October 25, 2022
It is with heavy hearts that we announce the passing of our beloved mom and grandmother, Susan Kiraly of Langley, BC. She died peacefully on October 25th, 2021; almost two months shy of her 92nd birthday at Mountain View Manor in Ladner following a short battle with pneumonia.
She is lovingly remembered by her four sons and their respective wives: George & Kelly, Zoltan & Candy, Les & Rhonda, and Ron & Terri; grandchildren: Dustin, Ron, Chris, Michael, Ryan, Craig, Kristen and Cameron, and two great-grandchildren; Novella and Avalynn.
She is predeceased by her first husband of 29 years, Laszlo Bencze, and her second husband of almost 23 years, Tibor Kiraly, who passed away in 2016.
Born and raised as an only child in Budapest, Hungary, Susan was forced to grow up much too quickly after tragically losing both parents when she was just 14 years old. She found companionship and love by marrying her first husband 20 years her senior in 1949. Two years later, she welcomed the birth of her first child, George, and in 1954 her second son, Zoltan.
However, her expectation for a peaceful and joyful family life was shattered by the Hungarian Revolution. Like tens of thousands of fellow Hungarians, she was forced to flee the country with her family, leaving all of their worldly possessions behind. After spending weeks in a Dutch refugee camp, they eventually boarded a ship to start a new life in Canada.
Originally settling in the Lower Mainland, they made do with what little they had, eventually starting up a boutique photography studio in Abbotsford, and later a small TV repair shop in Aldergrove. She and her family later moved to Kamloops, where, at the age of 37, she gave birth to twins, Les and Ron, in 1967.
Despite the challenges of looking after a very full household, she never failed to provide for her family, by ensuring there was always authentic Hungarian fare on the table for lunch and dinner every day!
On Christmas Day of 1978, she again found herself alone following the sudden death of her first husband at the age of 69. As a single mother, she worked hard to raise her twin boys, who were age 11 at the time. Mom still found time to volunteer at the Kamloops Native Friendship Society and, for several years, was an avid canvasser for Mothers March, an initiative dedicated to the funding of lifesaving research supporting mothers and children.
She eventually found love again with businessman and family friend, Tibor Kiraly, who treated her like a princess, even building her a new home in Langley to welcome her and her twin boys. Mom and Tibor later married in 1993. Mom’s life took on new purpose after taking on the role of secretary and receptionist of Brookswood Plumbing and Heating, until Tibor’s retirement many years later.
Mom was always proud of her Hungarian heritage. Memories of her trip back to Hungary in 2009 with her oldest and youngest sons will be especially cherished. On the 60th anniversary of her arrival to Canada, she was accompanied by members of her family on a cross-Canada rail excursion in 2017. She enjoyed the sights and sounds of Toronto, Niagara Falls and Peggy’s Cove.
She also visited Pier 21 in Halifax, the same place where she originally disembarked following her cross-Atlantic journey so many years before. Her personal experience as a Hungarian refugee is immortalized in a special digital presentation and a wall plaque at the Pier 21 museum.
No matter the challenges, struggles or trials placed before her, she always put her unwavering love for her family first. She will always be remembered for her generous spirit and kind heart.
A private memorial will be held at Langley Lawn Cemetery at a later date. A special thank you to the staff at Langley Memorial Hospital and Mountain View Manor for their care and compassion.
Thoughts and prayers can be shared by signing an online Book of Condolence at www.MyAlternatives.ca
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