Obituary of Rosalyn Golinsky
Rosalyn was born on April 8, 1940 in Crossfield Alberta, minutes before her twin brother Russell. The twins lived on the Crossfield farm with their older sister Barb, mother “Virgie” (short for Virgil - but that is another story) and father Russell until they were 6 years old. This is when they moved to southern California, where her parents were originally from. She fondly recalled that her first year of school was in a Spanish speaking school where she first learned to read and write in Spanish. Her father passed away from leukemia when she was 8 and the little family moved back to Alberta not long after. It was there that her mother married a dear family friend Frank Laut. Rosalyn describe “Uncle Frank” as the kindest and most gentle soul ever to walk this earth. Back in Crossfield and at that same farm, Rosalyn grew up as a farm girl and cowgirl. She was a proud member of the 4-H and a club called Canadian Girls in Training. Throughout her life, she remained very close to many of her childhood friends. One of Rosalyn’s first summer jobs was working as a teenager on a ranch in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains. She would recall the story of horseback riding in the mountains when they came around a corner and face to face with a wild stallion. “You might think it would be beautiful” she would say “but it was a wild and frightening creature”. She and her mare ran for their lives. She would tell another story of coming through the woods and upon a grizzly bear. Again, she said that she and her mare ran like the wind.
After graduating from high school, Rosalyn moved to Cochrane Alberta to work in a bank. She had been working at the bank for some time when a handsome and very young-looking man started working there. She recalled how at first, she didn’t think much of this young man with a blonde “James Dean-like” appearance. He was “too young and too big for his britches” (they were only one week apart in age). It didn’t take long for this young man, George, to notice beautiful Rosalyn, with her bright eyes and tight wrangler jeans. They soon became a couple and married in the spring of 1962.
Shortly after they were married, Rosalyn and George decided to move to California, the land of opportunity. They moved to the Los Angeles area and lived with Rosalyn’s half sister. Their oldest son, Daryl, was born that fall. While George worked several jobs trying to get the family ahead, Rosalyn came into her own, immediately realizing that being a mother was the best thing that could have ever happened to her. Two years later they had a second child, Dawna Marie. Dawna was born on Rosalyn’s birthday in 1964 but tragically, she passed away the next day because of a heart defect. This must have been devastating to the young couple and Rosalyn’s birthday was always slightly bittersweet for her as she also remembered it to be Dawna’s birthday.
The days in California passed with Rosalyn working part time and caring for Daryl while George continued to work several jobs. In 1966, they had their third child, Tammy. They didn’t have a lot of money those days and Sunday outings involved going to church, a treat of ice cream for the kids and often driving through the orange groves to take in the fresh scent of orange blossoms or fruit. A few years later, the young family moved to out of the Los Angeles area to Simi Valley. During this time, Rosalyn and George also took in foster children. She laughed telling the story that when Tammy was about a year old Daryl was apparently tired of having a little sister and asked his mom “When can we give this one back?”.
In 1970 Rosalyn, George, Daryl and Tammy moved from southern California to Lake Tahoe in the Sierra Nevada mountains where they built a beautiful home. Rosalyn worked as a part time aide in a local hospital during this time.
They left Lake Tahoe and moved back to Canada and near to Edmonton and close to George’s family in 1972. Rosalyn began to grow closer to the Golinsky family and remained a dear and loved member of the Golinsky family for the rest of her life. Jason was born in Edmonton not long after they moved to Canada. A year or two later the family moved again, this time to live in Calgary. Rosalyn described the days when her children were young to be the best days of her life.
They were never afraid to move, and Rosalyn was skilled at packing up the house and her family and moving into another to improve on their fortunes and investments. They moved 3 times while in Calgary. In 1978 the family moved back the Crossfield area. They built the house, barn and outbuildings on a raw quarter which happened to be less than a mile from the very farm where Rosalyn grew up. They worked hard, George building his career with the banks and at the farm, and Rosalyn and teenaged Daryl doing the chores when George had to be at work. She and the family raised Hereford cattle, turkeys and chickens and cared for riding horses, colts, dogs and cats, puppies and kittens. There was a time when Tammy’s pet rabbits got out of their cages and between the rabbits and the turkeys (who would also frequently escape) Rosalyn’s large garden often took the worst of it. Many animals would come and go from this farm. One year, Rosalyn rescued ducklings from the hay cutter and brought them home to be raised in our kitchen sink. The neighbours’ very stinky billy goat would also come by from time to time to cause nothing but troubles. It was a busy time with many children, teenagers, and animals around and with extended family and good friends frequently stopping by for a delicious supper and a game of cribbage.
