Obituary of Ricki Holubowsky
It is with profound sadness that we share the passing of our mother, Henrica (Ricki) Holubowsky (VanSchyndel). Ricki passed away peacefully on September 29, 2023 at Albright Manor in Beamsville surrounded by her three daughters Cathy (John+) Hamm, Christine Holubowsky, and Carolyn (Kevin) Muir, who she loved very dearly. We were comforted by the light of the harvest moon that evening, knowing that Mom is now reunited in heaven with our dad, Paul, her husband of 56 years.
Ricki was the best Gram and will be dearly missed by Jake (Elizabeth) Hamm, Rachel (Jake) Hamm, Sarah Hamm, and Hunter Muir. She took pride in the recent addition of her first great-grandchild Erik, who could bring a smile to her face in an instant.
Ricki was born on November 1, 1945 in Heeswijk, Nord Brabant, Netherlands. She emigrated to Canada with her family on the Volendam in the spring of 1951 when she was only 5 years old. She is predeceased by her parents, Johanna (Dobbelsteen) and Henry Van Schyndel, who settled the family in Winona, Ontario where they raised their seven children: Antonia (Bill+) Brand, Dora (Peter+) Holubowsky, Lambert (Antonia) VanSchyndel, Annie (Gilbert) Brand, Adrian VanSchyndel, and Hank (Elaine) VanSchyndel.
Ricki was blessed, being raised in a loving Catholic family with solid Christian values. She attended the Immaculate Heart of Mary elementary school in Winona, where she was taught by nuns and later attended Bishop Ryan Secondary School in Hamilton.
It was in Winona that Ricki first met Paul, when he delivered fruit to her family on many occasions. Paul and Ricki were married in 1965 and lived and worked in Hamilton for a short time before moving to the Holubowsky family farm on Thirty Road in Beamsville. It was there that they welcomed their first two daughters, Cathy and Christine. They eventually built their dream home on the Escarpment, where they welcomed their third daughter Carolyn. Ricki and Paul, along with their three girls, grew Thirty Valley Farms into a very successful, multi-farm operation, selling grapes, peaches, apples, pears and many other types of fruit at the farmers markets.
Ricki was a homemaker, farmer, and the best salesperson ever. People would line up and wait to be served by Ricki and catch up on daily life. After retiring from farming in 2008, she continued to demonstrate her keen sales skills volunteering at the St. John’s Ukrainian Catholic Church kitchen each week, making and selling cabbage rolls, perogies and various baked goods.
Paul and Ricki enjoyed a full life of raising a family and working hard at their farming business, while still having time for socializing with friends. Many family vacations were spent up north, ice fishing and snowmobiling on Lake Nippissing. They regularly attended Tiger Cat football games or at the very least watched all the games on television, always with the appropriate spirit wear, lights and decorations. Once retired they enjoyed travelling with friends, cruising, and renting vacation homes in Florida or Texas which they shared with their girls.
Ricki had so many close friends. She took the time to get to know people and learn their stories. She showed that she genuinely cared about each and every one of them, remembering all the details of their lives.
Family was always a priority for Ricki. As a mom, she supported her girls in whatever they wanted out of life. She loved deeply and led with laughter. Ricki always knew how to lighten the mood and make people laugh. She loved the many Holubowsky Girls Weekends (HGW) where there were heartfelt celebrations throughout picnics, live performances, dancing and shenanigans.
Ricki showed extreme resiliency in her rehabilitation and perseverance during her many health challenges of the past six years. Losing the love of her life in 2021 was a test of her tenacity. Ricki showed her strength and love of family throughout these extremely challenging times.
Ricki was an amazing wife, mother, grandmother, sister, favourite aunt, and truly caring friend to so many. She will be missed beyond words.
Visitation will be held at St. John the Theologian Ukrainian Catholic Church, 91 Lakeshore Rd, St. Catharines, on Monday, November 13 from 9:00a.m - 10:30am. Memorial Mass will follow at 11:00 am. The Memorial Mass was livestreamed. To view the service please click here - Ricki Holubowsky Memorial Mass
If you wish, donations can be made to the Heart & Stroke Foundation of Canada or St. John the Theologian Ukrainian Catholic Church in memory of Ricki.