It is with heavy hearts that we announce the passing of Ana Bene (nee Grahac) on March 29, 2021 at the age of 95.
Ana had a long and full life. She was born on November 30, 1925 in Budrovci in Draganici, Croatia. On February 2, 1946 Ana married Ivan Bene and they later immigrated to Canada.
Ana will be remembered for being extremely kind, generous and hard working. She was very proud of and devoted to her family, always cooking, cleaning and caring for them. When you visited Ana she would happily prepare a plate of food or give you a bowl of homemade soup. Although never having a sweet tooth herself, she would always have some baking or cookies to share and loved to see the joy in her guests' faces. Ana was always happy to have visits and phone calls with her dear friends and family. She was recently introduced to video calls, which made her smile even more to see family that lived far away. She loved her family so much. Her heart broke on February 20, 2017 when she lost her son Josip Bene (aged 56) to cancer.
Despite the challenges and sadness of losing her adult son, Ana kept her faith in God strong and was eventually able to find peace and a renewed joy in gardening. She was a proverbial flower whisperer. Who else could keep a fully bloomed poinsettia to July!
Ana had a great work ethic. She worked as a chambermaid at the Waverley Hotel for many years. Even leading up to her passing, she would share fond memories of the staff and the patrons that she befriended.
Ana has been predeceased by son Josip, her parents, Mara Grahac and Imbra Grahac, cousin Marija Samija and other family in Croatia and Canada.
She will be lovingly remembered by her true love and husband of 76 years, Ivan Bene, daughter Barica (Ivan) Kolic, daughter-in-law Loredana Bene, grandchildren John (Rosetta) Kolic and Christina (Mark) Brassard, great grandchildren Chelsey and Thomas Brassard and Luka and Gabriella Kolic. Ana also had family in Stoney Creek and Hamilton, Ontario (Ana Jazvac and the Javac and Piskuric families, Zdelar family), Croatia (Jurica Bene and family, and Nikola Kusecek, Peter Jazvac (Draganici)) and numerous nieces, nephews and cousins throughout Canada and Croatia.
Ana had a special place in her heart for all those she met, cared for and loved. But her heart became too big and the challenges of managing her COPD and the onset of a recent and sudden stroke grew, to which she later succumbed. The family wishes to extend thanks and appreciation to those who have helped with Ana's recent care. Special thanks and gratitude to Ana's family doctors, Dr. James Goertzen and in the past several years, Dr. Julia Kornder for their caring and compassionate approach with Ana, the physicians and Nurses at the Thunder Bay Regional Hospital (2A) for helping make her journey to reunite with her son comfortable and peaceful.
Funeral Services for Ana will be held in the Chapel of Harbourview Funeral Centre on Tuesday, April 6, 2021 presided by Father Francisco Blazek at 11:00 a.m. Interment will follow in St. Andrew's Cemetery. Visitation for family and friends will be held at Harbourview Funeral Centre on Monday, April 5, 2021 from 6:00 – 8:00 p.m. with vigil prayers at 7:30 p.m.
For those unable to attend in person, both the vigil prayers and funeral service will be streamed live at www.harbourviewfuneral.ca
As directed by the Province of Ontario and the Bereavement Authority of Ontario, the attendance at the visitation and funeral is restricted to 15% capacity or less and a record of attendance must be maintained.
Wearing of masks or face coverings by everyone and maintaining social distancing of 6 feet is mandatory for those attending the services.
Should friends and family desire, in lieu of flowers, donations to the Heart and Stroke Foundation can be made in Ana's memory.
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