The family moved (yes again) to Edmonton in 1981 and lived there until 1985. While in Edmonton, she worked part time at a bank but honestly, we think she mostly worked at trying to keep teenaged Tammy out of trouble. By 1985, Daryl had graduated and moved out to go to school and Tammy had left for UBC in Vancouver, so Rosalyn, George and Jason packed up and moved back to southern California to settle in Oceanside. It was just east of Oceanside that they bought an avocado grove (with plenty of orange, grapefruit, lime, and fig trees as well). Rosalyn and George hand-picked acres of fruit and avocado trees each year and sold much of their crop at the local farmers’ markets. Rosalyn often recounted how equally hard and rewarding this work was – although she didn’t appreciate the rats and many large spiders that love to live in avocado trees.
It was in California where Rosalyn began to nurture Jason’s love of theatre, driving him up to Los Angeles or other cities to see operas and live theater. It was also during this time that Rosalyn joined Tammy in Thailand and Indonesia to travel with her for a few weeks. Tammy could not have been more proud to have her mother there with her backpacking in Southeast Asia – the other travellers were so impressed with Rosalyn’s sense of adventure and the close bond she and Tammy had with one another.
Rosalyn and George moved back Canada in 1991. First to build a gorgeous home overlooking the lake near Kelowna and then a few years later to Edmonton. They separated not long after. Although the separation was difficult, over the years they learned to be good friends again. Rosalyn started working as an administrative assistant with the Alberta SPCA and it was a wonderful fit for her. She made great friends there and the mandate of the SPCA, protecting animals, was so very important to her. It was in Edmonton that she built up her painting skills and became a wonderful artist.
Rosalyn moved to Dawson Creek, BC in 2003 to be closer to her grandchildren Sierra and Libby. Rosalyn would have done anything for those girls, and she helped Tammy and her husband Rod out immensely. She picked the girls up from school, took them to skating/swimming or whatever other kinds of lessons they had, played games with them and did art with them. She also made countless friends while living in Dawson Creek and became involved with her church, the seniors centre, the arts society and the museum to name a few. I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but she moved a lot during her life (well over 20 times). She lived in Dawson Creek longer than she lived in any other place in her life.
Rosalyn moved away from Dawson Creek in November of 2020. She didn’t want to move away but she knew her time of being able to live in her own home was coming to an end and there was no way she was going to give up her cat Sadie. She was able to find a place in Calgary that was close to her twin brother and would accept pets. Her twin brother passed away in October of 2021 and she followed to join him just three months later, on January 29, 2022.
More than anything, Rosalyn (Roz) Golinsky (Bills) loved being home. When I say “home” I don’t really mean a specific building or house. Rosalyn moved a lot through her life and she was able to create a “home” wherever she was happy and when she was around her family and friends. She was a loyal friend and loved her family more than words can say. She was a dedicated mother who taught her children the importance of kindness and having an open mind. She was a doting grandmother who made sure her grandchildren knew that they are loved every moment of their lives. She took pride in knowing where she came from – carefully tracing her family roots back through Alberta, California, Kansas, Missouri and all the way back to the 15th century in England.
Rosalyn will be deeply missed by her children Daryl, Jason and Tammy, by their spouses Susan and Rod, by her grand children Sierra and Libby, by her sister Barb, her niece (like a sister) Dixie, by George, and by her in-laws Vonnie, Mary, Ray, Orlene, Grace, Patricia and Clayton. She has left countless nieces, nephews and friends behind. We all have fond memories of her kind, gentle and humble nature. She deeply believed in a heaven where she would be reunited with the ones she truly loves. We hope she is right and that she is now at “home” with her mother and father, her twin brother, her daughter Dawna and with all the others that she loved who have passed away before her.
If you would like to make a donation in Rosalyn’s memory please do so to the Alberta SPCA, 17904 119 Avenue NW, Edmonton Alberta T5S 2W3, telephone (780)447-3600, www.albertaspca.org/support-us/one-time-gift or to the Meow Foundation in Calgary (the agency which has kindly found a new loving home for Sadie) at PO Box 65024, RPO North Hill, Calgary, AB T2N 4T6, telephone (403)230-6033, www.meowfoundation.com/donate/
Very Respectfully, Reynars Funeral Home & Crematorium
Looking for more information? Our funeral home is here to help guide you through this difficult time. This section contains helpful information for the days to come.
Taking the time to arrange your funeral is one less thing your loved ones will need to worry about once you’ve passed. One of the most thoughtful gifts you can give your family is the pre-arrangement and pre-payment of your funeral.
Welcome to Reynars Funeral Home and Crematorium in Dawson Creek, BC.
1300 102 Avenue
Dawson Creek, BC V1G 2C6