RYBKA, Maria Magdalena (nee: Liwagin) passed away suddenly and peacefully on Sunday October 27, 2019 at East York’s Michael Garron Hospital at the age of 97. Maria was the beloved mother of her only child Lucy Rybka-Becker, of Toronto of loving wife of Joseph Rybka (predeceased). She leaves behind her former son-in-law Harold Becker, of Toronto and Lucy’s partner George Nikolov. She will also be greatly missed by her niece Halinka Mazurkiewicz (Alina), her husband Jozef and their daughter Sandra and her partner Anton, all of Belgium. Maria was predeceased by her sister Lidia and her husband Bronek, of Belgium and Alina’s daughter Carine. Maria also leaves behind an extended family in Rzeszow, Poland including Slawomir and Agnieszka Rybka, to whom Maria was great great aunt to, and their beautiful children Robert and Olimpia. She loved her family greatly in Belgium and Poland and took delight in seeing Robert and Olimpia as they were growing up. Maria was born during a difficult era but she never complained about missed opportunities. She was born August 15, 1922 in Lida, Poland, which today is part of Belarus. She loved her parents Arseni (Arsenush) Liwagin and Sofia Kaminska dearly, as she did her siblings Lidia, Nikolai (or Kola as she affectionately called him), and Arcadius. As a young woman Maria and her sister were forced into the labour camps in Germany and after World War II, she immigrated to Montreal where she spent the first few years of her Canadian life, before moving to Oshawa, Ontario to be part of the Polish community. She met her husband Joseph Rybka (predeceased) in Oshawa. Maria had a strong will and was never shy about her views and opinions especially when it came to discussing politics. She took such pride in being able to vote in every municipal, provincial and federal election since coming to Canada where she felt it was her duty and her right to participate in the democratic process without fear or repercussions and instilled in her family that same responsibility. On her last day, even though she was feeling tired, she talked with her daughter about the recent elections. Maria had a thirst for learning and knowledge and always followed current events in Canada and around the world and had taught herself to read in multiple languages. In addition to being a voracious reader, she was an amazing cook, talented seamstress and avid gardener who showered friends and neighbours with her abundance of tomatoes. She loved watching her tree grow in her front yard and enjoyed the birds, butterflies, squirrels and occasionally the odd raccoon in her backyard on warm summer days. She loved to cook and when she was no longer able to do so she started teaching her personal support workers how to make home-made soups and wanted to learn about their cuisines from their homelands. Her greatest pride was her daughter and her biggest regret was never getting a chance to visit her homeland or see her Polish/Belarusian family again. She left an indelible mark on everyone she met and will be missed immensely by all those she touched and loved. Maria lived in Oshawa for many years and was a parishioner at St. Hedwig’s Roman Catholic Church, in which she married Joseph. Maria is resting at the Armstrong Funeral Home, 124 King Street East, Oshawa, on Tuesday November 5th from 10am until service time at 11 am in the Chapel for family and close friends. In lieu of flowers, a tree can be planted in her memory through A Living Tribute.
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