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Official Obituary of

Shirley Novalkowski

October 9, 1946 ~ June 15, 2023 (age 76) 76 Years Old

Shirley Novalkowski Obituary

With deep sadness the family of Shirley Novalkowski announces her tragic passing, on Thursday, June 15, 2023, at the age of 76 years.

Shirley was born in Shoal Lake, Manitoba on October 9, 1946, to Joseph and Lena (Skotlas) Zelinski.

She was raised on a family farm near Oakburn, Manitoba.  After high school, Shirley received her diploma from Hollingshead Business College in August 1964 and moved to Toronto to work for IBM as a Key Punch Operator.  In the summer of 1965 Shirley moved back to Manitoba and married Tony Novalkowski on August 7, 1965, at Dolony, Manitoba.  They moved to Winnipeg for the next 5 years where they were blessed with their two children Lavern and Lavonne. 

They purchased a farm near Thomas Lake in 1968 and relocated to Sandy Lake, Manitoba where they lived for the next 38 years.  While in Sandy Lake Shirley wore many hats.  As a lifetime entrepreneur, she worked as a hairdresser, truck driver (with Tony), hail insurance agent, income tax preparer, salesperson for Avon and Rainbow Vacuums.  In 1980, Shirley started a new business Country Florals & Balloonscapes in Sandy Lake and in 1986, opened a second location within the Erickson Co-op Grocery and Hardware Store.

In May 2008, Shirley and Tony moved to Dauphin for medical reasons.  Shirley closed her business in Erickson to care full-time for Tony during his battle with cancer until his passing in April 2009.

She continued to live in Dauphin with her daughter Lavonne and family to help care for her grandsons.  She moved back to Sandy Lake in 2019 to reconnect with family and friends until she fell ill in March 2022 and moved back to Dauphin.

Shirley became a resident of Spruce Manor in November 2022 where she reignited her passion to plan events, decorate for seasonal holidays and search for opportunities to fund activities for the residents of the Manor.  She enjoyed the daily visits and the friendships she developed.

She was very invested in the communities where she lived.  Serving on several boards and committees such as the Sandy Lake Credit Union, Sandy Lake Coop, Sandy Lake Recreation Centre, Sandy Lake Personal Care Home, Secretary for the Village of Sandy Lake and Communities in Bloom.  She was always creating fundraising opportunities to help the community thrive.

Her desire to volunteer continued in Dauphin with the Ukrainian Catholic Church of the Resurrection, Ukrainian Catholic Women’s League, Ukrainian Canadian Congress-Dauphin/Parkland Branch, Canada’s National Ukrainian Festival and was the President of the Spruce Manor Tenant Association.  She was also an active member of Sandy Lake Drop-In Centre and the Active Living Centre in Dauphin.

Shirley had a strong faith and love for the Ukrainian culture.  She was a driving force for the commemorative monument of the Ukrainian Woman and Child placed in front of the Dauphin City Hall.  This monument marks the contribution of the Ukrainian Women to Canadian society.

Shirley was predeceased by her husband Tony, parents Joseph and Lena, brother Morris and infant half brother Eugene.

Survived by her children, Lavern (Vivian), Lavonne (Mike), Grandchildren Aidan (Evan), Alexa, Eric and Owen. Siblings, Cassie, Nestor (Bev), Cynthia (Larry), Brother-In-Law Steve (Margaret) Novalkowski and numerous nieces and nephews.

A Funeral Service was held on Saturday, July 15, 2023, at 10:00 A.M. from the Holy Ghost Ukrainian Catholic Church in Sandy Lake, Manitoba.  Father Mykhaylo Khomitskyy officiated.

Our family would like to thank all First Responders for their selfless service as they put their lives on the line to help save others.  Thank you to the RCMP for your compassion and unwavering support during this difficult time. Thank you to the health care workers who also work tirelessly to save lives.

Should friends so desire, donations in Shirley's memory may be made to the Dauphin & District Community Foundation Support Our Seniors Fund.

To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Shirley Novalkowski, please visit our floral store.

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Funeral Service
July 15, 2023

10:00 AM
Holy Ghost Ukrainian Catholic Church

, MB


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