Sylvia Patricia Ducharme (Rzyhak)

January 1, 1951 – March 18, 2022

It is with great sadness, we announce the passing of Sylvia Patricia Ducharme, beloved wife, mother and Grammy. She passed away in the loving arms of her family, after a courageous battle with cancer.  

Sylvia was born in Winnipeg on January 1, 1951. One of seven children, she was raised on a farm in Medika, Manitoba. She shared countless memories of her life growing up there. Although chores were plentiful, and the work was hard, she still found time to have fun and get into mischief with her siblings.  

At the age of 15, Sylvia met the love of her life Gordon. They married young and created an incredible life together that lasted almost 54 years. Moving to Winnipeg and then eventually settling in Transcona, they raised their two children. They started with very little, but through hard work and many sacrifices, were able to provide a good life for their family. Growing up, some of our most treasured memories were spent camping. We travelled many places throughout North America, but summers in Detroit Lakes with family were some of the best times. 

As their kids got older, Sylvia and Gord built a cottage at Falcon Lake to keep their family close. Cottage life created so many wonderful memories. Watching performances and having lots of laughs around the fire, going for boat rides, taking long walks, or entertaining friends and family, it was all time well spent. The cottage was Sylvia’s “happy place”. 

Sylvia’s love of travel took her many places over the years. Whether it was travelling with Gord for his job, or taking short shopping trips to Grand Forks, she enjoyed being on the go. Some of her favorite places were the East Coast, Hawaii, Europe and her other “happy place”, Disney World. Many fun-filled vacations were spent there with her children and grandchildren. After retiring, her and Gord spent winters in Florida and for the last several years in Arizona.  

Sylvia was extremely hard working. She could never sit down for long before noticing that something had to be organized or cleaned. She never complained about anything, she just did it.  She took pride in having her home and cottage “just so” and would spend hours puttering around outside. It always amazed us at how much energy she had and what she could accomplish in a short time. Her grandchildren would always say “Grammy can do anything” and that truly was the case. We all benefitted from her amazing cooking. She never followed recipes, simply taste tested and added what she felt was necessary. Her whole family looked forward to the smell of her famous Sunday morning waffle breakfasts and her Christmas Eve dinner was the most anticipated meal of the year.  

Some of her favorite past times included dining out at restaurants and shopping. She looked forward to meeting up for breakfasts with friends or family. She loved to shop and was always on the hunt for treasures. She had a knack for finding good deals or cool gadgets. She would buy multiples of items, just so she could share her finds with others. She was always a willing partner to explore new places to eat, tea houses, gift shops and farmer’s markets.  

Sylvia enjoyed talking with friends, family or even strangers. She could spend hours catching up on the phone with her siblings, children, grandchildren or close friends. Wherever she went, she was always meeting new people and could easily strike up a conversation with them. By the end of their chat, she knew their life story and they knew hers.  

She was extremely devoted to her family and always put them first. Whatever anyone needed, she would drop what she was doing and be there for them. Her selflessness and generosity were felt by all of those around her. She was genuinely happy for everyone’s accomplishments and loved to help people.  

Sylvia adored her grandchildren and had a special way to connect with each one of them and let them know they were deeply loved. Her and dad cheered them on in all of their activities and were there to support them during important milestones. Sleepovers at Grammy and Grandpa’s house meant being spoiled with lots of treats, and an abundance of love and TLC. 

She will be forever missed by her husband Gordon, her daughter Michelle (Chris) McColm, son Jason Ducharme and her beloved grandchildren Allie, Ethan, and Grace. She is survived by her siblings Clifford (Linda), Diana (Mike), Gail (Allan), Ricky (Janine), Brenda (Walter) and Shelly (Bob) and numerous nieces and nephews. She was predeceased by her parents Peter and Frances Rzyhak, her father and mother-in law, Maurice and Josephine Ducharme, her sister-in-law and brother-in-law, Beatrice and Larry and her nephew Mason. 

Cremation has taken place. As per Sylvia’s wishes, a private Celebration of Life will be held at a later date.  

If desired, donations in Sylvia’s memory can be made to The Dream Factory, 303-1 Wesley Avenue, Winnipeg, MB, R3C 4C6. 

“Mom, to the world you may be just one person, but to us you are the world.”   

We love you the most!

You are our sunshine.

Friends and family are invited to share memories and condolences on Sylvia’s memorial page using the comment field below.

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6 thoughts on “Sylvia Patricia Ducharme (Rzyhak)

  1. Bonnie Schellenberg

    A beautifully written tribute to a beautiful woman. I will miss my visits and chats with Sylvia out at Falcon. My sincere sympathy to Gord, Jason, Michelle, Chris, Allie, Ethan and Gracie. May you find peace and comfort in your many treasured memories.

  2. Bridget and Brad Duval

    Our condolences to Gord and all your family. We knew Sylvia for a few years from Falcon Lake after we bought cottage next door. She was a very positive happy person. She was always working in the yard. We will miss her smile and “good morning”. She was well known for her “garage sales” at Falcon Lake. That was the first time we met many years before we knew she’d be out neighbour. Our hearts go out to you and yours.

  3. Marion Molnar

    Our deepest sympathies go out Gord and Sylvia’s family. I knew Sylvia from her days at Econo Mart and from driving school bus she was always so friendly to everyone.
    After we were retired Jim and I would occasionally see her at Kildonan Place Food court and have breakfast with her. There was never aa quiet moment when Sylvia and I were together as we both hard to keep quiet. She always mentioned how she loved to go out for breakfast and Gord would sooner have his at home so she would go alone.
    We have recently dealt with a cancer related loss and there is nothing more devasting then watching your loved one suffer. BE a peace with the thought that she is with God and will be watching and cheering you on every step of the way.

  4. Keith and Deanne Emberley

    We are both saddened by the news of Sylvia’s passing. She had such a dynamic personality and charm. She earnestly welcomed you when she met you on the road. Always looked after you when you visited. ‘Indomitable’ would be a fitting word to describe her spirit. We will cherish the items in our cottage from her garage sales, more so than ever!
    She’ll be missed by Deanne and I. We can picture her organizing a garage sale somewhere up there.

  5. Bernie and Susan Gulenchyn

    We are so sorry to hear that Sylvia passed away. We will always cherish the friendship we had all of these years, the suppers together, and the trip I took with her to see Bruce Springsteen. She was always so proud of her family especially her grandchildren. She talked about them all the time. It isn’t fair that her life was cut too short. Our sympathies to Gord, Michelle, and Chris and Jason and her treasured grandchildren.

  6. Dale Manning

    As a childhood friend I would like to pass along my heart felt condolences to Gord and family. RIP.

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