Cover photo for Maria Kolcon's Obituary
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1920 Maria 2015

Maria Kolcon

1920 — January 1, 2015

With sadness the family of Maria Kolcon announce her passing on March 20, 2015, in her beloved city of London, ON at the age of 95 after a ten-year illness. Maria (Gnypel) was born in Kaweczyn, Zamosc, Poland on February 13, 1920. Predeceased by her husband, the love of her life, Wiktor Kolcon (1998); brother Jan Gnypel (2010, Poland); and son-in-law Roman Sierkowski (1983). Maria is survived by her daughters Alicja Sierkowski and Emilia Lach and son-in-law Dr. Bolek Lach. She will be missed by her grandchildren Emilia Coghill (Vancouver), Agata Sierkowski and Mark Sierkowski (London), Jan Lach (Ottawa), Anna Lach (England) and Katherine Lach and her husband Christian Tauchner (Montreal). She is survived by two sisters-in-law, Genowega Gnypel (Poland) and Maria Chmiel (London). Maria was blessed to live long enough to know and love eight great-grandchildren and four great-great-grandsons. If not for her long illness, Maria would have been proud to know that the high standards and expectations that she set for her family, especially with regard to education, came to fruition. She would be proud of the scholastic and professional accomplishments of her grandchildren and great-grandchildren. Maria was educated in Poland as a dressmaker and designer, later specializing in high-end fashion such as ball gowns and wedding dresses. After immigrating to London, ON in 1960 to join her parents (Frank Gnypel immigrated in 1927, and Katarzyna Gnypel in 1949), she worked for several years at the original Sophie's of London (corner of Richmond & York Streets). In 1968 Maria and Wiktor bought and managed London's oldest bakery and delicatessen, London Bakery Company Ltd. During the time of their ownership, they introduced and specialized in Polish and Ukrainian products and foods. In addition, the family continued to retain the original bakery's production line of specialty-baked goods that met Jewish kosher standards as well as the food delivery requirements of London's Jewish community. After Wiktor's death Maria lived with her daughter Emilia and her family in Ottawa and for a few months at the Carlingview Manor Nursing Home. In June 2012 she was transferred to People Care Oakcrossing Nursing Home in London, Ontario. The family wishes to thank all the staff for their care of Maria on the Juniper Floor of People Care Oakcrossing, with special mention of Jenn, Sumir and Brian, who were there for Maria from day one. Maria's greatest passion was reading non-fiction books, a love she passed on to her daughters and grandchildren. Her second passion was to find needy animals and birds and feed them. She was loved and adored by her grandchildren, and will be greatly missed by her family and all the critters at Springbank Park, London, ON. Visitors will be received in the O'NEIL FUNERAL HOME , 350 William St., on Wednesday from 7:00 - 9:00 p.m. Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated in Our Lady of Czestochowa Church, (419 Hill St.) on Thursday at 10:00 a.m. followed by interment in St. Peter's Cemetery, London. Prayers Wednesday at 8:00 p.m. It was Maria's wish that on her death anyone wishing to commemorate her in some way consider, in lieu of flowers, to make donations to the London Humane Society or to the London Food Bank.
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