By Kevin J. Sabo
For the Advance
Forty-five years after her late husband was asked to cover a “couple of Sundays” in Castor, Luella Kowalsky is leaving the community.
In 1975, Luella’s husband, Pastor Bud Kowalsky, was asked by the pastor serving the Evangelical Church in Castor if he could take the services for a couple of Sundays.
Those two Sundays turned into two years of driving out from their home at Prairie Bible Institute in Three Hills.
“In 1977, we decided we either had to drop Castor, or we had to move away from the Prairie Bible Institute,” said Luella.
“We moved here in July of 1977.”
Bud served as the pastor of the Evangelical Church for well over a decade and oversaw the merger between the Evangelical Church of Canada, and the Missionary Church of Canada which created The Evangelical Missionary Church of Canada.
“We closed the Evangelical Church in 1992,” said Luella.
Luella meanwhile kept herself busy with other avenues. She served as a substitute teacher for several years, before getting a full-time teaching position in Coronation School which she held until her retirement in 1990.
She also spearheaded a campaign to bring the ‘Welcome Wagon’ organization to Castor in 1980, which she ran until 2000.
“To us, retirement wasn’t a big hurdle, like it is to some. We just found other things to do,” said Luella.
Despite retirement, Luella remained a very active member in the Evangelical Missionary Church, serving in the hand-chimes ministry and women’s ministry, amongst other things.
To Luella, the highlight of her time in Castor was the Welcome Wagon.
“I think I enjoyed being a Welcome Wagon hostess in those years,” said Luella. She left the Welcome Wagon in 2000 after privacy laws changed, making it harder for her to get names.
“The privacy law came in and I couldn’t get any more names, and I couldn’t do anything for the paper anymore, so I thought ‘I quit’,” said Luella.
She also loved the swimming pool.
“Even our grandkids came here to take swimming lessons,” said Luella.
“I had never learned to swim, and I took adult swimming lessons here.”
Something else she learned in Castor? How to ski!!
“I learned to ski when I was 62 out here at the ski hill,”said Luella.
“I skied until I was 82. Bud did his last ski-run on his 84th birthday.”
Unfortunately, Bud passed away in 2009, and shortly thereafter Luella found herself as a resident in Castor’s Paintearth Lodge, where she has resided since.
“I need to give a shout-out to the Lodge,” said Luella.
“They are really great here.”
The reason for Luella’s impending move is to be closer to two of her kids, who live in the Sundre area. She will be moving first to an assisted living facility in Innisfail, with plans of moving to a facility in Sundre when space becomes available.
“I’m moving to have family closer,” said Luella.
“And because they are both retired, they’ll have time for me. Everything has to change, I guess.”
Luella moves, beginning her next adventure, on Nov. 26th.