Mary passed away peacefully on Thursday, November 17, 2017 at Hill View Manor, Estevan, SK at the age of 94 years.
Mary will forever be cherished by her family; son, James "Jim" (Roberta “Bobbi”) Dengler and their children, Lori Bourdon (her children, Jaxon, Harrison and Hope Mary), Aaron (Kathleen) Dengler (their children Taylor and Gracie), Michelle (Nathan) Ralph (their children, Lilly, Nixon and Linkin); son, Peter (Diane) Dengler and their children, Terena Friess (her children, Blaise, Branden and Brett) and Jason (Kelleigh) Dengler; son Robert “Bob” Dengler and his children, Bradley (Whitney) Dengler and Amanda “Mandi” Dengler as well as numerous nieces and nephews.
Mary was predeceased by her husband Frank Dengler; parents, John and Ann (nee Cimballa) Potoma and 4 siblings, Ann (Joe) Andersen, little brother Johnny in infancy, Helen (Peter) Yoner and George Potoma as well as many other loved ones.
The Prayer service was held on Friday, November 24, 2017 at 7:00 p.m. in the Chapel of Hall Funeral Services, Estevan with Marian Huber officiating. The Funeral Mass was held on Saturday, November 25, 2017 at 10:00 a.m. at St. John the Baptist R.C. Church, Estevan with Rev. Sathiadas Antony presiding. The interment took place at Souris Valley Memorial Gardens with lunch following in the parish auditorium.
In memory of Mary, memorial donations may be made to Hill View Manor Activities Fund, 1401 - 1st Street, Estevan, SK, S4A 2W7.
Funeral arrangements were entrusted to Hall Funeral Services, Estevan.
Gramma Mary was born on Dec 3, 1922, in Minevich, Czechoslovakia, a small village near Prague. She was the second daughter of Anne Cimballa and John Potoma. She was raised by her grandmother Cimballa where her sister, Annie, was raised by her grandmother Potoma. As the grandparents lived in different villages, the sisters did not know each other well but did see each other on special occasions.
Mary recounted how she went on shopping excursions with Gramma Cimballa always receiving a small bag of candy upon returning. She remembered the large carriage and two black horses and crossing a small bridge by a creek.
They immigrated to Canada to be with Grampa Potoma in Taylorton in 1928. The ocean voyage was seven days and the name of the ship was “The Melita.” During the voyage her mother and her sister, Annie, became sea sick and Mary had free run of the ship as there was no supervision. At one point, as they could not find Mary, they thought she went overboard.
Mary was wandering around the ship and she found a cool storage bin where she ate carrots, raw beets and the first time she saw bananas. She went to another level where she found people dancing and singing and they all stopped to admire this beautiful little six year old blonde girl. These adults got her back safely to her mother and sister.
They landed in Nova Scotia and travelled to Bienfait by train where she was reunited with her father who was working at the Taylorton mine.
Mary attended Black Diamond school in Taylorton until Grade 3. Her parents bought a farm south of Estevan and she attended Nigrin School to approximately Grade 7. They farmed the land starting with two horses and a plough. They all worked very hard trying to scratch out a living.
In the 30’s Mary worked for various people cleaning, doing laundry, and cooking. She moved to Estevan at a young age and worked for different restaurants, The General (Porky).
When she was 15, work was hard to come by, and she went to see her Aunt in Cleveland which was prospering. She worked in an airplane factory. After two years she returned home and worked on the farm where she met Frank Dengler as he was working on a threshing crew at the Potoma farm. They were married in 1945. They farmed near the Queen Rose District. Frank and Mary had three sons from their marriage. James, Peter and Robert.
She continued to do housework for many years until she secured a job at the hospital in housekeeping. She was very pleased to have obtained a union job with benefits and was very proud and worked very hard. She later became a nurses’ aid and worked until she had to retire because of ill health.
Mary enjoyed listening to Dean Martin, Perry Como and Frank Sinatra. Her favorite song was White Christmas by Bing Crosby. Mary loved to read the rag magazines. Whenever you would visit her she always had the latest version sitting out.
Mary had a small collection of dollies, dinnerware, cutlery, fabric and tons of patterns to make her dresses, suits. She always had her clothes handmade and as she did not ever drive, she would have Frank or the boys drive her for fittings. She even had a dressmaker in Regina at one time.
She took much pride in her children, grandchildren and great grandchildren. She babysat all of her grandchildren whom she loved dearly and enjoyed showing them off. Her sons as well as her grandchildren were no doubt the cleanest kids on the block. She enjoyed playing with her grandchildren at her home where she would show them her beautiful flower gardens and let them play with the sprinklers.
Her first great grandson, Blaise Friess, was born on her 69th birthday. She was so excited that she hopped onto a bus to Calgary to see him. When Terena moved back to Estevan she babysat on occasion for Terena and Blaise would tell her to go home and point his little finger at her telling her that she wasn’t the boss of him and of course Frank would laugh and edge him on.
The last years of Mary’s life was spent at Hillview Manor where she was taken great care of by Eunice Masset and her staff. She always enjoyed the good meals she had there.
She was a good wife, mother, grandmother and great grandmother and will be sadly missed by all. Rest In Peace Mary.
Mary’s family Thank you for the flowers, cards, phone calls and countless messages. Many thanks to the Eunice and all the staff at Hillview Manor for taking such good care of mom. A special thanks to Fr. Sathiada Anthony, the choir and lunch ladies for the wonderful service and lunch.
Jim, Peter and Bob and families.