November 7, 1927 – March 26, 2023
Zigrida Betija Andrechuk of Winnipeg, Manitoba, passed away on Sunday, March 26, 2023 at the age of 95.
She was born in Riga, Latvia, November 7, 1927.
She was a daughter of Bruno and Elfrieda (Kakovics) Postnieks.
She was predeceased by her parents, her husband Harry Andrechuk, a sister Inta and a brother Gunnar.
She is survived by a sister Helga Farnell ; a brother Peter Postnieks; a sister-in-law, Eva Andrechuk; several nieces and nephews. Her nieces Gail, Ingrid, Debbie, Brenda and Heather were especially close to Zigrida and provided her with much assistance as she got older.
Growing up in Latvia, Zigrida had a happy early family life and was especially close to her father. As a young girl, Zigrida learned to appreciate ballet, opera and concerts. She had a lifelong love of music.
While her home life was pleasant, Latvia faced turbulent times in the years leading up to the Second World War. Zigrida often said she survived the brutal regime of the Russians and later the invasion of Latvia by the Germans. Her beloved father was executed by the Russians and the family businesses and properties were seized by the invading armies.
After high school, Zigrida studied nursing. Conditions were difficult in Latvia and she vividly recalled once trading two weeks of her nursing pay for two fresh farm eggs, a delicacy. Her nursing abilities enabled her to leave Latvia and sail to Canada aboard a hospital ship. Her work life was spent in that profession.
The hardships she experienced during her formative years in Latvia built her strength of character, her determined personality and the quality of courage which only grew stronger over the years. Although Zigrida could sometimes be an imposing figure, she had a healthy sense of humor and always faced critical times with a positive outlook.
She immigrated to Canada in January of 1948, settling in Winnipeg where that same year she met her husband Harry. They were married June 26, 1948.
After their honeymoon in Ontario, the couple took up farming in the Municipality of Macdonald.
Before her marriage, Zigrida decided to investigate her husband’s faith. She quickly discovered that the Bible-based teachings of Jehovah’s Witnesses appealed to her and she was baptized as one of Jehovah’s Witnesses in 1949 in Sherbrooke Pool in Winnipeg.
She was an adept volunteer teacher for 74 years and helped many of her students gain an accurate knowledge of the Bible. Zigrida shared her faith by any means she could and she was one of the pioneers of giving her Bible message to strangers over the telephone, along with writing letters, making personal visits and conducting home Bible studies. Her personal interest in people drew them to her. When she contacted a couple who were taking their dog to the veterinarian and couldn’t talk with her that day, she phoned them back just to check on how their pet was doing and this generated a Bible discussion that reactivated the couples’ faith.
She and her husband Harry moved to Fort Garry and bought a house on Radisson Avenue. Their home was filled with good friends and the smell of delicious cooking especially when she was creating one of her famous turkey dinners.
Zigrida loved flowers and tending her small vegetable garden on Radisson Avenue. Even when she had to downsize to an apartment, Zigrida’s balcony was always filled with potted tomatoes, string beans and zucchini plants. A vase on her table always held her favorite mini-carnations or an orchid plant.
She and Harry enjoyed traveling to Bible conventions and attended international gatherings in New York in 1958 and Vancouver in 1969. She volunteered at such events sometimes working in first aid and other times cooking and serving meals at a time when Jehovah’s Witnesses had mobile cafeterias for convention delegates.
When she lost her eyesight to macular degeneration, Zigrida resolved not to slow down her spiritual routine and she would listen to audio recordings of the Bible and other publications. She faithfully attended her congregation meetings via the telephone and she maintained a routine of preaching to all who would listen.
Zigrida had a strong hope in the Bible’s teaching of a future resurrection and looked forward to the promise at Revelation 21:3, 4 that the day will come when death, mourning and pain will be done away with in a restored paradise earth.
The family wishes to thank the staff of Beacon Hill Lodge Long Term Care Home for their compassionate care of Zigrida.
Voyage Funeral Home and Crematorium, 220 Hespeler Ave.,Winnipeg, is in charge of arrangements. It was Zigrida’s wish to be cremated. Interment will take place at a later date in Andrechuk Cemetery, St. Norbert. A memorial service will also be held at a later date.
16 thoughts on “Zigrida Betija Andrechuk”
My late husband, Orest, and I have many fond memories of Zigrida when we worked together and enjoyed many turkey
dinners together in Fort Garry Congregation. My condolences to her family.
Thank you Doris.
Thank you. Many good memories to reflect on.
You will be missed, love you Auntie Zig RIP💕Brenda
Your kindness will always be remembered.
A sweet soul, who loved Jehovah and his people, and attending meetings at the Kingdom Hall. She always participated fully in singing the songs, and sang in very good tune! We were delighted when she joined the Ft Rouge congregation at the preCovid amalgamation, and throughout the pandemic. She will be missed! — Robertus and Gail Berkers
Thank you Robertus and Gail. She did have an excellent voice.
I met Zigrida only once at her home in Winnipeg. I remember her showing my husband and I her pictures from Hawaii. I remember her also showing pictures of her flower gardens and giving me a Christmas cactus. She was a lovely lady very proud of her religion. I talked to her a couple of times on the phone and she always seemed busy doing something. What a lovely obituary to read. Sending hugs to family. Sean and Monica Farnell
Auntie zigrida was very proud of her family and their achievements. She always spoke highly of Sean and your family.
Zigrida will certainly be missed. I often stayed with Harry and Zigrida when I came back to Winnipeg from my
assignment abroad. She never missed a meeting until her health wouldn’t permit her to go to the Kingdom Hall.
She was a good cook, I especially liked her Latvian pierogiies cooked in the oven.
You were her adopted son and she loved you very much.
We too, appreciated Zigrida’s unwavering loyalty to her God, Jehovah. And yes, she could be imposing because of her outspokenness, but her love for people and her sense of humour was evident!! We look forward to Paradise conditions soon to come when she will be back with us to enjoy life as Jehovah intended for his faithful servants. We send our sincere condolences and love to her family including Heather & Rob.
Thanks for your kind thoughts. sHe was a unique person.
I admired my Aunt Ziggy. She was sharp of mind and her stories of Latvia during the war and how she and her family survived were riveting. She was a very strong minded woman. Bossy? Heck no , if you stood your ground you did well. 😊 After her sister Inta (my mom at only 48 years old) passed, she became the only connection left to remind me of days gone passed on my Mom’s side of the family. I enjoyed helping her garden on any balcony, when she lived in an apartment , and in its small space produced many a bloom. I miss you.
Well said Ingrid.
Aunt Ziggy to me was very imposing and strong her opinions but I do remember spending some of my lunch times visiting her at her home on Radisson going over pictures from her life in Latvia. I, too, like my sister Ingrid, enjoyed hearing about life in Latvia and what my mother’s (Inta) family went through during the war . She had a remarkable memory and was very proud of her family’s heritage. Her love and knowledge of flowers and plants was extensive. I remember one day picking up a very large plumeria tree that had outgrown her small home. We put it in the back of my convertible where I slowly drove all the way from her home in south Winnipeg to St. Andrews, north of Winnipeg. Despite my assertions that I kill plants, she was unwavering in her belief that I would not kill this one. Sadly, I did. But if she was sad about this, she never did express her disappointment. But I did get a lengthy lecture on plant care. 😃 Rest in peace, Auntie.