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Zehanoviz, Lila

Lila Zehanoviz died peacefully at the Extendicare in Fort Macleod on Saturday, Dec. 5, 2009. She had been looking and feeling well right up until she was taken suddenly at the age of 89.
Lila was born in 1920 to Carlos and Martha Strate, and grew up on small farm near Del Bonita. Her twin brother Lyle became ill and died at the age of one, and her mother died when Lila was 15. Lila and her older sister Beth were left to help raise their younger brother Fred. Lila started her working career young at the age of 14 as a cook for a threshing crew on the McIntyre Ranch. She also worked in Waterton at the Kilmorey Lodge. She recounted fondly her days serving at the Pearce air base during the war days. It was in a shop in Cahoons on main street Cardston she first trained as a hairdresser.
Marrying Joe Zehanoviz in 1949, they moved to Fort Macleod and had two sons. Although Joe had survived the war as a mid-upper and a tail gunner in Halifax bombers, when Larry was two and Randy only 10 months, Joe was killed in a terrible car crash. Lila raised the boys, working from her small beauty shop at the front of their home. Many women in Fort Macleod will remember Lila as the friendly and skilled beautician that she was. She was also active in the Legion and sold Nevada tickets for many years. Her real passion was bingo and she played until it was too hard to read her cards.
Through the years, many of Larry’s and Randy’s friends and family members would come and go, as Lila’s door was always open to anyone needing a great meal or a place to stay. Lila loved to take her boys to visit her sister Beth and her husband George on the family farm near Del Bonita where Larry and Randy would happily play with their many cousins. Lila’s biggest happiness came through her grandchildren, Sam and Kallie Val-Zehan (Larry and Barb), and Cherie, Carl and Clayton Zehanoviz (Randy), and great-grandchildren Riley and Brenden Johnson (Cherie and Wade). Her biggest smiles were saved for them and “no” was not part of her vocabulary when it came to the joys of her life.
A celebration of Lila’s life will take place in the spring when it is safer for family and friends to travel.

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