s years there.

A celebration of May’s life will be held Thursday, May 5th, 2016 at 11:00 AM at Braemar Baptist Church located at 7407-98 Avenue, Edmonton, AB. In lieu of flowers, for those who wish, memorial donations can be made to a charity of your choice.

A Mother’s Love is Forever
As children, we can’t comprehend or fully realize
The meaning of our mother’s love, how tender and how wise…
The patience and forgiveness that are part of every day,
The unexpected “little things” she does in her own way.
Years go by before we can look back on life and see,
Through older eyes and wiser hearts her love and loyalty.
And yet it’s these and other special things we’ll hold so dear,
For memories of her steadfast love will keep her ever near.

May our memories of our mother’s love
Bring us comfort and peace of heart,
Now and through the days ahead.

Location information

Previous events

Memorial Service
Braemar Baptist Church

7407 - 98 Avenue NW
Edmonton, AB, CA

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