Rose Gerelus (Derkach), age 102, passed away on Tuesday, March 21, 2023 at Shoal Lake’s Morley House Personal Care home in the presence of family.
Rose was born on October 16, 1920 in Seech, Manitoba to Hnat and Tekla Derkach. She was one of seven children. Rose’s youth, as a Ukrainian pioneer, was characterized by hard work and hardship. Rose’s mother passed away at the age of 39, when Rose was only 8 years old. Rose lived and worked together with her sisters and her father to support one another. Rose attended the Zaporoza one-room school, which was 3 miles from their home, until only grade 5 when she had to stay home to work with her family. Her father, Hnat, passed away in 1940 when Rose was 20 and her 5 sisters had to once again band together to support one another on their journey.
Rose met her husband, Mike Gerelus from Seech, at a dance at Seech and they were married in 1941. Rose and Mike farmed the Derkach homestead at Seech (with younger sister Nellie) for two years before moving to Shoal Lake in 1943 in search of better land and a better life. They first started renting land before buying 3 / 4 of the 10-16-24 section in 1946. They worked the land with horses for one year until they saved enough money to buy their first tractor, a John Deere A.R., one of the first in the area. Rose worked right alongside Mike as his right hand on the farm for years before starting a family. Rose was a dedicated farmer. She maintained a large and very productive vegetable and flower garden well into her senior years. Moving to town in her 90s for more supported living was difficult for Rose, as the farm life surrounded by family was all she knew and what she loved.
Along with farming, Rose managed her household. She was resourceful, skilled, and thrifty; often fixing, mending, or sewing. Her hands have prepared countless meals for family to share around a dinner table. Rosie was unconditionally committed to the lives of her family, children, partners, grandchildren and great grandchildren, mending, sewing ,knitting, baking ,and playing games and cards with us all. Many hours were spent creating Ethnic food such as perogies, , cabbage rolls, noodles, and perishke. She was always available to mend or sew ,create a Halloween costume ,sew a cover for a tractor seat, or knit a pair of mitts. Her homemade quilts are too numerous to count and each of us has a special one to sleep under. Her offers of food including tea, tarts, doughnuts, and maple leaf cookies even when she lived in Morley House will always be remembered. She was resilient, stubborn, and worked hard without complaint.
Rose valued her family and their bond together. In their adult years, she kept her children close and maintained her relationships with them. She lived on the home section alongside her son Ron and his family, with Larry and his family just a couple miles down the road. She would often make trips to Winnipeg to visit Lorraine, Dan and Sarah. She was well connected to extended family, both from her own family and Mike’s. Mike and Rose revelled in raising their children on the farm and in the community of Shoal Lake. They instilled family values of faith, hard work, teamwork, service to others, commitment to family, and fellowship.
Rose was dedicated to her community. She supported Mike as an elected Councillor for more than 31 years. They enjoyed travelling to attend the annual convention. She supported minor sports, school sports, and senior hockey.
Rose lived a life of devout faith. She and Mike were very actively involved with the St. Josaphat’s Ukrainian Catholic Church, as officials and parishioners.
Rose is survived by her daughter Lorraine Myk, son Ron Gerelus and his wife Laurel, son Larry Gerelus and his wife Carol, grandchildren Nathan (Johanna), Sarah (James), Andrew (Kiran), Amy (Donnie), Josh and Sydney, and great grandchildren Oksana, Nixon, Maksim, Rosemina, and Edson.
She is predeceased by husband, Michael, daughter Sandra, siblings Margaret Gerelus, Anne Twerdun, Mary Bomek, Michael Derkach, Lena Derkach, Nellie Derkach, and son-in-law Dan Myk.
Thank you to the many staff members of Morley House who gave her special care, to her friends at Lakeshore Lodge who helped her to transition to living in town, and to all those kind people who knew her so well. We express our sincere gratitude to Rae’s Funeral Home for their professional help and encouragement at this time.
Rose has left a legacy and lasting memories. She will be missed by all who knew her. Rest peacefully.
St. Josaphat's Ukrainian Catholic Church
Shoal Lake MB R0J 1Z0
North Shore Park - R.M. of Yellowhead
P.O. Box 278, Shoal Lake MB R0J 1Z0