Mary Ann Seitz
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Mary Ann Seitz Mary Ann Seitz beloved Mother, grandmother, great grandmother, aunt and friend to many passed away on February 18, 2021 with her son Darryl by her side. She was predeceased by her parents John and Annie (nee Goski) Paslawski; infant sister Marie; sister Rose Ryez; brothers: Peter, Harry, Joe, John, Paul and Raymond. Mary Ann is survived by her children: Brad (Chris) Seitz, Outlook, SK and family, Bergen Seitz, Sophie Seitz; Darryl (Sandra) Seitz, Weyburn, SK and family: Shawna (Murray) Lavender, Matt Seitz and his children, Evan and Alice; Shannon Seitz and her children, Braxton, James and Logan; Gayle (Garth) Gibbs and family Kevin (Lianna) and their family Ava, Ryan and Brett; her brothers, Fred (Evelyn) Paslawski, Osage, SK and Frank (Verna) Paslawski, High River, AB; as well as numerous nieces and nephews. Mary Ann was born on a farm near Osage Saskatchewan on March 23, 1930. Mary Ann had a deep interest in nature, and as a child her fascination with the water in dugouts and sloughs, magic oasis teeming with life, always surrounded by faithful willows and water birds. She believed that was where the fairies danced, and secretly, so did she. On the flat prairie space, no one could see them playing together there. She would lay on her bed and watch the lambs play all evening long. Their innocent play on a quiet evening after the sun went down, seeing the lambs with their stick leaps, jumping side to side. Her side would be sore from laughing as she buried her face in her pillow so she would not wake her mom and dad sleeping downstairs. She found the sound of the choirs of crickets that sang for miles around to be very soothing and comforting. She enjoyed the summer holidays when the Sisters from Montmartre came to teach Catechism along with preparation for First Communion and Confirmation. Growing up on the farm with her brothers could be very challenging to say the least. Mary Ann had a doll, she loved playing with the doll, and talking with the stuffed little doll. But the doll went missing. She searched the trees, the barns, granaries looking for the doll. The boys would smirk amongst themselves when she would ask about where her doll was. It was years later when her brother Harry was listening to Mary Ann reading her book as he lay in his hospital bed he broke into a short laugh and said, "That doll, you played and played with that doll we wanted you to play with us, that's why we hid the doll". Mary Ann said she did not know that. She never realized that was why they hid her doll. She said she realized that they did not do this out of hatred, but out of love. Her mother felt that Mary Ann should have an education as she was small, skinny and a day dreamer. This would make it difficult for her to work on the farm. She attended a country school for the first eleven years of her educations. For her final year she boarded at the Loretto Convent in Sedley where she finished her education. She was always very grateful to her parents for paying the twenty dollars per month to give her that year of education as that was a sacrifice for her parents at that time. Mary Ann then spent time in Moose Jaw attending six weeks of training at Normal School. After the training she started her teaching carrier when she began teaching at St. Louis country school near Manor Saskatchewan. For thirteen years she taught in the Francis's area. Mary Ann has said it was difficult teaching at that time as there was no running water, no electricity, and only outdoor washrooms in the school yard. In 1967 Mary Ann was awarded a Saskatchewan Government bursary to commute to Regina University from Francis, to complete requirements for a degree. In May 1968 Mary Ann received her Bachelor of Education with Distinction from the University of Saskatchewan with a Major in English and Minor in Arts. Also during this year, the family moved to Weyburn and Mary Ann began teaching English at the Weyburn Comprehensive School. Mary Ann loved teaching, and often said she enjoyed watching her students grow intellectually as they turned into young adults. After twenty-eight years of teaching in the classroom, health reasons forced her into early retirement. She officially retired in March of 1985. It is apparent that Mary Ann left a lasting impression on the many students she taught over the years as we will share with you some of the messages of condolences that we received from students that she taught: She was an inspirational educator and just an all-round lovely lady. I remember her sincerity and encouragement, a gentle lady. I enjoyed the way she taught us to explore our imagination. A truly unique, talented, wonderful lady. From a former co-worker: Mary Ann and I taught together at Weyburn Comp. Our classrooms were across the hall from each other. We had many interesting chats after school each day. She was a brilliant observant woman. We would like