Frances Filipowicz

Obituary of Frances Filipowicz

Filipowicz, Frances (Opatovsky) It is with deep sadness that we announce the passing of our beloved mother Frances at the age of 95 on January 2nd, 2021. We feel great joy knowing she is in the arms of her Saviour Jesus Christ and is reunited with her husband of 61 years, our dad, Robert Sr. Frances was surrounded by her 4 children and 1 daughter-in-law the last few days. The rest of her family were with her through window visits and FaceTime. Survived by her children, Bob Jr. (Rosemary), Greg (Madonna), Cindy (Bernie) Bougie and Michele. Also daughter-in-law Laurie and brother Mike Opatovsky (Carol). Frances leaves 11 grandchildren, Jennifer Ford (Doug), Alicia Stepien (Mike), Colin Bullock (Samantha), Christie Pull (Ryan), Ryan Filipowicz, Julie Filipowicz, Jonathan Bougie (Danna), Katie Moore (Rob), Elizabeth Filipowicz, Kelly Filipowicz and Cara Filipowicz. Also 9 great-grandchildren, Arisa & Luke Ford, Grace & Isaiah Stepien, Cruz & Kenzie Bullock, Lakely & Baylor Pull and Jacob Bougie. Also many, many nieces and nephews and their families. Frances was born May 19, 1925 in Bratislava, Czechoslovak, the oldest of 5 children. At age 13 she and her family immigrated to Canada and settled in Crystal Beach, Ontario. She learned English and studied secretarial skills. Employment included office work at the Crystal Beach Amusement Park, Fleet Industries and being the first female to work at the Peace Bridge for Canada Customs and Immigration. In 1951 Frances married Robert Filipowicz whom she had met at the Crystal Beach Dance Ballroom. Her devotion to him remained constant throughout the years and she supported his business adventures in the furniture industry included owning retail stores in Buffalo and Hamburg N.Y. as well as Ridgeway, Ontario. They loved to entertain friends together as well as travel to many destinations world-wide. Frances later chose to be a Stay-at-Home mom where she was kept very busy. While raising her children, their friends were always welcome at the house to share in her delicious cooking and daily baked goods. This only increased when the 3rd and 4th generations arrived. Mom also raised us to attend church and believe that our strength came from the Lord Jesus Christ. She set this example all through her life. Upon retirement in the 1980’s, “Fran & Bob” became “Snowbirds” spending winters in Florida where they now leave many beloved friends in both Sebring and Okeechobee. This past year Frances resided at Garrison Place in Fort Erie where she made many new friends. Our family is grateful for all the love, support and care Mom received while there. A special thank you to head nurse Sarah McPhee who went above and beyond her duties and our dear friend, Mom’s doctor, Claude Che. We also thank the Niagara Falls Hospital and their staff in the Brock Wing, especially nurses Elaine and Carmel and Dr. Bristow. As mentioned, Frances was predeceased by her husband in 2012. Also gone are her parents Albert Sr. & Hedy Opatovsky, her brothers Albert Jr. and Joe, and her sister Anne Zugarek. Funeral arrangements have been entrusted to Benner Funeral Services. A private family graveside service, officiated by her son-in-law Bernie Bougie will be held Monday January 4th at McAffee Cemetery in Fort Erie. A Celebration of Mom’s Life will take place in the spring when COVID restrictions are lifted. If desired, in lieu of flowers, donations can be made to either Calvary Christian School, 310 Scott St., St. Catharines, L2N 1J5 where several great grandchildren attend, a place Frances highly supported also, or to the Fort Erie Public Library, on behalf of her love of reading. Online condolences and memories may be shared at