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VERA ADA HELWER Obituary pic


Date of Passing: Apr 26, 2021

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Vera Helwer passed away peacefully at the Assiniboine Centre, on Monday, April 26, 2021.
She will be lovingly remembered and forever missed by her husband of 64 years, Ron Helwer; by her daughter, Sherry Helwer (Bob Cummings), grandson, Rafe Helwer; by her son Reg Helwer (Aynsley) grandchildren, Jess Stobbe (Nevin), great-grandson Keaton; Andrew Helwer (Elizabeth Chang); Carolyn Helwer (Brett Zaccaria); and Adam Helwer; and by her daughter, Gail Helwer (Larry Obelnicki), grandchildren Bronya Obelnicki and Taras Obelnicki. She will also be missed by her sisters, Elsie Bernat, Mary Forslund and Ida Zebinski; and by her brother, Roy Lloyd; as well as many relatives and friends. She was predeceased by her parents, Tekla and Adam Katazinski; by her sister, Margaret Dancho; and by her brothers, Willie Katazinski and Alex Katazinski.
Vera was an exceptional gardener, with her beautiful flower beds and abundant vegetable gardens. She planted and harvested a full garden at age 91, and had plans for doing the same this year. Vera was a wonderful cook and baker and was the great organizer of many large, happy family gatherings and dinners. She had a sweet tooth, especially enjoying chocolate and desserts. Vera loved her home. She enjoyed sitting in her favourite chair, reading books on her iPad or watching curling, with her Schnauzer, Charlie, by her side. There was always a jigsaw puzzle on the go.
Vera was an accomplished seamstress, sewing many clothes and quilts, including beautiful figure skating dresses, Ukrainian dance costumes and beautiful dresses for her granddaughters. Vera and Ron enjoyed playing cribbage and bridge and she had great luck when she played. She continued her luck playing the nickel and quarter slots on visits to Reno and Las Vegas. Vera was not a huge fan of travel, but when persuaded, she and Ron enjoyed trips to Australia, New Zealand, Fiji, Europe, Russia and all over the United States. Vera was especially grateful to be able to travel to Poland and Belarus, the homelands of her parents. She learned to ski in her early 40s and continued to ski into her 70s. There were many family winter ski vacations with close family friends.
We also have many happy memories of family times spent together at the cottage at Clear Lake. Vera spent many years involved with ITC (formerly Toastmasters) and enjoyed attending conferences and valued the many friendships she made. Vera took great pride and interest in keeping up with her siblings, her children and grandchildren. She was a very proud great-grandmother. As a former school teacher, Vera had a lifelong love of learning. She taught her children to read at a young age and encouraged them to work hard at their studies. Getting an education was very important to her. She developed an interest in Eastern European History and read widely in that area in her 80s and 90s.
The family would like to express their gratitude to Dr. Carine Minders and all the other doctors, nurses and staff for their excellent care of Vera.
A private family service was held at the Brockie Donovan Chapel on Monday, May 3, 2021, with interment at the Brandon Cemetery.
Flowers are graciously declined. If friends so desire, donations in memory of Vera may be made to the Brandon Regional Health Centre Foundation, 150 McTavish Avenue East, Brandon MB R7A 2B3 or to a charity of choice.

Arrangements are in care of Brockie Donovan Funeral & Cremation Services, Brandon, MB, (204) 727-0694.

Messages of condolence may be placed at

Publish Date: May 8, 2021


Vera Ada Helwer, 92 years, beloved wife of Ron Helwer, loving mother to Sherry, Reg and Gail, passed away at the Assiniboine Centre in Brandon on Monday, April 26, 2021.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Brandon Regional Health Centre Foundation or a charity of your choice.
Full obituary to follow at a later date.

Expressions of sympathy may be made at

Publish Date: Apr 28, 2021

As published in Winnipeg Free Press on Apr 28, 2021, May 08, 2021

Condolences & Memories (4 entries)

  • I am very fondly thinking of the Helwer family and their respective friends. - Posted by: Philip () on: Feb 01, 2022

  • Vera was much more than a sister-in-law. She was my Grade One teacher in Libau. I loved having her as my teacher, and feel she gave me a good start. When I returned to University at age 38, she was very supportive, encouraging me to get my degree. I often stayed over at Ron and Vera’s one night a week to make the drive from Killarney a little easier. She was happy to offer her hospitality. I feel fortunate to have had her mentorship and support. - Posted by: Marge Hanssen (Sister-in-law) on: Apr 28, 2021

  • My sincere condolences to the Helwer family in their loss. Our association and friendship with the family goes back many years. - Posted by: Al Taylor (Friends) on: Apr 28, 2021

  • My deepest condolences to the Helwer family. I had the privilege of having Mrs. Helwer as a teacher in the early grades in Libau. Merle Anderson - Posted by: Merle Anderson (Student) on: Apr 28, 2021

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