With sadness yet grateful for a beautiful life well lived, the family announces that Helga was called home peacefully to be with her Lord and Saviour from the Stillwater Creek Retirement Home on Thursday morning, January 18, 2024. She was 95 years of age. Beloved wife of 48 years of the late Antoni Golota. Dearly loved mother of Wolf Haucke (Carol); Alex Golota, and Marianne (Golota) Charron (Gilles). Predeceased by a son, Bernie Haucke (Marita). Cherished and lovingly remembered by her 5 grandchildren: Jody Haucke (Thea), Cheryl Tremblay (Dan), Matthew Haucke (Meddy), Eric Charron (James) and Jessica Race (Ryan); 5 great-grandchildren: Kathleen and Kira, Sarah and Mya and Riley and 2 great-great-grandchildren: Sylvie and Evelyn.
Helga, a woman of many endearing titles – “Mom”, “Nanni”, “Grandma”, “Great Grandma”, and even “Great-Great Grandma” – passed away peacefully leaving behind a collection of cherished memories and a legacy of love that will endure for generations to come.
Born on March 12, 1928 in Berlin, Germany, Helga’s journey through life began. She grew up as a young teenager during the war and experienced terrible hardships. She faced the challenges of the time with remarkable courage and resilience. These early experiences shaped her character, molding her into a woman of strength who never took the blessings of life for granted. On March 17, 1952, St. Patrick’s Day, Helga set foot on Canadian soil in Ontario, marking the beginning of a new chapter in her life. The symbolism of arriving on a day associated with luck and celebration was fitting for Helga having overcome such adversity and embracing the opportunity for a fresh start.
Helga’s journey unfolded across continents, ultimately shaping a narrative that she captured within the pages of her own book – a testament to a life so remarkable it needed to be shared. She lived a life defined by courage, resilience, unwavering kindness, boundless compassion, and a steadfast devotion to her loved ones. A pillar of strength and an inspiration to her family, friends, and community, Helga’s legacy is one of love, warmth, and the enduring impact of a life lived with a generous heart.
Some of the most cherished memories of Helga include the family gatherings at the cottage, where laughter echoed through the air and family was captivated by stories she shared about her life, creating a tapestry of family history that will be passed down through the generations. Helga’s love for swimming transformed simple moments into cherished memories as she spent countless hours enjoying the water with her family. Her bilingual charm added a unique touch to family conversations, as she seamlessly interwove German words into her English, creating a linguistic bridge between generations. Helga’s nimble fingers braided hair and created wildflower crowns with love, and she patiently taught the art of crochet, leaving behind not just mittens, barbie and doll clothes, blankets and “lumpens”, but tangible expressions of her care and skill.
Family gatherings at Helga’s house were not just occasions, but celebrations of togetherness that will forever be etched in the hearts of those who were fortunate enough to be a part of them. This open and welcoming invitation was extended to all family members, furry and feathery alike, through her love of pets. It was not uncommon to have 2 or 3 pets running or flying around the house!
Sunday dinners and special occasions were marked by masterfully crafted meals (that included her meatballs, purple cabbage, “Nunne Ferzchen”, and special German birthday cakes), followed by rehearsed plays performed by the grandchildren and walks to the park. Even now, her recipes live on as her great-granddaughter faithfully crafts her stuffing for American Thanksgiving dinner, shared with Helga’s great-great granddaughters. Family circles before dinner, where Helga led us in saying Grace, will forever be etched in our memories. Her unwavering faith and gratitude created a sense of unity and love that defined our family gatherings.
Christmas was a particularly magical time, and the memories of Christmas Eve and midnight mass hold a special place in our hearts. The entire family would gather for a night of laughter, shared meals prepared by everyone, and a warmth that made the holiday season truly cozy and welcoming. Helga instilled the true spiritual meaning of Christmas, emphasizing the importance of coming together as a family to celebrate Jesus’s birthday. The sound of off-key carols and shared laughter became a cherished tradition.
On her 90th birthday, Helga showcased her spirit of vitality by engaging in a favourite pastime – bowling! Her enthusiasm and energy were an inspiration to us all, a testament to her zest for life. Family recalls how Helga’s playful spirit extended to Halloween many years ago when she surprised everyone by attending a party in costume, leaving everyone guessing until she revealed her identity as Nanni! Her ability to bring joy and surprise to any occasion was one her of her many endearing qualities.
Helga’s love for language shone through in her enjoyment of Scrabble, a game that not only brought joy, but also taught her English. Her quick wit and sense of humour were legendary, as was her passion for puzzles, her “down and out” victories in Canasta, and her occasional inappropriate remarks that kept the family on their toes, creating joy even in the face of life’s challenges.
Helga’s faith was an unwavering source of strength, and her stories of healing and encounters with Jesus inspired all who were privileged to hear them. Her love extended beyond family, reaching out to countless people she fed or supported, exemplifying her caring and giving nature. Never known to harbor anger, Helga's gentle spirit was a calming force in the lives of those who knew her. Her faith was not just a personal strength but a guiding light for others, a source of support during life's trials.
As we mourn the loss of Helga, let us also celebrate the extraordinary life she led. She leaves behind a legacy of love, patience, bravery, resilience, wisdom, unwavering faith, and the importance of cherishing every moment. In honoring Helga's memory, may we strive to live our lives with the same grace and compassion that she so beautifully exemplified.
Thank you Helga, “Mom”, “Nanni”, “Grandma”, “Great Grandma”, “Great-Great Grandma” – for all that you have given us.
God bless you – much love always
Helga’s final care and arrangements have been entrusted to the
Pilon Family Funeral Home and Chapel Ltd., 50 John Street North, Arnprior.
Family and friends are invited to a Funeral Mass to be celebrated in St. Patrick’s Church, 15 Steeple Hill Crescent, Nepean (Fallowfield) on Wednesday morning, January 24th at 11 o’clock.
A reception will follow in the Parish Hall.
Spring interment Hope Cemetery, Ottawa.
In memory, please consider a donation to the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Ontario.