April 2, 1927 – April 10, 2020
It is with both sadness and joy that we announce the passing of Helene into the presence of her Saviour Jesus, whom she loved, trusted and longed to meet in heaven.
She was born into the turbulent aftermath of the Russian revolution in Wohldemfuerst, a Mennonite colony in southern Russia. Miraculously, her family was able to emigrate to Krefeld, Germany in 1934 where, despite WWII, she experienced a relatively carefree childhood, and following the war was able to study at Heidelberg University. In 1948, the family immigrated to Canada, settling in Winnipeg, where she eventually was hired for a managerial position by IBM, receiving generous pay and benefits.
In 1954, she married Edward Erwin Fast, and following completion of his dental education at the University of Toronto, they moved to Vancouver in 1955 where they raised their family of 8 children in the Kerrisdale area. In 1986, Helene moved with her husband to Abbotsford, BC, spending the remaining years of her life in this loving and caring community.
Helene sacrificed career for family, pouring her full energy into her children. With remarkable discipline, she instilled a love for music in her children and grandchildren, patiently guiding them into mastering instruments such as the piano, cello, violin, guitar, recorder and flute. She set the bar high for accomplishment, yet remained ever the encourager. Gifted with a sharp intellect and godly wisdom, and having a broad knowledge of many subjects, Helene spoke immeasurable counsel into the lives of her family and her many friends and acquaintances.
Most importantly, she placed her trust in Jesus Christ at a young age, and chose to follow him for the rest of her life. She had a heart filled with an unquenchable desire to share the good news of the Christian gospel with others. She hosted Good News Clubs in her home under the auspices of Child Evangelism Fellowship, spoke hope into the lives of many through personal encounters, and in her early 80’s established the Hannah Family Support Society that seeks to share this good news with orphaned children in Russia.
Our family is deeply grateful to God for the countless blessings we all experienced under her care and influence, and we look forward to a glorious reunion in the presence of our resurrected Saviour.
She leaves behind Edward, her husband of 65 years, her children Ed (Annette), Paul (Ruth), Marie-Louise (Johannes), Leona (Reinhard), Ingrid (Eduard), Charlotte (John), Walter (Anne), Hildegarde (Beatie), 35 grandchildren and 73 great-grandchildren. A memorial service will be held at a later date. Donations in memory of Helene to Hannah Family Support Society, 1672 W. 1st Ave., Vancouver, BC V6J 1G1.
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