It is with heartfelt sadness that we announce the passing of our dear mom, grandma, and great grandma, Lena Kajner (nee Pierangeli) on April 10, 2023 at the age of 98 years.
Lena was born on the Pierangeli homestead on October 28, 1924, the first of six children born to Nazareno and Elvira (nee Ulyssi) Pierangeli in the Little Moose Lake District.
Lena was predeceased by her beloved husband Joseph, after 32 years of marriage; her parents Nazareno (Elvira); brothers: Richard and John; sisters: Nella (John) Daneluik and Nicolena (Alex) Mohninger; sisters-in-law: Theresa Pierangeli, Mary (Joseph) Galabos, Kate (John) Danku, Anne (Ernest) LeJan, Theresa (Steve) Danku; brothers-in-law: Mike (June) and George (Alice) Kajner; parents-in-laws: Ferenc ‘Frank’ (Elizabeth) Kajner and many nieces and nephews.
Lena will be sadly missed by her loving children: Lorraine (Alan) Bedard, Denis (Anna) Kajner and Ken (Judy) Kajner. She was the proud, loving grandma to her seven grandchildren: Bryan (Cheryl) Bedard, Lisa Bedard, Cheryl (Steve) Blacklock, David Kajner, Anna Kajner, Neelie Kajner (Chad), Corey (Carmen) Kajner and 13 great grandchildren: Nathan, Blake, Trent Bedard; Ethan, Zachary, Lauren Kajner; Madisyn, Emma, Gracey-Jane Herman; Madeline Blacklock; Hayden, Teslyn, Cannen Kajner; brother Peter Pierangeli; sisters-in-law: Elsie and Betty Pierangeli.
Lena attended school at Little Moose Lake School until half was through Grade 8, when she quit to help out on the family farm. She took the job of school caretaker for one season, at a young age she began working as a housekeeper for different families in the Moira Lake School district and St. Briuex communities. She worked for Dr. and Mrs. Bachand and Bernard and Edith Tetrault in St. Brieux. It was while working for John and Eva Gaillard in 1946, that she met and fell in love with her husband Joseph Kajner. They were married June 5, 1947 in St. Phillips Church, across the road from the Pierangeli homestead. Lena and Joe moved to the Kajner homestead, living in the house grandpa Kajner built in 1912. Through years of wallpapering and laying new linoleum, the house was cozy warm in the winter and cool in the summer. They were blessed and raised three children in this home. Mom’s whole life can be defined by hard work and strength, filled with many ups and downs; she was a survivor, plus a “jack of all trades” inside and outside her home.
Inside: Mom was an excellent seamstress, sewing all our clothes, she enjoyed knitting, crocheting, tatting, needlepoint, and needlepoint pieces. Mom loved to bake and cook, she could put on a quick meal if unexpected company arrived near dinner or supper hours, from all her vegetable, meat and fruit preserved in the ground cellar.
Outside: Mom looked forward to curling and socializing with friends each winter. She loved volunteering with the St. Brieux Hall Ladies Catering group, where she was known as the “Gravy Lady!” Mom was an avid gardener, spending long hours weeding and caring for her vegetables etc. “preserving the fruits of her labor.” There were always strawberries, raspberries, currants, etc. to be picked. Mom raised chickens and sold eggs for 50+ years, she milked cows, shipping the cream to cover farm expenses and caring for her family. Her children assisted once old enough to do the work. Mom also worked in the field with dad for spring seeding and fall harvest.
When dad passed away suddenly in 1979, the family, was devastated, but with the help of wonderful neighbours and friends seeding the fields in the spring plus harvesting the crop in the fall, was a Blessing from Above. Mom and her youngest son Ken and his family continued farming the land. Mom cared for her two youngest grandchildren, while Ken and Judy were at work in St. Brieux. Mom continued dads’ job of driving students from St. Brieux School to Meunster College for two years after his passing away. In 2015 the family decided it was better for mom to move into town. It took 2-3 years for her to realize she had more conveniences, making her life easier. Mom was blessed with many good friends and family, which was the key to her transition from her farm life. Mom enjoyed her home and friends in St. Brieux very much.
Lena’s family wishes to extend our gratitude to the compassionate Emergency Medical Staff at the Humboldt District Health Complex and also to the Emergency Medical Staff at the Prince Albert Victoria Hospital for their comfort and care of our mother.
Memorial donations in Lena’s name may be made to St. Phillips Cemetery at Little Moose, SK. (c/o St. Brieux Parish, PO Box 370 St. Brieux, SK S0K 3V0).