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Francuz, Catherine (Kate)

FRANCUZ, Catherine (Kate) (nee Homeniuk) -

Died peacefully at Norfolk Manor, Guelph on August 31, 2019. Forever 39, Kate was born in Sydney Nova Scotia, one of seven children. She graduated from Sydney Academy, then worked in Sydney for the navy assisting in the demobilization of sailors after WWII. Kate moved to Toronto, where she met John Francuz who she married in 1948. They moved to Rouyn-Noranda QC where they raised three daughters and were part of the Ukrainian community in northwestern Quebec.

When her husband died in 1991, Kate moved to Guelph and became known as an active volunteer.

Kate bought a house within sight of the Basilica of Our Lady then joined its congregation, its Women’s Auxiliary, and volunteered to lead tours of the building — where her knowledge of languages including French and Ukrainian, as well as German and Russian proved useful in greeting visitors. She was also a longtime volunteer at the Homewood, the River Run, and the Friends of the Library Giant Book Sale. Whenever someone needed a helping hand, Kate was there. Friends at the Evergreen Centre knew her as a keen player of snooker and chess. A lifelong bridge player, her daughters remember being taught the basics so that they could all play a hand. She was an active member of the Basilica of Our Lady tennis club, and practised with her tai chi group for many years. She loved dogs and had a succession of well-loved animals who enjoyed her homemade dog food.
Kate loved to travel internationally and completed her bucket list with a sail on the Queen Mary from New York to Southampton just months before she fell ill last year.

She is survived by her daughters Patricia (Chet), Joan (Grant), and Elizabeth (Paul) as well as three grandchildren Lara (Anthony), Peter (Trinity), and Jeffrey (Catherine), two great-grandchildren, and a younger brother Tony (Pauline) in Halifax as well as numerous nieces and nephews.

A funeral service will be held at the WALL-CUSTANCE FUNERAL HOME & CHAPEL, 206 Norfolk St., Guelph on Friday, September 20, 2019 at 2 pm. Reception to follow in the Wall-Custance Family Reception Centre.

Memorial donations in memory of Catherine may be made to the Basilica of Our Lady, or the Guelph Humane Society.

A tree will be planted in memory of Catherine (Kate) Francuz in the Wall-Custance Memorial Forest, University of Guelph Arboretum. Dedication service, Sunday, September 15, 2019 at 2:30 pm.

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