January 4, 1927 - July 8, 2018
With profound sorrow and endless tears, we say goodbye to our dearly loved mother, grandmother, great-grandmother, aunt and friend. Magdolene passed away at Idylwild Lodge in Spiritwood, Saskatchewan on July 8, 2018. Her two daughters were by her side when she made her final journey.
Magdolene Horvath was born to Steve and Margaret Horvath in Fejer Megye Baracs, Hungary on January 4, 1927. Already born to the family was an older sister, Mary. Mary was just over 20 months old when Magdolene was born.
Steve and Margaret thought that Canada would be a good country in which to live because it would give them the chance to own their own land. Land was very expensive in Hungary. All the rest of the Horvath family were already in Canada, and so it was that the Steve Horvath family boarded a ship and arrived in Quebec on October 24, 1930. Steve was 30 years old; his wife a few years younger. Mary was five years old and Magdolene was three. This is how Magdolene came to be in Canada. She was to spend the rest of her life here.
The family ended up in the Spiritwood area where many of the other Horvaths were located. The Prairies in Canada were almost all bush at that time. Magdolene remembers clearing the land as she and her sister got older and bigger. The work was hard and never-ending. They used tools that were available to them at the time. They would work at this task every day. Since there were no boys in the family, the girls had to do these jobs. This included clearing bush, as well as picking rocks and roots.
The youngest and last child of the Steve Horvath family was born in Canada in 1935. She was named Margaret and completed the family of three girls.
Magdolene wasn’t able to go to school until she was nine years old because there wasn’t one available. The first school to be built was in 1936, and this was the Temesvar School. Magdolene loved school; she said she would have gone there on the weekends, too. She loved to learn and wanted to be a teacher, but that was not in her future. She excelled in school, and was even able to complete two grades in one year. The school only went to Grade 8 and Magdolene completed her education to this point. Then she had to stop because she would have had to go to town to continue with her education, and there was no money for that.
After school, Magdolene worked out for others for a number of years. She had met her husband-to-be, Alex Kora, in Temesvar School. They dated for a number of years, but didn't get engaged until shortly before they were married on February 1, 1947. Magdolene was 20, and Alex was almost 25. Alex already had a down payment on the land where they eventually lived for 60 years. It was the land located 2 ½ miles south of Spiritwood.
The young couple needed to raise money to pay it off. To do so, they spent several years in Ontario at Alex’s sister and brother-in-law’s place. There they worked in the tobacco fields, planting, priming and picking tobacco. It was a back-breaking job, but one that earned good money. While in Ontario, son Alex, and daughter Violet, were born.
With years of hard work, they were finally able to pay off the land. It was after their return to Saskatchewan that daughter Pearl was born.
Magdolene was no stranger to hard work, and she worked alongside her husband in a
mixed farming operation for the remainder of her working years. There were kids to raise, cattle, pigs, chickens and sometimes horses to feed, crops to take in, hired men to feed, gardens to plant and weed, vegetables to preserve, meals to cook, cattle, pigs and chicken to butcher, and so much more.
In later years when the work load lessened, Magdolene took up other pastimes. She did a lot of embroidery on tea towels and pillowcases. She also did knitting and crocheting, both of which she taught herself. She made a ton of baby outfits, detailed and beautiful siwashes, numerous afghans, and lots of knitted tops. She made braided rugs from grocery bags, and beautiful flowers from wire and ladies nylons. She even made heart-shaped wall hangings from rolled up foil cigarette package liners. She was an avid recycler and reuser, and liked to keep her hands busy. She worked often in the garden, and enjoyed growing her flowers during the summer. Other times, she enjoyed a game of Scrabble, and liked it so much that she would take turns playing two boards. Although it never mattered to her, this guaranteed she was always a winner!
Other activities included reading, another all time favourite. She would read books at night in bed. Jigsaw puzzles were also something she enjoyed.
Magdolene and Alex retired after a lifetime of farming, and they rented out their farm land. They were fortunate to be able to stay on the home quarter until 2013, when Alex passed away. Magdolene eventually entered a care home in 2014.
Throughout her life, Magdolene was known as a kind and generous woman. Whenever visitors would arrive, they were always given coffee and sandwiches, along with some delicious baked goods. Magdolene was an excellent cook.
Although sisters Magdolene and Margaret were always very close, this was especially so in later years, and they shared a very loving relationship. Unfortunately, Mary lived in Alberta and so visiting with her was more difficult, but the sisters all loved one another and their parents dearly. They stayed in frequent contact by telephone when visits were not possible.
There are many words to describe Magdolene, including loving, loyal, honest, compassionate, unselfish and friendly, but her all time favourite would have had to have been “kind.” That was definitely what she was. She also loved her children unconditionally and wanted only the best for them. Her friends on coffee row enjoyed her company. Magdolene loved to laugh, and never caused conflict. She was a beautiful person, both inside and out.
Magdolene loved animals, especially her pets. When she left the farm, her dog, Lady, was given to Pearl and Terry. Lady would visit Magdolene in the care home and Lady also had her own fan club there. The day before Magdolene passed away, Terry brought Lady for a visit and Magdolene looked happy. Lady extended her muzzle towards Magdolene, and Magdolene reached out her hand, and the two of them touched each other as if to say goodbye.
Magdolene suffered significant health problems throughout her life, but was never known to complain. When she entered the care home, the workers there fell in love with her. She was polite and grateful, always thanking the workers when they helped her. She will be missed at the care home, too, where she came to be considered family. The family sincerely thanks the entire staff at Idylwild Lodge for their loving care of Magdolene in her final years.
Magdolene is survived by son Alex, daughter Violet Akers (Dave), and daughter Pearl Kora (Terry Caudle). She is also survived by grandchildren Darren Vallee (Heather) along with their three children, and Tammy Vallee along with her three children. Survivors also include numerous nieces and nephews.
Magdolene was predeceased by her parents, Steve and Margaret Horvath, along with sisters and brothers-in-law, Mary (Andrew) Gal and Margaret (Julius) Patlok.
A funeral service will be held for Magdolene on Friday, July 13, 2018 at 1:00 p.m. at the Pioneer Centre. Interment will take place in the Spiritwood Cemetery.
Those wishing to make a donation in memory of Magdolene may do so to any location of the SPCA.
Dance upon the wind, dear Mom
Like a butterfly
Your days on earth are over
Now it’s time to fly.
Family and friends wishing to send online condolences are welcome to visit www.beaulacfuneralhome.com. Funeral arrangements have been entrusted to the care of Beau "Lac" Funeral Home, Mark Muir, Funeral Director, Spiritwood (306-883-3500)