Alice Panagapko, age 99, of Northern Lights Manor in Flin Flon passed away on Monday, July 27, 2020. Alice, also known as Elsie to many members of her family had 6 siblings & 4 step siblings. Born to her parents Ivan (John) & Olena (Helen) Sopotyk in Prud'homme, SK. in the late fall of 1920. Weather was harsh that winter and she often told the story of how her father did not get into town until after the New Year to register her! Thus her official birthdate was Jan. 13, 1921. Alice attended Vermillion Lake School after her father bought a quarter of land so that his youngest 3 children could be close to the school & for many years the old school house was part of the family farm. Alice valued education & was proud of being able to read & write in several languages. She was also quite musical & could tap out any song she knew on a piano keyboard.
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As a young woman, Alice travelled to Ontario to visit her older sisters Helen & Lena & this was where she met and married Bill Panagapko. They later settled in Flin Flon. They were married for over 40 years & raised 4 children.
Throughout her life, Alice was a woman who broke molds. For example, she was remembered by some of her kids' friends as one of the first moms in the neighborhood who drove. She loved nature & loved the outdoors! She spent many happy summers at the family cabin on Big Island Lake & never turned down a chance to head out on the lake for a boat ride or to catch fish! She spent many hours in her garden at Big Island & could often be found with neighbors talking about gardening methods & how to grow bigger & better veggies. She was was very proud of filling the freezer with produce & eating healthy! Actually, health was at the forfront of her interests before clean eating was a big trend. She loved learning about health food & was juicing, using wheat germ, seeds, & apple cider vinegar decades before most people! She would be very proud to know this skill & passion for health has been carried on in the next generations! Over the years along with the other members she provided catered feasts for many weddings, (smokers) & funerals. Of course her family was the most important thing to Mom. She loved nothing better than having everyone at her table or out to the cabin for a visit. She loved feeding people, especially her family! She could often be heard talking about how many grandchildren she had and how she even had a set of twins in the collection of great grandkids! One of her favorite sayings, sums up a life well lived. "Fun is fun but the fun is done".
Submitted by Val Sawyer
Alice is survived by her son: Brian (Donna) of St. Catherine's; daughters: Pat Gilbert of Winnipeg, Janice (Ken) Pawlachuk of Flin Flon, & Valerie (Rick) Sawyer of Campbell River. She is also survived by 10 grandchildren; Craig, Steph (Jay), Debra, Daniel, Byan (Nat), Kirk (Jodi), Dan (Sara), Esther (Dean),
Alison & William; 13 great-grandchildren: Noah, Anna, Tobiah, Zara, Michael, Ethan, Gabriel, Kieran, Gavin, Rhys, Lucas, Piper & Jacob.
Predeaceased by husband Bill in 1989.
Mom passed away at the age of 99 1/2 Can't believe she didn't wait for the letter from the Queen, whom she loved & thought was her look alike! After she passed, we have enjoyed many great memories from friends & relatives. One friend reminded me that she enjoyed her when she was delivering meals on wheels, and would be asked if she thought Mom resembled the Queen. I just realized it was probably because my friend had an accent that Mom might have thought was English. Another of our son's friends said he remembered eating her amazing perogies, and said can't say I've listened to Ukrainian polka since. And yes she made the best cabbage rolls ever! Some friends had memories of getting her to take them to the Big Island Drive In. Cousins shared that she seemed happiest for sure when she was with her siblings. They all adored Auntie Alice who certainly knew how to tell a story & make them laugh. They said she also could be brutally honest & you always know what she was really thinking! I love fishing & one fun memory I have is of her & I fishing off the dock. I still have the pic, she was pleased as punch. It was a master & I don't know what I was thinking as I was yelling at my 93 year old Mother "get the net"! After we measured it I had to let it go cause of it's size, and she was so mad at me for throwing it back, saying Bill would never do that! Pictures are a great way to share the memories!
Mom moved out of her home on Hill Street in the fall of 2016. We always joked that it was that "spring water" that kept her going so long! Ken had to go summer & winter to get her supply. She was a pretty tough lady who for months surprised everyone, when we thought this was it, she would turn the corner & surprise us all. Our thanks & gratitude to everyone through whom Alice received much loving care over the past few years, all the nursing staff & volunteers. You really do honour God when you love & care for the sick & elderly.