Lydia Barbara Picucha
January 19, 1954 December 18, 2007
Lydia passed away at home in Nanaimo, BC after a brief but courageous battle with cancer. Lydia was surrounded by her family and friends and will be fondly remembered and deeply missed by her loving husband Ken Slawson, parents Barbara and Jan Picucha, brothers Stefan (Carolyn), Chris Konieczny (Sharon), sister Grazyna Harrison, step daughters Dayyna (Brad) and Kendra (Chad), grandchildren Samantha, Trenton and Kamryn, Godchildren Daria Reczak and Blake Campbell, and “adopted” children Tiffany and Megan Campbell, and numerous other family members, friends and colleagues.
Lydia was born in Mercoal, Alberta in 1954 and with her family moved to Kitimat, BC in 1960. Lydia was devoted to life-long learning and teaching. She attended elementary/junior high school in Kitimat and then completed high school in Bruno, Saskatchewan in 1971. Lydia completed her undergraduate Bachelor of Science degree at Memorial University in Newfoundland. Next she completed the Professional Development Program at Simon Fraser University in 1979 and was awarded her professional teaching certificate. In 1994 Lydia spent a year mastering French in Angers, resulting in her ability to tell jokes fluently in two languages. Lastly, Lydia completed her Master of Arts in Administration and Supervision through Gonzaga University in 2004.
Throughout her career Lydia was a teacher and mentor to thousands. Lydia taught in Vernon, Kitimat, Nanaimo, and abroad with the Canadian Teachers’ Federation in Cameroon and St Lucia. She touched many lives and was an inspiration to all. Lydia’s life was about encouraging others to always strive to reach their full potential. Lydia always fought for the rights of others as shown in her many years working with various local teachers’ unions and later with the BC Teachers’ Federation, negotiating for better learning and working conditions. In Lydia’s life no challenge was too big. Her motto was “Bring it On.”
Lydia was unique. When not following her passion of teaching, Lydia loved the outdoors. She swam competitively, skied, figure skated, scuba dived, fished, hunted, and jogged. In the past 12 years, her favourite pastimes were spending time with her best friend, partner and husband Ken, and walking with their dog Finnegan. Lydia was the life of any party and all who knew her counted on her to keep things organized. Lydia will always be remembered by her friends and family for her dynamic personality, her radiant smile, and her totally selfless devotion to giving of herself to the wants and needs of anyone she could help.
A memorial bursary fund in Lydia’s name is being established at Mount Elizabeth Secondary School in Kitimat, BC. In lieu of flowers please send donations to Envision Financial Credit Union in Kitimat. A Celebration of her life was held at Brechin United Church in Nanaimo, BC on Saturday, December 22, 2007.