We are sad to share that on November 13, 2022, Ursula peacefully passed away; Just as she would have wanted.
Urszula (Ursula) Heynen (nee: Ebner) was born July 12, 1937 in Klonowo, Poland into a family of 11. Her early childhood years were difficult as the family was forced to flee occupied Poland and return to Germany during WWII.
As a young teen, she and her siblings worked on local farms to help the family. In 1952, the family emigrated to Canada and ended up in Alberta. Ursula and her siblings worked as labourers on local farms in order to help the family purchase a farm in Alberta. As well, Ursula worked as a nanny and then at a hospital kitchen, during this time she met Cor at the dance hall she regularly attended. It took Cor a lot of determination and dancing to find out her real name and address. Shortly after her 21st birthday, Ursula was very proud to earn her hairdressing license, despite not being able to read English at the time.
They were finally married in 1958, and ten months later, Ralph was born. She worked as a hairdresser in Lethbridge, and then in 1961 they were on their way to Whitehorse to work at Cor’s brother’s business and build a new life. She missed the prairies, but the Yukon grew on her.
Soon came son Doug and daughters Sharon and Lorraine. Ursula and Cor kept up their love of dancing by joining the Sourdough Stompers Square Dancers. They also became founding members of the Riverdale Baptist Church. She loved serving her community in whatever way she could.
Holidays were always a time she would seek out those without family and invite them to share with us. She shared her gardening advice and talents with family, friends and strangers. Besides raising her four kids, she helped Cor with the sewing machine repair business and was soon taking over the school contracts for him. She would build flower boxes if she needed them and was never afraid to pick up a power tool. She loved her independence and was always proving there was nothing she couldn’t tackle. She worked at Woolworths briefly, and then after Cor passed in 1993, she opened her Bed and Breakfast business, which she ran successfully for years. She enjoyed meeting new people from all over the world and showing off her city. Her greatest joy was helping others whenever she could, and she focused her efforts where there was the greatest need.
Unfortunately, she had a stroke in 2013, that changed her life significantly, as her left side was partially paralyzed. She spent a year in the hospital before moving to Thomson Centre for the remaining time. Ursula felt at home there and made many special friends. We are thankful to the staff for their wonderful care of mom and all the extra little things they took the time to do.
Ursula is predeceased by her husband Cor; parents Emil and Ella; and sisters Wanda, Helen and Agnes.
She leaves behind siblings Hedwig, Else, Gertrude, Reinhold and Alfred; Children Ralph (Donna), Doug(Linda), Sharon (Darryel) and Lorraine; along with five grandchildren and seven great-grandchildren.
Ursula charmed all that met her with feistiness and a twinkle in her eye. She will forever be known for her love of gardening, family, friends and church. She was always willing to help someone needing advice, a kind word, comfort, companionship, guidance, a good recipe, sewing tips and whatever else was needed.
We were blessed to receive more than nine years of bonus days with her after her stroke. These years allowed us to return some of that love and care back to her, in some measure. We are at peace knowing she is free from the physical and mental limitations since her stroke and free to be with Dad and her family waiting for her to join them.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to either the Heart and Stroke Foundation or the Canadian Diabetes Association. Service and interment will be announced at a later date.