KLASA, Helen Frances, B.Ed
March 29, 1932 – Montreal, Quebec
March 15, 2014 – Calgary, Alberta
Helen Klasa (nee Grzywna) passed away peacefully attended by her children at Chinook Hospice in Calgary on Saturday, March 15, 2014 at the age of 81 years. She had been ill for less than a month. Helen was born on March 29, 1932 in Montreal, where her parents had settled after emigrating from southern Poland a decade earlier. She was raised in the Rosemount area and graduated with distinction from D'Arcy McGee High School in 1949. She entered nursing school at the Royal Victoria Hospital and the same year was introduced to John Klasa, also from the Polish community and a World War II veteran. They married in 1951 and settled in Rosemount. After the birth of a son and daughter, Helen began studies for a career in education and received a Diploma from St. Joseph's Teachers College in 1963. She went on to teach grade school in that same Montreal neighbourhood for more than 30 years, all the while advancing in her profession and growing a family. In 1969 she gave birth to her third child and in 1976 she earned a Bachelors degree in Education from McGill University. She subsequently added other credentials in special education and was about to complete her coursework for a Masters degree from McGill when her husband's illness caused her to retire. She was fond of saying that she had taught the children of some of her students in her long career. In retirement, Helen lived in Vancouver and Calgary. She volunteered with civic tourism agencies in both cities, and involved herself in many seniors activities. She travelled widely, and served as an officer in her building association in Calgary. Helen was predeceased by her parents, Frances and Stanislaus; a sister who died in infancy; and her husband John. She is survived by her children Dr. Richard Klasa (Carol Yaple) of Vancouver; Christina Elliott (Steve) of New Westminster; Dr. Marc Klasa (Rita) of Calgary, and grandchildren Adrienne Klasa of London, UK and Matthew Klasa of Montreal. If friends so desire, Memorial tributes may be made directly to the , 200 – 325 Manning Road N.E., Calgary, AB T2E 2P5 Phone: (403) 205-3966, email donorservices@cancer.ab.ca or to the Canadian Diabetes Association, #204, 2323 – 32nd Avenue N.E., Calgary, AB T2E 6Z3 Phone: (403) 266-0620, ext. 112, www.diabetes.ca. Please forward condolences through Alberta Burial and Cremation website.
Telephone: (403) 299-0123

Funeral Home

Heritage Funeral Centre
50 Overlea Blvd. Toronto, ON M4H 1B6
(416) 423-1000

Published in National Post on Mar. 22, 2014