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Ila Patel, born in Zanzibar to Indian parents Sharda/Raoji Patel, passed away peacefully in Wuppertal, Germany on May 22, 2023.
She leaves behind a devoted family of sisters - Leena and Aparna, brothers - Mark and Arvind (Carol), niece Sita (David), nephew Kiran (Nicole), grandniece Sophia and grandnephews - Cole and Luca.
Ila spent a carefree childhood with her four siblings and many cousins in Zanzibar. After finishing high school at St. Joseph’s Convent, Ila graduated with a Bachelor of Arts and Diploma in Education from the University of Reading, UK. Fluent in English, Swahili, Gujarati and German, she began her teaching career in the UK before making her home in Germany. Ila spent 36 years teaching English to generations of students in the Karl Fuhlrott Gymnasium, Wuppertal. She had a reputation as a strict but fair teacher with an open and cheerful manner. She was respected by her colleagues for sharing her encyclopedic knowledge of English. In Wuppertal, Ila created a wonderful life with lasting friendships.
During holidays, she was on the move - driving to England, Holland, Denmark and France to visit friends and family and spending summers with family in the USA and Canada.
After retiring in 2008, Ila moved to Winnipeg to be with family. It was not long before Ila had developed many close friendships in Winnipeg, while maintaining her German friends close through annual trips to Wuppertal.
Ila loved the arts, especially ballet, opera, and theatre. In this regard, both Wuppertal and Winnipeg were the right places for her, providing many opportunities to attend performances. Crossword puzzles, reading and armchair tennis were her other passions.
All her life, it mattered to Ila to reach out, to care, and to engage people with friendliness. Her friendships from all over the world were legendary. As one friend said of the years with Ila, “It was a time with a wonderful life-affirming personality, who was genuinely interested in everyone she met. She had incredible charisma and leaves a shining track behind.”
Being born in Zanzibar, studying and working in England and Germany, before retiring in Canada, she was truly multi-cultural, cosmopolitan - a citizen of the world. Her motto seemingly was: “There are no strangers here: Only friends you haven’t yet met.”
She will be missed much by her family and friends around the world.
A celebration of Ila’s life will be held on Saturday, July 29, 2023, at Thomson “In the Park” Funeral Home, 1291 McGillivray Blvd. at 2:00 p.m.
THOMSON “IN THE PARK”
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As published in Winnipeg Free Press on Jul 15, 2023
Condolences & Memories (3 entries)
I have been thinking of you many times Leena. Ila will not be forgotten. To me Ila was such an outgoing friendly person. To know her was to love her. Ila is a big loss for all of us. Much love, and keep in touch. Mary R. - Posted by: Mary Reimer (Friend) on: Jul 29, 2023
Oh Leena, so sorry for the loss of your sister Ila. Will will miss seeing her at the usual Christmas party. Mitch and Rosi. - Posted by: Mitch and Rosi vodrey (Friends) on: Jul 17, 2023
So sorry for your loss Dr. Patel. Sending you happy thoughts and memories. - Posted by: Lois (Friend worked at Children’s HSC) on: Jul 15, 2023
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