Kazakoff, Anne N. (nee Chernoff) passed away peacefully on Thursday, May 23, 2019 at the age of 92 after a long well- lived life.
On October 13, 1926, Nick and Fanny Chernoff were delightfully surprised and rejoiced by the birth of twin girls which they named Anne and Mary. The family grew as they welcomed Walter in 1930 and Samuel (Sam) in 1934. Life was difficult in the 1930’s – but it brought family together. Work was very labour intensive which Mom accepted without dissent. Her duties included stooking in the field during harvest, milking cows, fetching wood and water, planting and weeding the vegetable garden. She could easily make any mundane task more enjoyable. Clearly, there was always a song in her heart – she would sing while milking cows, weeding or performing any tedious chores. One of her favorite sayings “Everybody works….Everybody benefits.” She may have even coined the phrase herself.
She received her education from Whitesand School District # 2788. She and Mary were known as ‘The Whitesand Twins’.
During all this, believe it or not, there was time for recreation. In winter, time was spent crocheting, embroidery and reading. Her favorite book was Anne of Green Gables – like the character in this book, she too always insisted her name was Anne with an ‘e’. In summer, playing ball was the sport of choice with Mom being the pitcher on the team. She had an extremely healthy competitive nature – which was quite apparent in later years with her passion for winning Rummy. She had a memory during the card game like no other, but if she was interrupted or her train of thought broken, she would gently go through the discard pile and say “Oh, just browsing”. She also had thin patience when it came to players of the game were slow with their turn, known to roll her eyes a time or two and pounce on a card which would lead her to going “out”. Although extremely rare - if she did happen to lose a game she would just say “that’s all right, that’s all right. There’ll be a next time….and you watch it!”
Mom was known as the statistician of the family. Not only could she quote the exact date and time of any family event – birth, wedding, death of a family member but she would go so far as to tell you exactly how that particular day unfolded. A valuable resource every family member greatly appreciated and utilized.
Her love of baking was enjoyed by family and friends. Bread, buns, the best home- made doughnuts in the world – filled her kitchen table on baking day. And her signature dessert - Nanaimo Bars. Her borscht was competition worthy – always willing to enter a contest – but no one would step up to take on the challenge. She declared herself the champion.
Mom adored her maternal grandparents, John and Mable Horkoff. In her late teens, she was fortunate enough to spend quality time with them on a holiday traveling to British Columbia, visiting friends and family along the way. This had made a huge impact as she would speak about these days for years after.
On a picturesque summer day, July 7, 1948, at the tender age of 21, she married her soulmate, the charming and handsome Alex George Kazakoff. Together they built a beautiful life, operating a mixed farming operation and welcomed three children into the world. Lawrence, Judy and Joanne.
During the summer months, Sundays were declared Family Day. These days were spent either cooking shishliki in the back yard or driving to Madge Lake to watch the local baseball teams – visiting with family and friends at the ball diamond. The ritual followed by enjoying a burger at the famous Massey’s Drive Inn before returning home.
This wonderful life was not met without loss. Her father, Nick in 1961, husband, Alex in 1985, mother, Fanny in 1986, niece, Michelle in 1994, twin sister, Mary in 2002 and brother, Sam in 2011.
After the Dad’s death, Mom felt she still had time and energy to offer another family help raising their children. She became a nanny to three families over the years – The Bartons, The Fedoraks and the Trofiminkoffs. She had made an impact with these children with all of them still referring to her affectionately as their “Baba” and without doubt they have some fond memories while in her care.
In 2011, the fog of Alzheimer’s began to become more evident, this horrible disease slowly stealing our Mom away. She entered the care of Eaglestone Lodge, then later, briefly, the Kamsack Nursing Home.
Anne is survived by her son, Lawrence (Colleen), daughters Judy and Joanne (Joe), brother Walter (Tanis), sister-in-law Eleanor, numerous cousins, nieces, nephews, great nieces and nephews, and great-great nieces and nephews.
“If I had a single flower for every time I think about you, I could walk forever in my garden.”
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