elevated xptfa March 22, 1926 – December 24, 2020
Michalowicz, Teresa of Toronto, Ontario December 24, 2020. Predeceased by her husband Zdzislaw (Adam), daughter Anna Marie (Hanka), bothers Wilhelm and Josef Hartmann. Survived by sons Richard (Sharon) and Robert (Nancy), sister Mary Domagala, 8 grandchildren and 10 great-grandchildren.
Richard and Robert Michalowicz sadly announce the passing of our dear mother, Teresa Michalowicz on December 24, 2020. She died peacefully after battling Alzheimer’s Disease in the final years of her life.
She was born March 22, 1926 in Przemysl, Poland. Her childhood was marked by diligence and scholastic excellence. She was destined for university and a professional career. That all changed with the outbreak of World War II. As the war drew to a close, the family became separated and was forced to flee before the advancing Russian army.
Teresa, her sister (Mary), and their mother (Babcia) made it to the American lines and spent the next several years in displaced person’s camps in Germany. Eventually they made their way to Canada. Teresa and her mother settled in Toronto and worked as nurse’s aides in the New Toronto Psychiatric Hospital.
She met her future husband Zdzislaw through a matchmaker in the Polish community in Parkdale and they were married shortly after. Our father was a forester who worked for Abitibi Pulp and Paper in Smooth Rock Falls, Ontario. Before long Richard, Robert and Anna Marie were born and the family was complete. We moved to Toronto in 1961. In 1963 Hanka was diagnosed with advanced ovarian lymphoma. Our parents were devastated. She began grueling cancer treatment at Princess Margaret Hospital. That same year our father was involved in a terrible car accident that left him in a coma. For our mother, life was unraveling into a hellish nightmare. Her day consisted of traveling between the pediatric cancer ward and the nursing home where our Dad lay unconscious. Dad died in December 1964, he was 42. Hanka died the first week of January, she was five years old.
Mom’s world was shattered. Her grief was unfathomable. A numbness descended on us. Slowly it was the realization that life goes on and that she had two sons to raise that moved her to action. At first she worked entry level jobs with no prior experience requirements. Then an opportunity opened up at Timex Watches. There, she flourished. Her work ethic and intelligence were recognized and rewarded with eventual promotion to Production Control Manager. She was able to put both her sons through university. Richard became a successful physician and Robert went on to graduate from MIT with a master’s degree in chemical engineering.
She was selfless in her devotion to us. No sacrifice was too great, no price too steep. She suffered more than anyone we know. Her life is an inspiration. Her loss is heartbreaking. We owe her everything.
And now finally, the struggle is over and she is reunited with her beloved Zdzislaw and her little angel Hanka.
A private graveside interment service will take place at noon on Saturday, January 2, 2021 at Holy Cross Catholic Cemetery, 8361 Yonge Street, Thornhill, Ontario. Unfortunately due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the service will only be for immediate family and a few invited guests. If desired, memorial donations may be made to Copernicus Lodge by visiting www.copernicuslodge.com