January 1, 1930 – January 15, 2021
Helen (Karabonik) Harish passed away on January 15, 2021 at University Hospital Edmonton at the age of 91. She was born on January 1, 1930 to Nicholas and Mary Karabonik on the family farm south of Calmar, one of 15 children. She attended Humble School and, while only finishing grade 9, she developed a broad educational, business and financial skills that served her for life. She married Joseph Leo Harish of Thorsby in 1950 and they later moved to Bluffton in 1956. The Harrish family, Joe & Helen, and children Dennis, Kathryn and Michael, resided 46 years at their farm two miles southwest of Bluffton. Helen worked hard on the family farm to develop the 320 acres from mainly wooded land onto a farming success. In later years, she worked in Parkland Manor and the Rimbey Hotel before she and Joe retired to the Clareview district in Edmonton.
She leaves behind a son Dennis (Anne) of Atlanta GA. Predeceased by husband Joe, daughter Kathy (Bernie) Bartko and son Michael (Rose). She will be sadly missed by 10 grandchildren and 12 great-grandchildren. She was known as “Baba” by her grandchildren and great grandchildren. Of her remaining siblings from the Karabonik family, Mary Manchak of Calmar, Richard (Ann) Karabonik of Toronto, and Nadia Schneider of Nanaimo mourn her passing. And many surviving brothers and sisters-in-law, nieces and nephews of the extended Harrish and Karabonik families will miss her. She is part of a majestic family tree.
Helen was a result of her Ukrainian grandparents who came to this country 130 years ago with their young children with a dream of a better life in an emerging country. They travelled by land across Europe, and by ship to land in Nova Scotia. Then they took the train across Canada to homestead southwest of Edmonton. Their goal was to be Canadians and raise their children and grandchildren as successful Canadians. They achieved that dream – the Ukrainian principles of hard work, honesty and integrity have been passed on through the generations.
Over the years in Bluffton, she developed many lifelong friendships within the community, and maintained contact long after she and Joe moved to Edmonton. She has had a long-standing admiration for the academic success of many students who attended and graduated from the Bluffton and Rimbey schools. She realized that farm upbringing and small town living developed strong, close families.
Helen was a fiercely independent, self-sufficient, private person. She did not want to be a burden on anyone and achieved this objective throughout life. She was a proud Albertan and Canadian.
Helen will rest eternally beside Joe at Whitsuntide Cemetery of the Russian Orthodox Church near Thorsby, Alberta. Obituary
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