to acknowledge one of her former students that kept in contact with her regularly by writing her letters and visiting Mary Ann when she came to town. Thank you to Cheryl Cook, that meant so much to her. In 1973 Mary Ann was awarded a writing scholarship to attend a two week-course in creative writing at the Saskatchewan Summer School of the Arts in Fort Sann, Saskatchewan. She bought a used typewriter and taught herself to type. It was during her studies there that the Shelterbelt theme was first conceived. The novel, Shelterbelt, is the autobiographical story of the only girl in a family of nine boys, the father of an immigrant from the Ukraine and the mother a Canadian-Polish, living on a farm in south-eastern Saskatchewan from the 30's to the 50's. Frances Polanski, or Frynca, matures from seven to nineteen, struggling to choose her own destiny yet to cherish her roots at the same time. Mary Ann has been the recipient of several awards for her book. From among thirty- seven entries she was awarded first prize in the Saskatchewan Novel Competition for her unpublished manuscript, Shelterbelt. She also received an award from the Saskatchewan Department of Culture and Youth's Novel Competition in 1976 for Shelterbelt. In 1979 her book was published by Prairie Books. The book sold out in six months ahead of the publisher's expectations. With publication of Shelterbelt came promotion. Television and radio interviews, meeting the public and autographing, invitations to speak at conventions and to do reading. The events took place all over the province and in different venues listed below are some of the events she attended. CBS's Insight; Weyburn Art Gallery; Several Weyburn Clubs; Ukrainian Woman's Association Regina, Library in Prince Albert, CKRM Lorne Harrison Line; CFSL Weyburn, North Battleford. Television interviews: CKCK Regina, CBC Regina, CJGX Yorkton; CKBI Prince Albert; Jonnie Sandison Sow CKCK-TV. One of the highlights of her book promotion was the invitation from the Parkland Regional Library under the sponsor of the Canada Council to attend the National Ukrainian Folk Festival at Dauphin, Manitoba. She gave two readings and also met with the public informally at a booth in the Memorial Centre throughout the Festival. Mary Ann also participated in many other creative writing classes, and workshops. In 1950 Mary Ann was awarded an art scholarship for Art S1 (this was the first level university class) and attended this class at Emma Lake. This began her enthusiasm into art and photography. She had a one-woman photography show where she enlarged a series of twenty-four photos of black and white abandoned farmyards in the Weyburn area. She knew then that in a relatively short time these familiar objects, along with the hip-roofed barns and elevators would disappear. Her paintings reflected her interest in nature and have been hung at shows in the Saskatchewan Legislature, SGIO, CKC, and has taken awards at the Annual Watrous Art Shows. One of her paintings is in the permanent collection of the Weyburn Arts Council. Mary Ann served on the Weyburn Arts Council and as a Communications Chairperson for the Saskatchewan Teachers' Federation Weyburn area. She was a member of the Saskatchewan's writers Guild, the Weyburn Painters Group, and acted on an advisory capacity for the Weyburn Writers' Group. Her writings have been published in the Teacher's Magazine, the Western Producer, Prairie Messenger and the Alberta Poetry Yearbook. One also appeared in a spring issue of Canadian Author & Bookman. One poem was included in an Alberta high school test and on cassette tape for visually impaired students. Mary Ann spent a few weeks at St. Peters Abbey in Munster, Saskatchewan to do some writing. It was during that time that her spiritual advisor opened her eyes and she fell in love with Jesus. She participated in a three-year Lay Ministries Program sponsored by the Archdiocese of Regina from which she graduated in 1991. She then became active in her church as a lay presider working with the bereaved and writing homilies for prayer vigils. She joined the Senior Choir and Prayers groups as well as two bible study classes. For a year she prepared the videotapes for the weekly time slot on cable T.V. Mary Ann found healing while attending daily Mass consistent daily prayer and listening to spiritual tapes. She also loved music particularity she loved the Psalms the best. When reflecting on our lives with Mary Ann we captured the following from her grandchildren: I remember her always getting us to be creative whether at painting, ceramics, writing stories or playing with toys. She was always there with us allowing us to explore the creative world. She also enjoyed taking us to Wednesday night mass. We would sit with her with toys cares going up and down the pews she would take us up to be blessed by the priest during communion which is always something I will remember. My favorite memories with gramma were