PETRINA ELIN MORDEN, September 4th, 1928 – April 26th, 2020 at the Deer Lodge Centre, peacefully passed over in the arms of her daughter. Jim and Candy feel blessed and relieved this beautiful, strong and courageous woman is now reunited with her beloved husband Ron and her oldest son Johnny. We know dad is on the piano playing love ballads to mom and Johnny is on the guitar singing ‘Oh Christmas Tree’.
Petrina was much loved by her family and leaves her memories with her children, Jim (Krista), Candy (dear friend Jeff), grandchildren, Brent (Masami), Ron (Melissa), Chelsea (Kevin), Nicholas (Celesta), Cleo (Evan), Macy and Jaunty. Petrina also had many happy days with her 10 great grandchildren. Ayla loved when GG played ‘make belief’ with them.
She was preceded in death by her husband, Ron, son, John, Mother, Elin Gislason, Father, John Gislason, twin sister Jonina (Joan) Kuzma and her brothers Gisli (Guy) and Magnus (Mike).
Petrina (Pat) growing up, spent all her time with her twin sister. The girls were inseparable and best friends. They were the true epitome of twins, wearing the same clothes, having the same friends, and the everlasting bond twins inherit. They were incredibly beautiful, and one special friend at Kelvin High School was so enamoured with Petrina and Jonina, that she too, wore the same clothes as the girls.
As a young woman, Petrina worked at Imperial Oil and Westeel, she was a key operator, and often talked of how much she enjoyed her career.
She met the love of her life, Ron, in 1954. Their first date was at the Normandy Dance Hall and Ron loved to reminisce how she cut a figure in the red dress she was wearing. Red has always been their favourite colour. They married, April 16th, 1954.
Johnny was born with down syndrome in 1956, Candy and Jim quickly followed to complete their family. Petrina spent the next many years devoted to her children and with her warm and caring heart, she made the family home a safe haven.
Many memorable years were spent living at 483 Beaverbrook Street. Petrina enjoyed sitting on the steps with the neighbours. Grandma Gislason lived with the family who was a loving support and helped with John, Jim and Candy.
During these years Petrina and Ron bought a pop-up trailer, and packed up the kids and took long holidays including trips to Toronto to visit Joan and Danny.
On January 5th, 1970, their dear son Johnny passed away. It was a devastating time, as Johnny was a loving, thoughtful and kind boy and their world revolved around “our” John.
It was at this time Petrina began her second career working part-time at Eaton’s downtown in the handbag/wallet department. She was a devoted employee and enjoyed the women she worked with, forging lifelong friends. The highlight for Petrina was when Jim would take the bus to Eaton’s to have lunch with her and she could show him off.
Many wonderful years were spent at Mordens’ Meadows, working hard on the property and enjoying the gains of their achievements. Petrina’s life was full, and she and Ron spent many years as snowbirds in Tucson, Casa Grande, Oosoyos and Victoria, BC. This was a time Petrina thrived in her love of crafts. She was a skilled seamstress, avid knitter and she crocheted. The grandchildren loved their pyjamas, dresses, doll clothes, blankets and especially the Icelandic sweaters she knit for the entire family. She excelled in pottery, and did beautiful charcoal sketches and dabbled in quilting.
Petrina and Ron became avid walkers and spent hours in the Assiniboine Forest as well as enjoying their walks in Victoria, BC.
Petrina’s love of music was enhanced with Ron’s gift of playing piano and accordion. She spent hours singing along with Ron. This gift and special bond they shared, carried them through their declining years. It was incredibly touching to see them together at the piano.
Petrina was the happiest when her family was around her. She valued her time with the grandchildren and great grandchildren. Chelsea cherished the advice grandma shared.
In Petrina’s advanced years she struggled with Alzheimer’s; however, she fought hard to keep her independence and her dignity. Her love of Ron and her family never diminished and gave her strength. We were blessed she knew who we were right to the end.
‘mom, you are our sunshine, our only sunshine, your memories will make us happy when skies are grey’
We would like to give a special thanks to Comfort Keepers, (Christine) and mom’s dear companions, Breann, Hennie and Marily. You were, and are, our angels.
Also, a very special thank you to Lindsay B of Deer Lodge Centre. Your genuine kindness, thoughtfulness and concern for ‘mom’ will always be cherished.
A family celebration and interment of Petrina and Ron will take place in August, but a date has not been set.
Donations can be made to the Down Syndrome Society https://manitobadownsyndromesociety.com/donate/
Or Manitoba Alzheimer’s society