Carolyn Grace was born in Calgary on February 25, 1969 to Ed and Stephanie Sakundiak, the fifth of their six children.
From the very beginning she was adventurous and keen to try new things, such as fishing at 4 years old during the family vacations to Wood Lake, or learning to skydive for her 30th birthday, Carolyn had an artistic flare, taking many varied courses which fed her natural ability. Several of her art pieces decorate her home and the homes of friends and family. This flare led to her to decorating cakes, the highlight of which was decorating her brother and sister-in-law’s wedding cake.
Carolyn had many joys in life. Animals were very high up on that list, as evidenced by the number of pet cats, and even a dog, that she loved. She thoroughly enjoyed the outdoors and camping, which led to Carolyn and Corey building a cabin in BC to be in the mountains as often as possible. Gardening was another favorite pastime, but Carolyn had one true passion, and that was music. Carolyn was an accomplished accordionist, playing in a band of similarly skilled accordionists, The Jarosh Ensemble, for over 30 years. The Jarosh music family played in festivals and competitions, travelling across the continent. One of Carolyn’s final accomplishments was to write out the score from the Lord of the Rings, a piece the band still performs today.
Carolyn’s children, Christian and Paige were the sparkle in her eye. Her days were filled with being a Mom, and she loved it. Even after enduring a round of Chemo, she was more than happy to help Christian with homework or pass along her artistic and musical gifts to Paige.
When her children were still just infants, the word cancer entered Carolyn’s life. She faced this adversity head on and refused to let it “steer her ship” or control her life. She soldiered on, living life to the absolute fullest. She conquered her adversary and was cancer free for 11 years. As it turns out, the war was not won, and cancer came back with a vengeance. Despite this, Carolyn carried on, not despairing, or complaining. She read every book, sourced every new attack on cancer and wasn’t afraid to find the best help she could to beat the disease again. She simply did what she had to do and remained spiritual. Ironically, in early 2017, Carolyn faced a new medical trauma which threatened to take her life in days. Again, instead of giving up, Carolyn chose to fight and with the power of prayer and the support from her family and community, she conquered once again. The last year has been filled with challenges for Carolyn, but she has remained cheerful, grateful and thankful, especially to the many technicians, nurses and doctors who have cared for her. Cancer won the war, but along the way Carolyn has taught us so many things. Grace under pressure, perseverance, patience and to never give up, ever!
Losing her will leave a large void in our lives. We will greatly miss her joyful smile, her laughter and loving nature.
“See you on the other side Carolyn!”.
Relatives and friends are invited to Prayers at St. Stephen Protomartyr Ukrainian Catholic Church (4903- 45 Street SW) on Thursday, March 8, 2018 at 7:00 pm. Funeral “Divine Liturgy” will be celebrated at St. Stephen Protomartyr Ukranian Catholic Church (4903 - 45 Street SW) on Friday, March 9, 2018 at 10:30 am. Graveside service to follow at Queen’s Park Cemetery. Photos, memories and condolences may be shared through www.evanjstrong.com. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to the MEOW Foundation (Box 65024, RPO North Hill, Calgary, AB T2N 4T6; telephone: 403.230.6033 or 1.866.345.0042; website: www.meowfoundation.com), or to the Canadian Cancer Society (200, 325 Manning Road NE, Calgary, AB T2E 2P5; telephone: (403) 205-3966 or 1-800-661-2262; website: www.cancer.ca) Arrangements in care of EVAN J. STRONG FUNERAL SERVICES 403-265-1199.