May 4, 1943 – October 17, 2019
Beloved wife of 55 years to Robert Edward (Ted) Hilder. Mother of Yvonne (Richard), Robert, and Sharon (Martin). Bapchia to Nolan, Cohen, and Elyse. Sister of Josef, Aniela and Teresa. Aunt to Wanita, Michael, and Roberta. Born to Maria and Tomek Malkiewicz in Busku, Poland. After years in a refugee camp in Germany, the family landed at Halifax in 1950, eventually moved to a lumber camp, settling in Cranbrook in 1955.
Stasia loved Canada and was a fiercely proud immigrant.
On January 1, 1961, she met the love of her life – Ted Hilder. Married in 1964, they moved to Riondel, then to Burton and started a family. In 1976, they relocated to Cranbrook, where she cared for her parents.
Ted and Stasia were an inseparable team, and a wonder on the dance floor.
Mom had incredible culinary talent – baking delicious bread, donuts, cookies, and producing an abundance of canning. She prepared hundreds of her famous chocolate turtles for Sharon’s wedding. She and Rob made many batches of excellent salsa.
A talented crafter, she spent hours sewing and crocheting (often listening to Dire Straits!) Yvonne left for university with an entire wardrobe of lovingly-made clothes.
Stasia often said her greatest ambition was to be a wife and mother, but her greatest joys were her grandchildren. She had a special bond with each of them.
She loved to travel. There were many camping and skiing trips. In 1997, she and Teresa took an adventure-filled European trek. She marveled at Hawaii, and had a memorable visit with Aniela in Victoria. She and Ted travelled to Great Britain, Newfoundland, Nova Scotia and across Canada. She was thrilled to revisit Pier 21.
Mom was always trying new things. She learned to swim and took piano lessons as an adult.
She was a dedicated volunteer; fundraising for the Cancer and Kidney Societies, and working at the Hospital Auxiliary thrift shop.
Her proudest achievement was building her Dream Home on land she purchased with savings from her high school waitressing job. She and Ted designed it together. Central was her large kitchen and wall of china. In the winter months she decorated the property with hundreds of lights and dozens of Christmas trees.
Mom loved being close to nature; creating garden beds in the trees, admiring the deer and birds, and walking her beagles.
Breast cancer came in 2011. She recovered. Later, stomach cancer. When presented with treatment options after surgery she prioritized quality of life. September 2019 brought a new diagnosis.
After time at the East Kootenay Regional Hospital, she came home. She said farewell to family and friends. She gave advice and gifts. She spent her final days making us laugh, and reassuring us when we cried. Throughout she had incredible strength and grace.
Stasia left the world at a time and day of her own choosing; in a sunlit room, surrounded by immediate family and her orchids.
We could like to extend sincere gratitude to Dr. Lenz for decades of care, the Home Health Team: Justin, Alyssa, Crystal and Shannon, Robert the Paramedic, the Doctor who helped with her final request, and to the many Hospital staff, especially Dr. Kalechstein.
Friends and Family: thank you for your kindness, gifts, and meals.
In Mom’s memory, donations may be made to the Canadian Cancer Society or the East Kootenay Foundation for Health.
Please reflect on the true gift that is love.
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