Zofia passed away in Lethbridge on January 28, 2019 at the age of 96 after a battle with Alzheimer’s disease. She was an amazing lady and will be missed.
Zofia was born Zofia Sicinska in Lvov, Poland on January 27, 1923. She lived there with her mother, father and younger sister until the night of April 13, 1940. The events of that night changed her life forever.
Her life from that point on spanned 3 continents and 8 countries. It was filled with many challenges, tragedies and life changing adventures. Her strong will helped her survive the horrors of WW II. These included the murder of her father, a Polish officer in a Russian POW camp, the deaths of other family members in Nazi concentration camps and her deportation to a Russian work camp in Siberia for two years, under the most horrific conditions. She received the Polish Siberia Survivor medal recognizing that ordeal.
Once released, she, her mother and sister made their way to the Middle East as part of the 2nd Polish Army Corps. There they became part of the Polish Women’s Auxiliary Corps. In 1943 they were transported by sea to Edinburgh, Scotland.
Having been spared, she believed that her life purpose was to help people understand the tragedies and atrocities of the war, especially as they referred to the Katyn Massacres and the mass deportation of Poles to Russian in 1940-41.
She met her husband Jan, a Polish officer who was studying Medicine at the Polish School of Medicine at the University of Edinburgh. They were married in 1944 and she started to raise her family. It was in Scotland that her two oldest children Lech and Ann were born. While her husband was studying, Zofia and her mother ran a rooming house, working hard cooking, cleaning and looking after two small children.
Later, when they moved to England where her husband, now a doctor was practicing, her next child, Christopher was born.
New opportunities for her husband’s medical career brought Zofia and her family to Moose Jaw Saskatchewan, where they finally settled and her two youngest children, Andrew and George were born. Her husband passed away in 1975 and she moved to Lethbridge in 2006. She was a wife, mother and homemaker and still found time to be involved in the Catholic Women’s League, hospital auxiliary and the Optimist Club.
Zofia loved reading, gardening, drawing and painting, music, dancing, cooking and crossword puzzles.
She especially enjoyed winter trips to Florida to be with her mother and sister and cherished visits with her family. Her mother moved from Montreal to stay with Zofia. These were treasured times for her as she was able to care for her mother and have many conversations sharing their life experiences.
Even though she became a proud Canadian citizen, her incredible love of Poland and her strong Catholic faith kept alive her family’s Polish traditions, particularly at Christmas and Easter.
In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to the Alzheimer Society, 1202 2 Ave S #40, Lethbridge, AB T1J 0E3.