ZUKOWSKI – Mrs. Ann Zukowski


    Zukowski – Mrs. Ann Zukowski of Brooks, while surrounded by her loving family in her home, passed away on Monday, January 12th, 2015, at the age of 79 years. Ann was born on July 30th, 1935, in the mining town of Hillcrest in the Crowsnest Pass. A sparkle would often light up her eyes as she recalled the women and girls in the mining community working together to garden, bake and can food in order to ensure that they all had enough to make it through lean times. She loved that the women would all work together, tell stories and break bread. It was here, in this multicultural community, that Ann learned to understand and speak many European languages, including her parents own Czechoslovakian language. Ann graduated from high school in 1953 and then moved to Calgary where she attended the Holy Cross Hospital School of Nursing, graduating as a Registered Nurse in 1956. She met, and later married, a handsome patient recovering from a vehicle accident, John Zukowski. They moved to Lodgepole/Drayton Valley where they started their family of 3 sons, David, Pat and John. It was also in Logdgepole where John and Ann partnered to start the first of their four successful businesses, J&A Trucking. They moved to Brooks in 1969, where they started Jo-Ann Construction, IDEAL Construction and later, DaPaJo Construction. In those early business years, it was a rarity for a woman to have a role in the oil and gas industry, never mind being involved in running such businesses, but Ann was a strong and smart woman who was able to hold her own. John and Ann worked incredibly hard and were also dedicated to raising their boys, and there were lots of memorable trips to the cabin in Montana. Ann was left a widow in 1980 when John tragically died in an oilfield accident. With two boys left at home, she bravely moved forward as a mother and a business woman. Her love of nursing also resulted in her taking the Nurses Refresher Program from which she graduated in 1982. She immediately started working full-time at the Brooks hospital, and she somehow managed to juggle all of these roles without missing a beat. While working at the hospital, she proudly served on a committee which helped to get the palliative care rooms up-and-running and furnished. She was also the one that was called upon to translate when there was a patient who was unable to speak English, particularly if they were of Eastern European descent. For almost 2 decades, she worked with Dave and Pat in the businesses while she continued to nurse. When she retired from nursing she was appointed to the Board of Directors of the Palliser Health Authority, a role which she took very seriously. She only stopped working with her boys when her health started to interfere. She stayed in her home with the great support and love from her devoted caregiver, Maricon Bejemino, who was with Ann for almost 8 years. When Maricon married Leo a few years ago, he also became part of the family and helped in supporting Ann’s health needs. Ann loved to bake and showed her love by baking. When she heard someone was going through a difficult time, whether she knew them or not, she started baking for them. She and her dear friend, Joni Medway, were often touring around or making ceramics. She loved spending time at her cabin on Flathead Lake, often finding time to smoke all of the fish that the boys had caught. She loved to shop and she was always happy when she found a really great deal. In the past years, she has served as a cooking and baking mentor to Maricon. Ann loved dogs and had numerous dogs and granddogs who loved Mom/Grandma and her cookies. For a few decades, Ann belonged to a women’s investment club, and up until her final days, she avidly watched and played the stock market. Ann is predeceased by her beloved husband, John, her parents Thomas and Veronica Motil, and her brother, Tom Motil. She is survived by her three sons David (Bev) of Brooks, Pat (Melanie) of Brooks, and John (Shelly) of Cochrane, as well as by her granddaughter, Raissa Zukowski of Brooks, and grandson, John Zukowski Jr. of Cochrane. Funeral Mass was celebrated on Saturday, January 17th at 9:00 AM from St. Mary’s Catholic Church. Rev. Raul Hernandez Celebrant. Interment followed at Brooks Cemetery. In memory of Ann, if friends desire, memorial tributes may be made to Brooks and District Health Foundation for Palliative Care, Bag 300, Brooks, Alberta T1R 1B3. Funeral arrangements in care of SMITH FUNERAL HOME, BROOKS, ALBERTA. Condolences may be forwarded through www.sfh.ca Telephone 403-362-4636 or Toll Free (866) 362-4652.