PRIOR LAKE, Minn. – Alice (Kawulia) Cain, 74, of Prior Lake and formerly of Iron Mountain and International Falls, Minn., passed away suddenly on June 15, 2014, at Fairview Ridges Hospital in Burnsville. Her family was with her.
A memorial gathering is today, June 24, from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. with prayers and reflections at 7 p.m. at Ballard-Sunder Funeral & Cremation in Prior Lake.
A celebration of life service is also scheduled for friends and family in the International Falls area on July 2, at 1 p.m. at Faith United Church.
It was a beautiful summer day in Fort Frances, Ontario on June 4, 1940, when Nicholas and Mary (Mycak) Kawulia celebrated the birth of their beautiful baby girl, Alice Kawulia. Alice was the youngest of six, and she loved all of her siblings. She especially enjoyed spending time with her older brothers. She looked up to them, and they were always looking out for her. Her childhood wasn’t easy, but it gave her the fighting spirit that served her well the rest of her life.
When Alice was 11 years old she moved to International Falls to live with her sister, Helen and her husband, Al and their children. It was during junior high and high school she met her two best friends, Laurie and Linda, and both of their families considered Alice to be like a daughter.
Alice attended International Falls High School. She met a great group of girls, and they all became forever friends who still meet regularly for lunch and reunions. Alice graduated in 1958. After high school, she worked for her brother-in-law at United Propane.
It was at a house party that Alice first met the love of her life, Ed Cain. Ed was sitting on the front steps when Alice arrived at the party. He serenaded her with a guitar even though he didn’t know how to play, and sang a Buddy Holly song for her. Alice just rolled her eyes, but she soon fell in love with him. Alice and Ed attended dances during their courtship and danced throughout their marriage. The two exchanged wedding vows on Jan. 6, 1962 (Ukrainian Christmas Eve). Alice and Ed were blessed with two beautiful daughters, Beth and Kristin.
As a family, the Cains enjoyed many camping trips over the years. They would go camping as a family every summer. Alice, Ed and her girls would also make many voyages to Duluth for shopping trips. Alice would spend the whole day in Target looking for bargains. Some trips they ate both lunch and dinner in the store. As their girls were growing up, Alice and Ed worked hard to provide a good life for them. In the fall they would go ricing together; Alice was “the poler”, and Ed was the “ricer”. Their ricing even paid for a family trip to Disney World one Christmas. As a couple, Alice and Ed enjoyed going to “dance club” and playing cards with other couples.
Once the girls were both in school, Alice got a job as a preschool teacher. She loved her work and all of the children she taught. She was always telling stories about her preschoolers; she thought of them as her own children. Eventually Alice went back to school and earned her child development certificate. She eventually was offered her dream job teaching preschool at St. Thomas Catholic School. Unfortunately she was only able to do this for a short time, as the Cain family relocated to Iron Mountain for Ed’s work. It was then that she began working for HeadStart. They spent the next 23 years in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan where they enjoyed golfing and hosting visiting friends and family who came to stay.
In 2000, Alice’s life was turned upside down when she had a massive stroke, but she didn’t let it get her down for long. She worked to regain her speech and coordination. She and Ed began taking trips such as Hawaii and New York and spending a few months in Arizona each winter. In 2009, Ed and Alice moved to Prior Lake to be closer to their family. Alice rarely missed her grandkids’ hockey games, school events or dance recitals. She was a compassionate woman who showered everyone she met with love. Alice was determined, creative, organized and had a great sense of humor. She will always be remembered for her feisty spirit.
Alice will be missed deeply by loving her husband, Ed Cain; daughters, Beth (Larry) Crosby and Kristin (Will) Cayo; grandchildren, Tyler, Chloe, Sophie and Ethan; brothers, Mitch (Jay) Kawulia, Peter “Smoke” Kawulia, and Nick Kawulia; niece, Nancy (Mike) Biondich and their sons, Pete (Kendra) and Tom (Amber); other loving relatives and many friends.
Alice is preceded in death by her parents; infant son, Timmy; siblings, Helen Kawulia and Willie Kawulia.
Urn bearer for Alice is her grandson, Tyler Crosby.
Memorials are preferred and can be made in Alice’s honor to the Mayo Clinic (Heart Unit) or Falls Education Foundation.
The Cain family is served with honor, care and compassion by Ballard-Sunder Funeral & Cremation of Prior Lake.