Obituary of Helen Andres
Andres, Helen – Passed away peacefully at Bethany Lodge, Unionville, Ontario, on Tuesday, April 9, 2019 at the age of 98 years. Devoted and beloved wife of the late Jacob Andres (1974). Dear Mother of the late Amanda Pirson (2002). Dear Sister of the late Mary Paula Schmidt (2018). She will be sadly missed by her daughters Marianne (Trevor) Wagstaff, North Devon, England and Lillian (Dennis) Langfried of Richmond Hill, Ontario. Grandmother of Carolyn Dodwell, Duncan Wagstaff, Daniel Langfried, and Allison Langfried. Great Grandmother to: Emily, Lois, and Samuel Dodwell (North Devon, England); Caitlin and Tess Elena Wagstaff (London, England); Jeremiah Langfried (Ottawa, Ontario); Achilles Sideris (Richmond Hill, Ontario). Cousin, Sister-in-Law and Aunt to many other family relatives and friends. Helen attended Brethren In Christ Church, while living in Niagara Falls. She attended various Church services in St. Catharines, before moving to Bethany Lodge. Her Christian faith was a very important part of her life and this shone through by her loving, gentle, kind, and generous nature.
Helen was born in Liebenau, Russia on February 7, 1921. She was the oldest of three daughters born to the late Johannes and Anna Unrau.
After the Russian revolution, times were very unsettled, and so aided by the Mennonite Central Committee, the family fled the Ukraine in 1924. They settled in Altona, Manitoba having been given some land to farm. Crops were poor and the depression hit, so it was during late 1930’s, the Unrau family moved to the Niagara area in hopes of finding a better life. They settled in Niagara-on-the-Lake where the family farmed. Helen was 16 and her Sister Mary 12, at the time of the move. The middle Sister, Johanna, had passed away at a very young age. Helen worked outside the home in various domestic jobs to bring in money for the family, while Mary stayed home to help with the farm chores and work by her Mother’s side in the kitchen.
On April 26, 1945, at the age of 24 years, Helen Unrau married Jacob Andres. The marriage took place at the Niagara United Mennonite Church, Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario. Helen and Jake had many happy years together. While Jake worked outside of the home, Helen worked diligently as the homemaker for many years. Together, Jake and Helen raised their 3 daughters, Marianne, Mandy and Lilly, all born within 3 and one half years of one another. While living in Niagara Falls, Helen and Jake attended the Brethren in Christ Church. Helen and Jake were keen that their girls should have a good Christian foundation. The girls attended Sunday school and as they grew older, took part in the Youth Groups, Youth Services and Pioneer Girls. Here and at home they saw the love of God at work.
Helen’s younger Sister, Mary, who lived not far away in St. Catharines, was a big part of her life. They would write daily, and visit almost weekly. Helen loved to read and study. Being fluent in English, German and some Russian, she learned Spanish, French and Italian, in home self- studies. Her daily Bible reading was a constant routine passed on from her parents.
Jake became quite ill in 1973. He passed away in February of 1974. They had shared almost 29 years together. After two of the daughters married and left home, Helen moved to St. Catharines to be closer to her Sister. For quite a number of years, Helen continued to provide loving care and support to her middle daughter, Mandy, whose health and stability were a constant challenge. In June of 2002, Mandy passed and this left Helen shattered but her faith gave her strength and the courage to carry on. She continued with her reading, studies, artwork and other hobbies. Most of all she enjoyed the companionship of her Sister. They were both a tremendous help to one another.
It was in August of 2010 that Helen decided to move into Bethany Lodge in Unionville to be closer to her younger daughter, Lilly. Her Sister Mary also moved into Bethany in August of 2012. Until Mary’s passing in late August of 2018, they enjoyed many activities together such as art work, hymn sing, Ministry meetings and choir. They spent more than 6 years together at Bethany. Helen’s health began to rapidly decline over the past year. After her 98th birthday on February 7th, she had a fall and never fully recovered. Helen was called to her heavenly home by her Friend and Saviour, Jesus Christ, on April 9th, 2019.
Helen had a life that was blessed by Christian parents, a dear Sister, a faithful husband, 3 daughters, 4 grandchildren and 7 great grandchildren. All of whom loved her dearly. Her life was a struggle financially and physically but she would count her blessings daily and give thanks to God. She was a great listener and encourager, helping anyone when she could. Let us mourn her passing, but celebrate her life, always remembering that she now is at home with our Lord Jesus.
Friends will be received at the Vineland Chapel of Tallman Funeral Homes, 3277 King St, on Sunday, April 28th 6-8 pm. The funeral service will be held on Monday, April 29th at 11:00 am with reception to follow in the Tallman Fireside Room. Interment at Lundy’s Lane Cemetery in Niagara Falls. If desired, memorial donations may be made to Markham Stouffville Hospital, Arthritis Society of Canada or a charity of choice.