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HELEN RATTAI (published on April 29, 2009)

HELEN RATTAI (nee BANASH) It is with deep sadness that we announce the peaceful passing of our beloved mother, grandmother, and great-grandmother Helen on Friday April 24, 2009 at the Beausejour Hospital. Remaining to forever cherish Helen's memory are her children, Florence Regehr and Richard (Pat) Rattai; grandchildren, Carol (Farley) Pollock, David (Beth) Regehr, Debbie (Rick) Stefansson, and Kevin (Shelley) Rattai; treasured great-grandchildren, Kristin Pollock, Brydan and Sara Regehr, Torrie, Kaylee and Shaylyn Stefansson, and Sheyanne and Abby Rattai; and many nieces and nephews. She was predeceased by her husband Adolph in July 2008, great-grandson James in 1990 and her seven siblings. Helen was born May 14, 1912 to Thomas and Paulina Banash, the seventh of eight children. She grew up on the farm in the Sandhills area north of Beausejour. In 1935 she married Adolph Rattai and they set up their homestead in Green Oak Manitoba. There they raised their two children, Florence and Richard, and resided there until their semi-retirement in 1967 when they moved to Beausejour. During the difficult early homesteading years Helen was integral to the success of the farm. She was a tireless worker with seemingly unlimited energy who was involved in every aspect of the farm, from the back-breaking toil of clearing the land, picking sticks and stones, to helping with the thrashing and harvest and care of the livestock. She took great pride in her gardening, canning, cooking, sewing, and crocheting. After moving to Beausejour Helen assisted in founding ARC Industries in Beausejour. She was employed there for several years in the late 1960s and early 1970s and took a great deal of satisfaction in working with the people who attended the program. She continued to maintain a large garden at her new home in Beausejour, and it gave her endless pleasure to be able to pass on her bountiful fruits and vegetables and beautiful flowers to her family at every opportunity. Through a full lifetime that nearly spanned a century, Helen exemplified through her words and her deeds the true meaning of selflessness and service. What can I do for you? , or What can I give you today? was something she asked of all who visited her. Courageous and independent-minded when the need arose, she was always one to put others first. She will always be remembered and loved for her wonderful sense of humour and her sweet disposition. She will be deeply missed and cherished forever by the family whom she was so devoted to. A celebration of Helen's life will be held on Friday, May 1, 2009 at 11:00 a.m. in the Brokenhead Room, Brokenhead River Recreational Complex, 320 Veterans Lane, Beausejour, with Rev. Fr. Owen Steeves, presider. The family would like to express their deepest gratitude to Dr. Daphne Schmidt, Homecare Coordinator Erika Emes, and all the homecare workers who helped care for Helen over the last several years. In lieu of flowers donations may be made to the SIDS Foundation of Canada, 60-403 James Street, Ontario, L2R 7E7 or the Beausejour Hospital, PO Box 1178, R0E 0C0.

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