In Memory Of


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"Helen" Elonka Stange

Jul 29, 1931 - Aug 23, 2023


  A private family service will be held later.


If one so desires, donations in memory of Helen Stange may be gratefully accepted to the Mountain Rose Women’s Shelter, 4708-46 St. Rocky Mountain House, T4T 1C5 or Caroline Meals on Wheels.


Elonka Helen Stange (nee Katona)
1931 – 2023
Helen passed away peacefully on August 23, 2023.
Helen leaves to mourn her children; Ida (Del) Jorgensen, Teresa (Henry) Kobbero, Brenda Houlton and Tom Stange along with twelve grandchildren (who affectionately called her Grama Chucky) and thirteen greatgrandchildren; sisters Mary White and Margaret Glew; a crew of nieces and nephews and her cousins the Bakos, Katona and Radi families.
Helen was predeceased by her children Mitchell and Diana Stange, her brothers John and Les Katona and her parents Ida and Gedeon Katona.
Elonka Katona was born July 29, 1931, in the Bridgeland District of Calgary, AB, she was the first daughter to Ida Bakos and Gedeon Katona, who had immigrated from Hungary a few years before. At the age of five years, Elonka and her brother Les, along with her parents, moved to a farm in the Shilo district near Caroline, AB. Once Elonka started school, she wanted an English name and was thereafter known as Helen. Helen first attended Shilo School, trekking two miles through the bush every morning and evening was frightening for a little girl, her mother often walked with her until her little brother Les was old enough to accompany her on the journey. Helen later attended South Fork school and at age sixteen, was part of the first group of students to complete Grade Ten in the Caroline School. Times were hard and Helen learned from her mother how to garden, milk cows, bake bread, process fruit and butcher, these chores were common to children in the 1930s and 40s. Upon finishing school Helen moved to Red Deer and worked at the Red Deer Hospital and Michner Centre, where on the job training was provided as nursing aids were in high demand after the war. Stories were told about sneaking out the dormitory windows at night and getting caught by the Matron, Mrs. McAllister. She loved her work at the hospital and often spoke of the kinship among the staff. In 1955 she ventured away from home and went to work as a cook in the lumber camps at Nakusp and Elko, BC., those workers surely ate very well that winter. John was part of the crew at that lumber camp, they worked to save enough to come back to Caroline, marry and work the family farm with Grandpa Stange. Helen had six children, Ida, Teresa, Brenda, Mithell, Diana and Tom. After her Mother Ida’s passing, she raised her youngest sister, Mary. With her abundance of empathy and patience she was temporary foster mom to many children through the years. Helen was proud to raise the kids on the farm, instilling strong work ethics and blessing us with compassion and love. She worked hard, often baking twenty-four loaves of bread a week, she had an extremely green thumb and loved her abundant gardens and flower beds. During the summer the most welcome sign in the field was mom’s car rolling down between the swaths, (tailgating had a whole different meaning then), hot food wrapped in newspaper and a thermos filled with Kool-Aid made for a welcome break. In the fall, her kitchen counters were full of jams, pickles, canned fruits and vegetables, smoked fish, plus there was always plenty of game to be butchered and wrapped, these gifts all prepared with love. Her homemade bread was a staple, on baking day there would be a big platter of fresh hot Beaver Tails ready for after school snacks. Helen could take a moose roast and a bucket of spuds and turn it into a meal fit for the queen, anyone who stopped at the farm was invited in for coffee and a sweet treat or a meal, no one left hungry from her table.
After her children grew up and left home, Helen left the farm as well, moving to Canmore and then to Sundre. During this time, she loved to travel and took every opportunity to travel with her children, from Hudson Bay to the Caribbean, Victoria to Nova Scotia and beyond, she relished every journey. A special trip to Hungary was taken in 2003 where she was able to connect with her cousins and discover her heritage. Later, she would recall the stories of her travels with laughter and was forever grateful that she had those experiences. After suffering several strokes, Helen moved to the Sunset Manor in Innisfail in 2011 and resided there until her passing. Helen’s pleasant personality and funny whit made it easy for the staff to love her like a mother, she woke up every morning and went to bed every night with hugs and good wishes from her caregivers.
This lovely happy lady, with the biggest heart, is now reunited with her departed loved ones and will leave a huge void among those who loved her dearly.

A private family service will be held later.

If one so desires, donations in memory of Helen Stange may be gratefully accepted to the Mountain Rose Women’s Shelter, 4708-46 St. Rocky Mountain House, T4T 1C5 or Caroline Meals on Wheels.

Cremation entrusted to the Rocky Mountain Crematorium, Rocky Mountain House, Alberta.
Rocky and Sylvan Lake Funeral Homes and Crematorium, your Golden Rule Funeral Homes, entrusted with the arrangements, 403 845 2626


Pat Ironside:

Ida I am so sorry for the loss of your mom. I will always remember her from the ski trip we went on to Panorama. May you hold all the precious memories close. She will be watching down on you from heaven.

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