spending a week or more at her apartment in the summers as a kid. We would often go to the library for programs they put on, rent moves, check out shops and for walks in the park. We would also write letters to each other and she would sign her name as grandmama with the extra ma for Mary Ann. I always remember grandma's arts and crafts, nature walks, baking and cooking. Very intelligent women always left her apartment after having a tea with a different point of view in my current life situations. Sandra: for myself, what I will remember most about Mary Ann was her ability to tell stories and her eagerness to look after her family. She always had a cup of tea, a meal or some snack that were shared or conversations and story from her past. Also, her ability to forgive. Forgiveness for herself and others. She did this with her faith in God by constantly praying, and with that she was at peace with the issues that troubled her. For the last several years Mary Ann resided at the Weyburn Special Care Home. She told me once that she had done all the cooking, cleaning, shopping that she wanted to do. She was content just laying in bed with the blankets up around her chin reading a book. She never lost the thirst for knowledge and knowledge was achieved by reading. She appreciated when family and friends came to visit as she still was eager to her about what was going on in everyone's lives. Mary Ann adored when her great grand children came to visit. She found it so interesting to hear about their activities and how they were learning in school as things had changed so much when she was teaching. This also gave her the ability to continue to reflect on her life events and tell stories about them. She very much enjoyed the valued the care she received by her care givers at the Weyburn Special Care Home. She had the opportunity to move to Tatagwa View but decided that because of the good care she was given at the Special Care Home should be stay there. Mary Ann recognized the hard work of the health care provider and often commented what a tuff job it would be. She was content there. In long term care she found that when family could not be there often on of the health care workers filled that role, it showed their commitment to not only looking after the resident's physical need but their psychological and spiritual needs also. I would like to share a message that we received from one of Mary Ann's health care workers: She stated that she enjoyed Mary Ann and enjoyed listening to her stories from being a little girl in the 30s praying for rain, her career teaching, and her strong faith in God and her family. She definitely taught me a few things. When she was on the south wing she would stay up late reading and wanted her pills later, it was such a treat to sit with her for a few minutes to hear a story. Last week I asked if she was ready for her next journey and she said she was, she was lonely. I held her hand and told her I loved her and would pray for her; she was so accepting of the life she had. She told me not to cry when she died, still last week she remembered my son's name. I thought that was really amazing. I will miss her dearly. She brought joy to my day. Special thank you to Kim for sharing your story. The courage, commitment, and compassion particularly during these times, shown by the Health Care Workers at the Weyburn Special Care home is admirable and we thank you for the care that Mary Ann was given. We would also like to extend this Thank You to all Health Care Workers in Saskatchewan for your courage during this COVID Pandemic. We would also like to thank a special friend of Mary Ann's -- Alice Kot for the time you spent together and for the friend you were to Mary Ann. We would like to thank the many people that have sent messages of condolences, and the beauty tribute of how Mary Ann touched your lives. She was a very special lady, and we will all miss her greatly. Prayers were held on Tuesday, February 23, 2021 at 8:00 p.m. from RD Family Funeral Chapel. Mass of Christian Burial was held Wednesday, February 24, 2021 at 11:00 a.m. from St. Vincent de Paul Roman Catholic Church with celebrant Fr. Francis Plaparampil. Pallbearers were: Darryl Seitz, Brad Seitz, Shannon Seitz, Fred Paslawski, Matt Seitz and Bergen Seitz. Interment followed at Hillcrest Cemetery, Weyburn, SK. For family and friends so wishing, charitable donations in memory of Mary Ann may be made to the St. Vincent de Paul Roman Catholic Church, 314 ~ 3rd Street NE, Weyburn, S4H 0W7 or St. Peter's Abbey, Box 10, Muenster, SK, S0K 2Y0. Arrangements were entrusted to RD Family Funeral Chapel & Crematorium, Weyburn, SK (848-0333 ~ 1-888-848-0333). Expressions of sympathy to the family may be sent to our website at "Honouring Life and Celebrating Memories."

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Published in Weyburn Review from Mar. 3 to Apr. 2, 2021.
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