Iris was born to parents Mary and Bill Drobot on November 23, 1939 at Watson Union Hospital. The eldest of 4 children, Iris grew up on the family farm along with her two sisters Sonia and Audrey and her brother Dennis. She attended Westasta Valley country school from grades 1 to 9. When she started school, Iris could only speak Ukrainian so the first few years were very difficult for her. She remembers being terrified to get called on by the teacher to answer questions on the chalk board! For grades 10 to 12, Iris attended Watson High School. Iris and her sister Sonia stayed in a basement suite in Watson during the week in order to attend school as it was too far from the farm to make the journey on a daily basis – there were no buses those days! Food got very scarce when the winter weather was bad as Iris’s dad couldn’t make the trek to town to deliver groceries to them. From that time on Iris had a strong dislike for dry chicken noodle soup mix as that often was the only meal she got for several days at a time. It was at a Westasta Valley country dance that Iris met and fell in love with a young farmer (Alex Kaminskas) who played violin in a band. Iris and Alex were married on August 11th, 1958 at the Spalding United Church and settled on Alex’s childhood farm. Iris and Alex were blessed with 3 sons; Rick (1961), Randy (1963) and Barry (1964). Iris really had her hands full with 3 rumbunctious boys, a yard full of farm animals and an old farmhouse that didn’t even have running water! In 1965 they built a new house and added several sheds, grain bins and animal coups. Iris had a real green thumb so the farmyard was filled with beautiful flowers and an abundant garden. Iris loved to curl in the winter and went on many fishing trips up the Hanson Lake Road to northern Saskatchewan in the summer. Iris and Alex enjoyed many travels including trips to Toronto and Niagra Falls as well as several trips to the United States with friends. In 1979, Iris joined and became the president of the United Church Women’s group in Spalding – a role that she held for well over 30 years. She was always volunteering her time and superior cooking skills to raise money for the church and to organize and cater hundreds of weddings and funerals. In 2011, Iris and Alex retired from farming and rented out their land. They bought a condo and moved to Melfort in November of that same year. They spent the summer of 2012 at the farm selling off the machinery and household items, doing yard work and enjoying the farm for one last time. Even though farm life was over, Iris very much enjoyed time in the condo as well as traveling around the country visiting with her children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren. The weeks were filled with going to the mall for coffee, going to church and to Smitty’s for meals. There was always someone to visit with and friends to play cards with or go to plays and barbeques. Family and friends were very important to Iris. She had a special skill whereby she remembered every birthday and anniversary for everyone she knew. It was truly amazing! Iris will be lovingly remembered and sadly missed by her 3 sons : Rick Kaminskas (Lynn Simmons) of Prince Albert, Randy Kaminskas of Candle Lake (children Alica (Trevor) Herbert and their children Samantha, Cameron & Emily - Aaron Kaminskas (Jaclyn Gessner) and their children Owen, Kaleb and Levi – Alexandra Kaminskas (Greg Nicholson) and their children Ayden, Ava, Ashton & Abigail) and Barry Kaminskas (Joan) of Sherwood Park, Alberta and their children Zenan & Marina, her sisters Sonia (Ben) Leicht of Humboldt, Audrey (Alex) Leicht of Lacombe, Alberta and brother Dennis (Christine) Drobot of Good Spirit Lake. Iris was predeceased by her husband Alex Kaminskas, parents Mary & Bill Drobot, her in-laws Ethel & John Kaminskas, her granddaughter Andrea Kaminskas and nephew David Drobot. Memorial contributions in memory of Iris may be directed to the Five Oaks Shared Ministry Naicam, Sask. and/or the Naicam Cemetery Fund. To plant Memorial Trees in memory of Iris Gloria Kaminskas, please click here to visit our Sympathy Store.
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