Manitoba Historical Society
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Memorable Manitobans: Elsie Lysy (1919-2004)

Community activist.

Born at Vista on 24 October 1919, daughter of Catherine Zajac (1912-1956) and John Stech (1882-1978), she was part of a farming family who were parishioners of the Ukrainian Catholic Rossburn Farms Church. In 1928, the family moved to the Kelloe district, farming there until relocating to Shoal Lake in 1944. Around 1950, she moved to Winnipeg, where she met Peter Lysy (1916-1984), who had immigrated to Canada from Darachiw, Ukraine. They married on 12 July 1952 in the St. Josaphat Ukrainian Catholic Church at Shoal Lake, and went on to have one son. They were members of Christ the King Ukrainian Catholic Church, and then Holy Family Ukrainian Catholic Church, and also the Ukrainian Canadian Institute Prosvita, which preserved and promoted Ukrainian arts and culture.

She was active in the church senior club and ladies’ auxiliary, and was well known for her service to church functions, especially her skill at making Ukrainian ethnic foods, such as pyrohy, holubtsi, tisto, and perizhky. For over 20 years, she was a member of the ladies’ auxiliary of the Holy Family Nursing Home, and volunteered with the residents there as well as in fundraising activities. Her volunteer work extended to Winnipeg’s Folklorama celebration, Ukrainian New Year’s levees at the Manitoba Legislature, and participation in fundraisers throughout the city. On 15 June 1994, in acknowledgement of her services to the Ukrainian Catholic Women’s League of Canada on the occasion of its 50th anniversary, the Most Reverend Michael Bzdel, C.Ss.R., Metropolitan for Ukrainian Catholics, bestowed on her the implored Apostolic Blessing. On 2 June 1999, the Women’s League awarded her a Certificate of Merit for her long service and dedication to the organization. During the International Year of Volunteers (2001), she was recognized by Dr. Rey Pagtakhan for her outstanding service and contribution as a volunteer in the community.

She died at Winnipeg on 1 July 2004 and was buried in the All Saints Cemetery.


Obituary, Winnipeg Free Press, 4 July 2004.

This page was prepared by Lois Braun.

Page revised: 14 October 2020

Memorable Manitobans

Memorable Manitobans

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