May she rest in peace and rise in glory.
NEL HENTELEFF April 14, 1927 – February 2, 2015 Death came quietly to Nel during her afternoon nap on Monday, February 2, 2015. Born in Amsterdam April 14, 1927, she came to Winnipeg in 1953 for a one year research lab position at the Medical College. There she met Paul. September 1, 1954 they entered a 60 year loving marriage. Grieving now are Paul; five children, Jacob (Cobber), Marke, Sybil, Harry, Alexandra and their spouses; ten grandchildren; and three great-grandchildren. One daughter, Saskia, died in 1990. Nel was a very active person. She loved raising her children and the many family activities. When the children were older gardening became a passion. She volunteered with a number of community organizations including Winnipeg Horticultural Society (president), Manitoba Regional Lily Society, Manitoba Chamber Orchestra and St. Boniface Hospital Women’s Auxiliary. She was a lifelong learner (university courses) and a voracious reader.
She stimulated her children to follow the example. Nel always pointed us in new and exciting directions; a camping trip across Canada with six children under the age of 12; then four years later “the Trip” – a camping trip for 22 months across Europe and North Africa. At Nel’s urging, Paul changed his career to become medical director of palliative care at St. Boniface Hospital, the highlight of his career. It was Nel’s idea to move to an acreage in 1981, “the Willows”, where they shared their passion for gardening and then again to move to Victoria Crescent (2001) to continue gardening on a smaller scale.
In 2011 Nel recognized the possible challenges in future independence and they moved to Fred Douglas Place (gardening was downsized to indoor bulbs!) The last year of life was challenging due to health problems and drastic loss of mobility. Death came as a shock for us but as a peaceful release for Nel. She was particularly grateful through the years to Drs. Jack Hildes, P. Mehta, C. Bourque and P. Nemeth, physiotherapist Mary Eaton and, more recently, home care helpers Carmen, Muriel and Tess. We bid adieu to a radiant woman: wife, mother, grandmother. She asked bold questions and had demanding standards of behaviour. Her faith moved restlessly between worshipful adoration and theological discontent.
Nel’s funeral service, with Holy Communion at her request, will be held on Saturday, February 14, 2015, at 2:00 p.m. in St. John’s Anglican Cathedral, 135 Anderson Avenue with The Very Rev. Paul N. Johnson, presider. In lieu of flowers, out of compassion for the hungry, and conscious of Nel’s experience of the 1944 – 45 “hunger winter” under the Nazi occupation of Holland, please donate to the Canadian Food Grains Bank or to Winnipeg Harvest.
As published in the Winnipeg Free Press on February 10, 2015