BILAN - It is with immense sorrow that the family of Elizabeth Bilan announces her passing into the arms of her Lord on Sunday February 14, 2021 at the age of 81. She joins her husband Jim who called her back home to be with him on Valentines day. We sadly bid a final farewell to our mom, baba, sister, sister-in-law aunty and friend. Elsie was born on the family farm in Bankend, Sk. She was the oldest of 12 children born to Carl and Nettie Zemlak on December 8, 1939. She received her schooling in Bankend and Wishart Saskatchewan, often driving her younger siblings to school by horse and cart. She later received her high school education in Foam lake but left school early to help support the family after the sudden and tragic loss of her father. She took a job as a waitress to help support her family, often bringing home trinkets for her siblings and lavish items like a new tablecloth for her mom. It was there that she met James Bilan, the love of her life and after 3 years of courtship they were united in marriage on June 15, 1959 in Foam Lake Sk. They made Canora their first home and in 1962 moved to Yorkton. Together they raised a family of four children. Mom and dad shared the same passions in sports and outdoor life. They loved watching the Blue Jays and Roughriders play as well as both watching and taking part in curling. They regularly bowled in a league in Yorkton taking home several trophies between the pair. While fishing was one of mom's greatest passions it was rivaled only by her love of Bingo. She was a patient and skilled fisherwoman who could wait for hours to reel in the catch of the day. She was also a passionate and proud hockey mom. She was fiercely competitive whether she was watching hockey or playing her favorite card games, Kaiser. Whatever Mom chose to do, she was always the happiest when spending time with family and friends. Mom was an avid gardener that loved to be surrounded by plants and flowers. She would spend hours weeding and cultivating and harvesting vegetables for canning, sharing and for many delicious meals! Moms greatest passion was her grandchildren. She was always there if anyone needed a babysitter, teaching her grandkids to bake cookies or scuffles. She loved to host family gatherings. Christmas and Ukrainian Christmas was always over the top! Cooking way more food that anyone could eat or fit in the fridge. Elsie was reunited with her husband Jim Bilan, parents Nettie and Carl Zemlak, brother Clarence, father-in law and mother-in-law Matthew and Anne Bilan, brothers in law Lawrence Kolybaba, and Bill Spak, brother-in-law George and wife Florence Bilan, and her sister-in-law Wilma and husband Dan Wiwchar. *Sister-in-law Florence Bilan and niece Shelly Wilgosh. She is survived by her children Karla (Bruce Thompson), Laurie (Kevin Stefanick), Kevin (Denise) and Darci; her grandchildren: Tanner, Kelsey, Caitlyn, Madison, Brady and Haylee; Sisters: Lucy, Sandra, Lil, Verna, Myrna, Agnes, Evelyn; brothers: Mervin, Sylvester and Leonard and brother-in-law Howard and numerous nieces, nephews, extended family, and friends. Special thanks to the nurses and doctors on the wards and ICU of the Yorkton Union Hospital and an incredibly special thank you to her sister Verna as well as Jim's nephew Kelly Bilan and his wife Sandy as well as Jim's cousin Gary Gawryliuk for their love and time spent with mom to offer support in anyway. It has brought more comfort to the family than you will ever know. God bless you all! In lieu of flowers donation in Elsie's honor can be made to the charity of your choice. Prayers were held on Friday evening, February 19th 2021 from Holy Transfiguration Ukrainian Orthodox Church in Yorkton. The funeral service was held on Saturday morning, February 20th 2021 from the Yorkton Memorial Gardens Family Centre with Rev. Fr. Michael Faryna officiating. Cantor, Yvonne Panchuk led in the responses. The family tribute was given by daughter Darci. Granddaughter Kelsey Thompson sang 'The Rose'. Granddaughter Madison Bilan was the crossbearer, Honorary crossbearer was Gary Gawryliuk. The interment followed in the Garden of Gethsemane with Kevin Bilan, Bruce Thompson, Tanner Thompson, Kevin Stefanick, Brady Stefanick, and Kelly Bilan serving as the casketbearers. Condolences can be left at baileysfuneralhome.com
I dreamed one night I was adrift on murky waters;
I gazed into the shallows and saw the deformity of the ugly creatures below;
I was unsure where I was going but I was not alone, as two others were adrift with me.
When I was troubled or unsure, I felt the arms of the two companions wrapped tightly around me, keeping me safe;
Soon, we came upon crystal clear, and calm waters.
This time, the creatures below shone with a healthy glow and I smiled in awe of their greatness as they swam away;
Our journey continued and we arrived at our destination somewhere across an unknown river;
I departed the vessel feeling victorious at our landing, and turned, expecting to see my companions following close behind;
Instead, I watched them continue their journey, drifting away, into the sunset together on placid waters;
All I could do was shed a tear, heave a heavy sigh, and wave good-bye...
Love You Mom;
We know you and dad will always be watching over us from whatever waters you navigate together in the everlasting.