Posted: January 5th, 2017


MARIJA KOSTECKI, (née Pergar) beloved wife of Stejpan Kostecki, of Lethbridge, passed away at St. Therese Villa on Saturday, December 31, 2016 at the age of 84 years.

Besides her loving husband, Marija is survived by her daughter Bozena Kostecki and her children, Jonathan Ruzek (Melissa) of Lethbridge and Jessica Ruzek of Halifax, and daughter Marijana Turuk (Zvonko) and their children, Anamaria of Lethbridge and Tasha and Ethan of Taber as well as three brothers; Milan, Andrija and Vlado (Sofija) Pergar of Croatia.

Marija was predeceased by her infant children, Vlado, Blazenka, Emil and Milivoj; mother and father, Magdalena And Slavko Pergar; and her sisters Katarina Hostic and Ankica Copot.

Marija was born on July 14, 1932, in Sartovac, Croatia, and was the eldest of four siblings: Milan, Andrija, Katarina, and Ankica. Though she had a difficult life due to the war, she enjoyed her childhood with her siblings, and was especially fond of her babicka, with whom she shared her name. When Marija was 17, she met the love of her life, Stjepan Kostecki — her white knight who entered her life not on horse nor on bicycle, but on foot—and they married a year later, and remained married for the rest of her life. Together, Marija and Stjepan moved to the village of Repusnica where they started their life together and had six children; however, only two survived: Bozena and Marijana. In Repusnica, Marija was the master seamstress, who everyone in the village came to for help, and she was known in the region for her dressmaking talents. In 1975, Marija and family immigrated to Canada to start a better life, moving to Lethbridge where they began anew. Marija worked for several years at Ducan Industries, before being appointed to seamstress at Holland’s Fabrics, where she was employed until her retirement. Though Marija loved to sew, knit, and crochet, her greatest passion in life was gardening, and she cherished every moment spent in her garden, tending to her vegetables, flowers, and fruit trees, and toiling in the greenhouse, a passion she passed on to her daughters. Marija enjoyed doting on her grandchildren, and especially loved to cook for them using vegetables and herbs from her garden. To guarantee that neither her children nor her grandchildren went hungry, she always sent care packages to take home, laden with food, fruit, and chocolates. The most important part of life for Marija was her family, and she treasured her time spent with her daughters and her grandchildren, and she always sent along her love and best wishes. Marija loved to have people surrounding her table, on which food, rakija, wine, and Turkish coffee were always served. She also delighted in listening to music, and Marija spent much of her time with Stjepan listening and dancing to Croatian songs, and together they shared stories and memories that accompanied each song. Marija spent her last moments on this earth in the company of her loving husband, who watched over her until the very end, as he did since the beginning of their marriage. Marija will be woefully missed by Stjepan, Bozica, Maja, and her grandchildren, as well as by her family and friends in Canada and Croatia. Neka te Bog blagoslovi i neka te cuva. Volimo te uvijek, Baka.

A Prayer Service will be held at CORNERSTONE FUNERAL HOME, 2800 Mayor Magrath Drive South, Lethbridge, AB, on Sunday, January 8, 2017 at 7:00 P.M. with Deacon Cliff Bogdan officiating.

In memory of Marija, donations may be made to the Womanspace Resource Center, 740 – 4th Avenue South, Lethbridge, AB, T1J 0N9.

To send a condolence, please visit www.cornerstonefuneralhome.com

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