NEUFELD, Helena

helena_neufeld
Helena was born in Nieder Chortiza, Ukraine, on June 15, 1911. Helena was the first born child to Johann Thiessen and Helena Vogt. Her mother passed on to be with the Lord before young Helena reached 11 years old. In her 10 young years, she also lost 2 sisters and a brother, leaving behind herself, her brother Hein, and her Father Johann. After the sudden loss of his wife, Johann remarried and brought home a new mother, Anna Thiessen, when Helena was 11 years of age. Helena often expressed gratefulness for the nurture and care she received from her new mom who mothered her and her brother Hein like her very own. In the coming years, 2 more sisters were added to the family ; Anna and Sarah. The Thiessens lived in the village of Nieder Chortiza, Ukraine, a beautiful fertile Mennonite Settlement on the Dneiper River. Upon Helena's confession of faith, she was baptized on June 10, 1930. She grew up in this lovely village where she fell in love with Isaak Neufeld and they were married on November 9, 1930. Helena was 19 and Isaak was 20 years old. Many are the beautiful stories we could tell surrounding their courtship and wedding as Helena was much of a romantic. She told of how flowers were picked and braided to be placed around the chairs in the outdoor yard for their reception. The women baked zwieback and cooked many things, inviting all the people in the village to attend. Shortly after their marriage, times in Europe deteriorated and became very difficult and Isaak and Helena found themselves caring for Isaak's youngest sister Marie for 9 years. Five children were born during these years in Europe. Throughout the Second World War, Isaak, Helena and family fled for safety and were separated for a time. Helena's faith in the Lord Jesus Christ was a refuge for this mother and wife who lived with many uncertainties. Helena met up with her husband again and lived with their five children in a refugee camp in Holland, under the supervision of the Mennonite Central Committee (MCC). The MCC made it possible for them to come to Canada in 1947. Three more children were added to the family throughout their years in Alberta. The family made their home in Swalwell, Alberta for 13 years, then lived in Three Hills before moving to Calgary where they spent over 20 years. Her beloved Isaak passed away in 1987. Shortly thereafter, Helena moved back to Three Hills and stayed at the Lodge for nine years. She was quite sad when the time came to move into long-term care where she stayed for seven years. Through it all, she kept a survivor spirit and was always thankful, able to shift her disappointments into something positive and that God would want her to be content and 'bloom where she was planted'. During all of her transitions, Helena's commitment to Christ was very evident as she often reminded us of the many times God answered her cries for help in miraculous ways! She was continually thankful, very forgiving, and never held a grudge. Helena was open to learning from others, hospitable and loving, always a hug and a kiss:) She took great joy in her grandchildren and great grandchildren, remembering them with cards and gifts and had an ability to make each one feel special. Helena's story of her life has always been a part of who she was and she always reminded us of God's protection, his hand leading throughout their many hardships. Within her lies not just the passing of a person, but the passing of an era, the experience of two World Wars, a passage from communism at its worst, surviving the Ukrainian starvation and being homeless for close to five years in Europe during their journey to freedom. In spite of trauma, in the most desperate times, she was able to have hope in the future, faith that there was a better life, a belief that love prevails and she was very brave. She leaves this as our legacy. Helena would want all the glory to go to God and she has been so very thankful for the many loving hands that God used to accomplish their safe arrival where they could feel like they were at home and 'belonged' in Canada. Her main activity was writing letters to all of her relatives and encouraging them. Staff members of Three Hills Extendicare became like family to Helena. The family would like to express their thanks and appreciation to the staff for their patience and loving care of Helena, especially during these last trying months. Helena was predeceased by her parents; husband Isaak, two sons (Hans in infancy and Henry in 2006); three siblings in infancy; sister Anna Epp; brother Hein Thiessen; two sons in law, Leoran Koch and Kenneth Breadner; and daughter in law, Eileen Neufeld. Helena is survived by her sister Sarah Enns; daughter Helen (Three Hills, AB); son John and his wife Millie (Linden AB); daughter Elizabeth and her husband Ronald Wold (Three Hills, AB); son Siegfried and his wife Anne (Calgary, AB); son Walter and his wife Agnes (Sherwood Park, AB); son Alvin (Abbotsford, BC); and daughter Maryanne and her husband Jake Rempel (Valleyview, AB); 42 grandchildren; 48 great-grandchildren, their spouses and three great-great-grandchildren; and a host of relatives, some still in Europe; and friends who will all miss her. Throughout the time in extended care, Helena often expressed her desire to go home...and now she has gone to her eternal home. Condolences may be sent to the family at www.condolences@sunsetltd.ca, and memorial donations may be made to MCC 210 2946 32 St NE Calgary, AB T1Y 6J7. Committal Services were held Friday, August 27, 2010 at Queen's Park Cemetery and Memorial Services were held Saturday, August 28, 2010 at Mt Olive Evangelical Free Church, Three Hills, AB. Arrangements in care of SUNSET FUNERAL SERVICE, Linden, Alberta. 403-546-3903.