Obituary of HELEN LEFKO
Helen Lefko (Noga)
Peacefully, with family at her side, the sun shining and lilacs in bloom, our “purple tornado” Helen passed away on Sunday May 30, 2021.
Helen leaves her daughter Deenie, her sons in law, Joe Halas and Alan Smith (Anita), grandsons Franklin (Alyssa) and Stephen (Jodi), and brothers Ted (Carol) and Andy (Daviette), and sister-in-law Linda Sue. She also leaves many Noga, Lefko, Halas, and Smith relatives, countless friends, and scores of young people who all considered her their purple Baba.
Helen was predeceased by her husband Frank, her daughter Madelene, her brothers Paul and Larry, and her sisters Madelene and Lynda.
Born in 1931, Helen grew up on a bustling farm in Arnes Manitoba. She inherited her exuberant spirit from her mother Pauline, and throughout her life balanced a strong work ethic with a passion for fun, food, laughter and love. She married Frank in 1952, and moved to Winnipeg with their two young daughters in 1957. Their home on Boyd was an epicentre for gatherings, the table always surrounded by family and friends enjoying Helen’s delicious Ukrainian cooking.
Helen was an amazing mom, instilling in her daughters a “nothing you can’t do” attitude. In their perogy-making sessions, Madelene, Deenie and Helen would laugh, cry, and solve the world’s problems, all the while deepening their incredible bond.
Although she had left the farm, Helen remained a country girl – bonfires, guitars, and late night crooning carried on over the years, in Arnes by summer, and at Larry’s ranch in Arizona by winter.
Helen and Frank enjoyed travel, including warm destinations with friends Pete and Vera and Marilyn and Steve; frequent trips to be close to Madelene and Al whose career paths took them to different parts of Canada, and a visit to England when Deenie did a teaching exchange. Helen could never be far from her loved ones for long.
As a working mom, Helen held many jobs, her last with VON as a homeware worker. In retirement she took on her happiest role as Baba to her grandsons. She provided child-care when they were little, free taxi service as they grew up, and never missed one of their hockey, soccer, music or Ukrainian dance performances.
It’s not clear when the colour purple began to take over Helen’s decor, clothing, finger nails, sunglasses, even her hair! Larry named a certain “Purple Mountain” in AZ after her and for a birthday party she was once crowned the Purple Rose of Arnes. But the most fitting name to all who knew her was the Purple Tornado.
Alas, following a stroke in 2011, Helen had to slow down. She lived her last decade at Actionmarguerite St. Boniface. For most of those years, Helen was able go out with her family for Sunday fish and chip lunches at the Forks – many dear friends would make a point of joining her there. Then it was off to Deenie’s to delight, as she always had, in a houseful of family, company, children and pets. She had sewn such love in her life, and to the end she revelled in the love that came back to her.
Please plant a patch of purple in your garden for Helen. Donations in her memory may be made to Heart and Stroke or a charity of choice.
We thank the wonderful staff at Actionmarguerite from the bottom of our hearts.
Given the times, a small family service will be live-streamed on Saturday, June 12th at 10 a.m. Interment will follow at Holy Family cemetery.
Nos plus sincères sympathies à la famille et aux amis de HELEN
LEFKO 1931 2021..
Décès pour la Ville: Winnipeg, Province: Manitoba