Helen Bilokreli and Eunice Bilokreli were both born and raised in Theodore, Saskatchewan, a small rural community east of Yorkton, where the Bilokreli family homesteaded. Daughters of the late Nick John (N.J.) Bilokreli, who immigrated to Canada from Austria in 1899, and Frances Bilokreli (nee Roebuck), who immigrated to Canada from Pennsylvania in 1908, the sisters were the only girls in a family of nine children.
Growing up in a rural community helped them appreciate hard work, the importance of family and a sense of community. Prairie life wasn’t always easy but it instilled a strong work ethic and an appreciation for supporting one another. They embraced small town living and were active participants in school, church and the community. Being the only two girls, they were expected to assist with the operation of the family home and farm and worked hard at supporting their close knit family in all ways. Helen and Eunice attended school in Theodore and upon graduation from high school, the two sisters moved to Saskatoon to pursue business and secretarial programs.
Developing a strong work ethic at an early age, both women were committed employees and successful in their careers. They found time to volunteer for a number of charities and various events. They never, however, forgot their rural Saskatchewan roots, returning to Theodore regularly to help with the preparation of meals for the family harvest and later to provide care for their parents. They also never forgot the importance of helping others, a compassion instilled during their early years growing up in rural Saskatchewan when life brought challenges and hardships. Upon completion of their working careers, Helen and Eunice retired in Saskatoon until their passing. Helen passed away in 2010 and Eunice in 2014.
Helen and Eunice were regular donors to many charities but their strong commitment to health was clear by their continuing support to the University of Saskatchewan for medical research.
The Bilokreli Family Fund will be used to support research into Leukemia, children’s arthritis, and dementia.