Obituary of Victoria Marie Sturek
Victoria "Vicky" Marie Sturek
(May 24, 1932 - August 10, 2023)
Mom was born in Macklin Saskatchewan on May 24, 1932 the 10th child of Herman and Margaret Blatz. Her family left Macklin in 1936 and moved to Wetaskiwin where she attended her first couple of school years. In 1940 the family moved to Kelsey where they set up a second homestead. With already 12 in the family and another on the way their new neighbors thought they were raising children instead of grain.
After the rest of her school years in Kelsey and Bawlf she worked at the Daysland hospital and dated Walter Sturek Jr. They were married on November 6, 1950 and moved onto the farm north of Daysland with dad’s parents. After farming together for 18 years dad’s parents moved to Daysland. In May of 1970 dad’s father passed and his mother moved back to live with them until her passing in 1975.
In January of 1969 their farm home was destroyed by fire. It was one of the coldest winters on record as it stayed between 25 to 40 below from January 25 to February 10. During that time they tore down the old house and started building a new one. To the many family, friends and neighbors that helped them she was eternally grateful. There were many days when they had to send people home as there were just too many people and if the weather warmed up to less than minus 20 the crew would all comment on how warm it was. They were truly a tough bunch. Also during this time the family lived in the garage that had been hastily insulated and heated. As difficult as it was mom took care of her family in this old building, cooked and fed the house building crew and volunteers until they moved into the new house on May 10. They tore down the old and built the new house in 15 weeks under those conditions, an astounding achievement. Four years later they sold the farm and moved to Camrose where they both lived until passing.
Mom has four children:
Kimberley born in 1952, married Marilyn Mohl of Hanna. They have one son Justin and his partner Natasha.
Renee born in 1956, married Grant Bendfeld of Heisler. They have three children, Christopher and fiancé Nikki, Kimberley and wife Shelby, and Lyndsy. They have their extended families of Bud and Tammy James and Laura and Osama Shenouda. They also have 7 grandchildren, mom’s greatgrandchildren, Izaya James, Ava and Hayden Bendfeld, Olivia and Robert Shenouda, Paisley and Bentley Runnells.
Constance born in 1956, married Dr. David Lehenbaurer of Davenport Iowa. They have two sons Adam and Daniel.
Gary was born in 1962 and passed away in 2020 which was a great loss to mom.
Dad and mom lived an interesting life together. Over the years they made many good friends and as the family got bigger over the years they were kept busy. They enjoyed many years of camping, fishing, travelling, visiting and spending time with the grandchildren. After they moved from the farm Walter worked for the City of Camrose for over 10 years. He passed away in 1996 and mom’s life changed forever.
Mom lived with Gary until 2008 when she moved into a condo. Her sister Anne moved in with her in 2017 and they had many good years with family and friends. Thank you Anne for being there for her.
Of course over the 91 years some interesting things have happened.
It seems fire was an aversion in the family and mom usually tried to fix things herself. There was a problem with an outlet in the kitchen one day and mom thought she would fix it. After taking it apart and doing whatever she did to it she told Gary to stand by the cupboard and she would go and turn on the breaker. She hit the breaker and sparks and flames shot out of the outlet past Gary. Of course the breaker tripped right away and before Gary could say anything she closed the breaker a couple of more times and each time sparks and flames shot by him. When she stopped he yelled down the stairs “hit it again it’s not on fire yet” Thankfully she didn’t and an electrician came to fix the problem.
For those of you that were at her house, just inside the front door she had a tall vase which had dried flowers and plumes in it. Grant and Renee had stopped in for a visit and were just going up the walk when the front door burst open and mom came running out with the vase and the charred sticks that were left in it. Seems Gary was flicking a Bic lighter to see if it would light and a spark flew into the dried plumes. It caught fire and before mom could get it out the door they were burnt up. She was quite upset with Gary over that.
The one time she was really upset is when she got a ticket for having two hooks in the water when she was fishing. She was casting from shore when something went wrong with the reel. She set the broken one on the picnic table beside her and grabbed another rod. She cast that one out and placed it in the holder then went to work fixing the broken one. When she had it repaired she cast it out to see if it would work. Just as she was reeling it in there was a tap on her shoulder. It was the game warden. She tried to explain but he would not hear any of it. He gave her ticket, and though I don’t remember how much it was it was pretty steep for the 80’s.
One event that really describes Vicky, happened one Thanksgiving. Grant was in a golf tournament so Renee and the kids picked up Grandma Vicky and went to Aunt Anne’s in Edmonton for Thanksgiving dinner. Mom was helping prepare the meal when she cut herself. It didn’t take long before it was decided that she needed stitches. Her grandson Chris, took her to the Misericordia Hospital to emergency. When the doctor got to her and said she definitely needed stitches mom said go head and don’t worry about freezing because I’m in a hurry. The doctor proceeded and with each stitch she let out a yelp. When he was finished and they were back in the car Chris learned why she was in a hurry. Mom said we are not going home, we are going to the casino to gamble and have a beer. So that is what they did and finally made it home to a hungry group that was impatiently waiting for them.
It is difficult to pack 91 years of life into a few minutes. It just doesn’t seem enough. This is just a bit of what mom’s life was like. I am sure that those of you who spent time with mom have your own memories, hopefully good ones. I ask that you think of them, share them and remember mom for the loving, kind person she was. Rest in peace mom.
Left to cherish her memory are her children Kim (Marilyn) Sturek of Red Deer, Renée (Grant) Bendfeld of Camrose, and Constance (Dr. David) Lehenbauer of Sedona, Arizona; six grandchildren; seven great-grandchildren; and siblings Hermana Blatz of Saskatoon, Anne Blatz of Camrose, Joe (Pauline) Blatz of Saskatoon, and Aloysia (Sig) Famulak of Camrose.
Vicky was predeceased by her husband Walter Sturek; son Gary Sturek; parents Herman and Margaret Blatz; six brothers; and three sisters.
A prayer vigil was held at 7:00 p.m., Wednesday, August 16, 2023 at the Burgar Memorial Chapel. A Funeral Mass was held at 1:00 p.m., Thursday, August 17, 2023 at St. Francis Xavier Roman Catholic Church, 3605 50 St Camrose, with Father Chad Miciak as celebrant. Interment will take place in the Camrose Valleyview Cemetery following the service.
If family and friends so desire, memorial contributions in Vicky's memory may be made to the Polska Church Cemetery or to the charity of one's choice.