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Stephanie Gruca Tribute Fund

STEPHANIE JOANNE GRUCA, beloved daughter of Steve and Yola Gruca, was granted her angel wings on Sunday, November 25, 2007, at the young age of 12 years, following a courageous battle with cancer. She passed away peacefully with her parents at her side. Besides her loving parents, Stephanie is survived by her older brother Matthew, grandparents Barbara and Kazimierz Terajewicz, and grandmother Jadwiga Gruca. She was predeceased by her grandfather Jozef Gruca. Stephanie was born in Lethbridge, Alberta, on August 15, 1995. She attended elementary school at Ecole Agnes Davidson and was currently attending Grade 7 at Gilbert Paterson Middle School. She had a thirst for learning and was adored by all her classmates and teachers. She was also very athletic and thrived at all sports. Soccer was a lifetime passion for Stephanie. She started playing at the age of four and she excelled for many years at the house league level where she was known as the little girl with the big shot and even bigger heart. At the early age of nine, Stephanie began her competitive soccer career with the Lethbridge Chargers Soccer Club. She played goalkeeper and truly enjoyed playing the position of striker. As a member of the U12 Tier I team, she celebrated two outdoor provincial championships and a bronze medal in indoor soccer. Stephanie was very proud to represent the city of Lethbridge as a Charger at tournaments throughout Alberta and Washington State. With her parents and brother Matthew, summers were spent outdoors, camping and riding the quad. She enjoyed bike riding, shooting hoops, playing board games, listening to music, and spending endless hours jumping on the trampoline with her best friend Lacey. Stephanie’s delightful personality and zest for life was always evident even throughout her battle with cancer. Never once did her illness keep her from living life to the fullest with her family and friends. She possessed strength, perseverance, and an ability to overcome incredible odds and physical challenges. With her courage and determination, she led us to believe that each day was truly a blessing and an opportunity to create everlasting memories. Stephanie had a very loving nature, not only towards people but also towards animals. Her warm smile could melt the hearts of those around her, and her kind heart, gentle spirit, and sense of humour will truly be missed by all. Stephanie’s life would seem too short to many, but those who were touched by her soon realized that the quality of life far surpasses the quantity of time in which one lives. Stephanie, you will be forever remembered by all whose lives you have touched. A Prayer/Memorial Service will be held at 7:00 P.M. on Thursday, November 29, 2007 at MARTIN BROS. RIVERVIEW CHAPEL, 610-4th St. S., Lethbridge, AB. A Funeral Service will be held at 11:30 A.M. on Friday, November 30, 2007 at OUR LADY OF ASSUMPTION CATHOLIC CHURCH, 2405-12th Ave S., Lethbridge, AB. Interment to follow in Mountain View Cemetery. In lieu of flowers memorial donations may be made in Stephanie’s memory to “Stephanie Gruca Caring Hearts Tribute Fund”, Lethbridge Regional Hospital Foundation, 960 – 19 St South, Lethbridge, AB T1J 1W5, Alberta Children’s Hospital Foundation 2888 Shaganappi Trail NW, Calgary, AB T3B 6A8, Ronald McDonald House Southern Alberta, 111 West Campus Place NW, Calgary, AB T3B 2R6 or to S.T.A.R.S. P.O. Box 570, 1441 Aviation Park NE, Calgary, AB T2E 8M7.

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