Julia Lillian (née Kowalyshyn) Gerwing

May 2, 1922 - November 6, 2023

Memorial Card
Service Details

Funeral Mass: Livestreaming Available
10:30am – Monday, November 20, 2023,
St. Anthony’s Roman Catholic Cemetery
Lake Lenore, SK
Monday, November 20, 2023
St. Anthony’s Roman Catholic Cemetery
Lake Lenore, SK

Memorial Donations:

St. Anthony’s Roman Catholic Cemetery
P.O. Box 10,
Lake Lenore, SK, S0K 2J0
Humboldt District Hospital Foundation – Home Care Fund
P.O. Box 1740,
Humboldt, SK, S0K 2A0


After 101 years, six months and four days Julia (née Kowalyshyn) Gerwing died peacefully after cooking her final lunch, making her bed and going to the hospital. She got her wish to go quickly and with little fuss, but she gave her family time to say goodbye. Julia was born on May 2, 1922 at Lunnville, north of Ituna to her Ukrainian father, Fred (Fedor) and her Polish mother Katherine. In 1941, when she was 19 and her sister Rosie was 18, they drove to Toronto where Julie worked in the shipping department at De Havilland Aircraft during WWII. After a couple of years, she came back to Saskatchewan and worked at the Tuberculosis Sanatorium in Prince Albert and then as a parts person at the International Harvester dealership in Ituna. In 1946, she went to Lake Lenore to visit her sister Mary, who lived next to John and Molly Gerwing. She met their son Hardy (Gerhard), who was farming in Lake Lenore after serving in the army during WWII. After a year of visits and letter writing they married on October 21, 1947. Julia’s father owned the first steam tractor in the Ituna area, was musical and a builder and fixer and Julia followed in his path. She played in the family band and also had artistic talent. Her paintings are owned by many and include the backdrop for the St. Anthony’s nativity scene. She built furniture and taught upholstery. She was curious about how things worked and unafraid to try something new. She loved a joke, and told many, including the one about being so old she wasn’t going to buy any green bananas. She encouraged her children to see the world and travelled herself. Julia went to England, Greece and on many trips to Reno. Watching the Blue Jays was one of her greatest pleasures and she was always up on the curling scene. She was very independent and liked to take care of herself. At 101 she was still cooking, baking, and cleaning. Julia always made sure her family didn’t drive when it was stormy and checked what they were making for supper. She leaves behind her daughter Connie Gerwing (Cyril Laforge) and family, Julia Laforge (Nick Toller) and their children Cléa and Mikko; and Philip Laforge (Brittany Melnyk) and their son Benoit; daughter Vicki Gerwing (Charlie Matt) and their son Tim Gerwing; daughter Jacki Gerwing (Don Brown) and family, Danny Brown (Freja) and their son Noah, and Murray Brown; son Jim (Karen) Gerwing and family, Alison Gerwing (Jun Nee), Tara Vesey and her children Cash and Henrik, and Megan (Devin) Richmond their children Knox and Vanessa; son Ted (Kim) Gerwing and family, Amy Gerwing, Ryan Gerwing, and Jenna Gerwing; sister Olga (Art) Nieman; daughter Colleen’s partner Mary Ann Roettger; and sister-in-law Pauline (Maurice) Merkosky. She was predeceased by her husband Gerhard “Hardy” Gerwing; daughter Colleen Gerwing; siblings: Mary Bellavance, Josephine Kobialko, Anne Bukowsky, Mike, Stanley, Joe and Leo Kowalyshyn, Rose Havelock, and Charlie Kowalyshyn and their spouses; 14 (three in infancy) of her husband’s brothers and sisters and their spouses.

Service Recording

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