Mary Jane Podanowski (nee Curran)

Mary Jane Podanowski (nee Curran)

April 3, 1930 – October 13, 2017

Mary was born in Boho, County Roscommon, Ireland on April 3, 1930 to Thomas and Annie Curran (nee Lavin) and passed peacefully in Vernon, B.C. on Friday, October 13, 2017.  She was the oldest of 13. 

Mom left home and went to Bray, County Wicklow where she worked as a housemaid and waitress. After a few years of that, Mom convinced the local post mistress in Dublin to forge a parental permission slip allowing Herself to cross the water over to Birmingham, England where she eventually found employment in a bullet factory. 

In 1949 while out at the local roller skating rink, she fell down and was rescued by a Polish soldier, Franciszek (Frank) Podanowski.  They were married on September 17, 1949 in Birmingham.

In 1950, not wanting to give birth to a British subject, Mom returned to her parents’ home in Castlerea, County Roscommon to have their first child, Yozef (Joe). Wanda was born in 1953 – almost at the Armstrong Fair.  When Mary went into labour with Eileen she calmly drove home, picked Frank up and drove HIM to the hospital. Sheila was next, followed by the only planned child of the five kids: Maureen.  Mom said that in 1967 all Canadians were supposed to have a Centennial Project – theirs was Maureen.

Mom and Dad’s house was remodelled to include a party room which could seat 85 for dinner.  There were many celebrations, including the annual O’Podanowski’s St. Patrick’s Day party that started at noon and went to Midnight. Life is meant to be celebrated!

Although somewhat successful, the farm was most fruitful in Mom’s Miniature Schnauzer venture, which had a better return on investment than Dad’s cattle operation. It was a friendly competition.  After being forced to move off the farm due to her Parkinson’s Disease, Mom loved to go to the local dog park during “schnauzer hour” to see her pups playing.  

Mom is survived by her children:  Joe and Eileen; Wanda (Ed) Yamada; Sheila (Robin) Procter; and Maureen James.  She is further survived by her precious grandchildren:  Cara Brockman, Janelle & Steven Gallacher; Clayton & Sean James; Evandro & Hayley Procter; great-grandchildren: Tyson, Jordan, Madison, Matthew, Kai and Keira. 

In addition, Mom is survived by her very best friends, Herta & Danny Pospischil who have been part of our family since the 1950s.

Mom is further survived by her siblings: Mike (Helen) Curran of Kelowna; Katie (Billy) Ryan; Tommy (Pauline) Curran; Eddie Curran; Geraldine Daly in Ireland and two inlaws:  Gene Goll & Kathleen Curran.  As expected she is also survived by many nieces and nephews.   

Mom was predeceased by our Dad, Frank on August 31, 1991; her siblings:  Infants Raymond & Thaddeus, Liz Goll; Anne Obermeier; Johnnie Curran; Peggie Curran; Bridie Luczka; and in-laws Goretti Curran, Ben Obermeier and Joe Daly.

The last seven years of her life, Mom lived at Good Samaritan Heron Grove where she received excellent care.  The whole family would like to thank you Heron Grove for making Mom’s final years enjoyable.

Mom’s finally words of wisdom meant for all of us, “Don’t worry about nuttin.”    And specifically for every grandchild, great grandchild and all children to follow, “Be a good kid.”    

There will be a brief graveside service, October 19, at 1:00 p.m. at the Podanowski Family Plot, Coldstream Cemetery. 

A Celebration luncheon will be held at the ANAF – Army Navy Air Force Club (under The Spitfire) 2500 – 46th Avenue, Vernon from 2:00 to 4:30 p.m.


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