Izabella LENGYEL

LENGYEL, Izabella (Szmyt)
A woman of strength and determination honed by surviving some of the most tragic circumstances that befalls womankind, she was overtaken by Alzheimer's Disease and succumbed on November 18th at the age of 87. Her struggle is finally over and the unconditional love, peace and rest that so eluded her in this life is now hers in the eternal arms of the Father. She was born in Zegrze, Poland and enjoyed a childhood along the banks of the Narev River. Then the Nazi bombs started falling on September 1, 1939 and she would be haunted by them her entire life. She was a gifted designer and seamstress. These skills were the thread that wove her life together. She made her first dress for a paying customer and was able to help support her family at age 10. During her teens, she stitched herself an armour of dignity when Nazi guns and labour camps would try to strip her of her humanity. As a 22 year-old woman, with her mother, she taught other young Polish women how to sew in her classes in a post-war refugee camp. She sewed her way into Canada in the 1950s, made all her children's clothes while sewing for others to feed her family. She eventually found her independence as a tailor for the Canadian Forces Base at Currie Barracks in Calgary, then for the City of Calgary Transit System until she retired in 1994. She believed her greatest accomplishment in life was her three daughters whom she raised with all the love she could muster as a single mother. She loved nature and animals, her garden, travel, her beloved Lab, and her grandchildren. Her parents Helena and Alphons Szmyt and her brother Wlodzimierz predeceased her. She is survived by her sister Zofia, daughters Annette Lengyel, Danielle Millman (Kerry), and Clarisse Meyers (David), her grandchildren Paul Meyers (Jenn), Philip Meyers, Sabrina and Karsten Millman, and her great-granddaughter Aloya Meyers. We thank the staff at Good Samaritan's Park Meadows, the GARU at Lethbridge Hospital, and the Edith Cavell Care Centre in Lethbridge for their care and compassion. A funeral mass will be held on Tuesday, November 22 at 1:30 p.m. at Ascension Catholic Church, 1100 Berkshire Boulevard N.W., Calgary. In lieu of flowers, please donate to your local animal shelter. Honoured to serve the family, CORNERSTONE FUNERAL HOME AND CREMATORIUM, 2800 Mayor Magrath Drive South, Lethbridge, Alberta T1K 7B1. Telephone: 403-381-7777. E-mail: care@cornerstonefh.ca

Published in The Calgary Herald from Nov. 20 to Nov. 21, 2011