Dragica Torich (nee Zdunich)
Dragica (“Babi”), the matriarch of four generations, in her 99th year, died peacefully in hospital on Sunday, June 23, 2019, with her two sons, Adrian and Tom, at her side.
Babi was predeceased by her parents Toma Zdunic and Antonija (nee Galac); brother Marko and sister at birth; uncles Joe and Stephen Galac; aunt Kate Galac, and others in Europe and United States; brother-in-law John Rusyn. She is survived by her only sister Katica Kedy Rusyn (Zdunic), nephews John (Janice), Borys (Daniella), great niece Jessyca and great nephew Thomas.
Babi was born on April 23, 1920, in Gospic, Lika, Croatia. She was married to Frane Findrik in 1943, who became a casualty of WWII, and they had one daughter Tamera. In 1950, our mom married Frank Torich, who predeceased her in 2008 after 58 years of marriage.
Babi is survived by her daughter Tamera (the late Hon. Thomas P. Callon), granddaughter Charlatta (Danny), great grandchildren Cienna, Victtoria and Claudio; grandson Paul (Shanna), great grandchildren Anastasia and Paul Jr.; son Adrian (Sandra), grandson Shawn( Michelle), and by his mother Sheila Murray; son Tomislav.
Babi’s world changed and evolved with her becoming a grandmother and a great- grandmother. Her love for them was enormous and she will be sadly missed by them. She will be missed by Ada and Ivo, Mira, Ruza, goddaughter Mary Bandiera (Sabo), and godson Ivan Bacic Jr., relatives in Minnesota, Mark (Nancy) Rubin and families and the Chepelnik families.
In 1956, with two children, mom and dad travelled by train to La Havre, France to board the ship Ivernia. They sailed for 10 days crossing the Atlantic to Canada, landing in Halifax at the historic Pier 6, and then travelling by train to Port Arthur to be with her father and sister in Mokaman, Kaministiquia. As new immigrants, life was challenging. Both persevered and were determined to have a better life. They both joined Great Lakes Paper (the only opportunity available to them) and they had to make huge adjustments to a new life with harsh winters. With a new baby on the way, they were even more determined, and success was inevitable. Dad became a successful logger and Babi a second cook, who worked her way to becoming a cook.
After retiring, Babi received various awards and recognitions for her contributions. Although home only on weekends from the bush camps, they always found time to help out and be involved with the Croatian community. Babi was known for her cabbage rolls and strudels. After retiring, her world became her grandchildren and her garden. Most recently, it was more visits, photos, phone calls, and even Facetime on the Ipad that occupied her.
She will be missed and, in our hearts, forever.
You learn to build you own roads and plant you own garden,
Decorate you own soul and you learn that you really can endure,
You learn you are strong and that you do have worth,
And you learn with every goodbye, yes, you do learn.
The family wishes to thank Dr. Berst for her care and compassion, TBRHSC staff, 3B and to Dr. Migay for the excellent care our mother received while in hospital. We also want to thank Linda Russell who coordinated homecare, Nurse Practitioner Donald Hutchinson, Steve and Chelsea of Northern Respiratory Thunder Bay, Medigas, and all the homecare workers from St. Elizabeth who took wonderful care of our mom at home.
Funeral services will be held on Friday, June 28, 2019 when family and friends will gather at St. Andrew’s R.C. Church for a Funeral Mass beginning at 10:00 am. Interment will be at St. Andrew’s Cemetery. Visitation for friends will be held on Thursday, June 27, 2019 from 5 – 7 pm at Sargent & Son Funeral Chapel, 21 N Court St, with a vigil service beginning at 7 pm. In lieu of flowers, if friends so desire, donations may be made to the TBRHSC Cardiac Department, Down Syndrome Foundation or to Rett Syndrome Foundation. Online condolences may be made at www.sargentandson.com.
Those whose trust is in the Lord shall dance with butterflies
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