Mildred Sophia Heller, of St. Jacobs, died on Saturday, October 26, 2019, at the age of 99 years.
Mildred was the cherished wife, for 67 years, of the late Lorne Heller (2012). She was the proud and loving mother of Keith Heller and his wife Dolores Smith of Hudson, Quebec, and Karen Cronin and her husband Timothy of St. Jacobs. Grandma is also missed by Tracey Cronin (Craig Hanley), Matthew Heller, Patricia Cronin (Kyle Grundy), Christine Bercovitch (Neil Bercovitch), David Cronin (Juli) and Joshua Heller (Marie Mathieu). Liam, Sophia, Nora (Hanley), Avery, Alexa, Stella, Logan (Grundy) and Caelem, Gideon, Evelyn (Cronin), Elle, Lennox, Pia (Heller) and Leo (Bercovitch) were also very lucky to have known their great-grandmother. Mildred was predeceased by her grandson, Kevin Cronin (2000).
Mildred was born to Louis and Violet Schweitzer on February 15, 1920. She was raised with her three sisters, Vera, Norma and Ruth at New Jerusalem, and attended New Jerusalem School.
Mildred fell for a boy from St. Jacobs, Lorne Heller, slightly before the outbreak of the Second World War. While Lorne served with the Canadian Medical Corps as a medic in Sicily, Italy, France, Belgium and the Netherlands during the war, Mildred moved to Louisa Street in Kitchener and worked as a piece worker at the Forsyth Shirt factory. Mildred and Lorne kept in touch throughout the war by letters. In the fall of 1945 Lorne came home and promptly married Mildred, on November 10, 1945.
Lorne and Mildred bought and settled on a small farm, just outside of St. Jacobs. Lorne agreed, however, that Mildred would not have to go out and work in the barn. Mildred kept house and worked as a full-time wife and mother until she and Lorne opened "Rural Hardware" around 1953. The hardware store served the local community for nearly 40 years until Lorne and Mildred retired in 1992. While she raised her children, Mildred was a member of the St. Jacobs Women’s Institute, St. James ELW and was a Sunday School teacher at St. James Lutheran Church in St. Jacobs. Mildred always made time for her grandchildren and encouraged them to stay in school and enjoy the privilege that she did not have.
Mildred has lived at Columbia Forest LTC home in Waterloo for many years. Keith, Karen and the rest of the family would like to give our thanks for the compassionate care that she received at Columbia Forest. Mildred’s family would also like to extend their deepest and most heartfelt thanks to Mary-Jane Berry and Michelle Delsaut, who cared for and showed such great kindness to Mildred these last years. Finally, we would also like to thank the St. James ELW for always remembering Mildred.
Friends are invited to share their memories of Mildred with her family during visitation on Friday, November 1, 2019 from 6-9 p.m. at the Dreisinger Funeral Home, Elmira.
Mildred and her husband Lorne were lifelong and active members of their church, St. James Lutheran Church in St. Jacobs. Mildred’s family welcomes friends and family to join them at the church for the funeral service to remember and celebrate Mildred’s life on Saturday, November 2, 2019 at 2 p.m., followed by interment in St. James Lutheran Cemetery. All are welcome to join us for a reception at St. James immediately following the interment.
Donations in her memory may be made to Diabetes Canada, the Poppy Fund, Royal Canadian Legion, Elmira Branch 469, or to the St. Jacobs Lions Club.