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"HET" 2003 Obituary


HETTEL o@ca.on.york_county.toronto.globe_and_mail 2003-12-08 published
By Terry (KRUPA) LANTHIER Monday, December 8, 2003 - Page A18
Volunteer, wife, mother, aunt. Born May 23, 1920, in Timisoara, Romania. Died June 12 in Brantford, Ontario, of cancer, aged Anne HETTEL was the eldest of five children, born in Timisoara, Romania. Despite the lack of modern technologies and material goods, she frequently recalled her early years in Eastern Europe as filled with the warmth of family, sibling adventures and the creative activity of childhood.
At the age of 11, Anne moved with her family to Canada. Her most vivid memory of the trip was eating a banana for the first time, without the necessary information that the peel should first be removed. The family settled in Montreal, where her father established himself as a tailor in the area of St. Urbain Street, made famous in the writings of Mordecai RICHLER.
At the age of 16, she contracted tuberculosis and was sent to "the San" at St. Agathe for two years. Anne was never one to feel victimized by her life circumstances. She had many good memories of her time in the sanitarium and developed several lifelong Friendships. Recalling how, after her discharge from St. Agathe, a young man she dated had stopped his association with her in response to her illness, Anne sighed "Oh that poor, poor man." She refused to internalize the judgments of others, or to accept intolerance.
Pictures of Anne in her early adult years, strolling confidently down the streets of Montreal, arm in arm with her two sisters, radiate happiness and self-confidence. Wearing impeccably and classically tailored suits, these beautiful young women would not be out of place in today's scene.
In 1947, Anne married Spencer LANTHIER, the son of a prominent councilman and business family, from the Town of Mount Royal. Anne joked that her future husband, a seriously picky eater, was put to the test by Sunday lunches with her family that consisted of their favourites, raw bacon, cabbage, onion and boiled potatoes. In marriage, Ann became a full-time wife, and eventually the mother of three children and the beloved Auntie Anne to many nieces and nephews.
Anne was an active member of the Town of Mount Royal community. She was involved in the ladies' auxiliary for the Protestant Church, contributing her time and energy to fundraisers and annual rummage sales. She was a member of the lawn bowling club and regularly attended meetings of a women's club.
But by far her most valued role was creating a strong sense of home, to be enjoyed by her many Friends and family. Anne took her family obligations seriously, and she nursed several close relations through prolonged and serious illnesses with kindness, compassion and love.
While Anne offered her children her constant love and support, she understood them to be individuals who needed to make their own decisions and to create their own lives. She respected this by maintaining an active and satisfying life that always included, but was not dependent on her family. With the death of her husband in 1984, she continued her travels to visit her sister in Florida, toured Europe and Canada, and tended her garden. She enjoyed young people, and confided that she would have liked to have had the opportunity to learn to swim, to rollerblade and to ice-skate.
Anne was diagnosed with cancer in the spring of 2002. She spoke of a watching a television show that had featured young people who had survived cancer. Clearly concerned about how she would manage this dreaded disease, she stated, "I thought if they could handle it so well, then I suppose I can do it, too."
Anne did manage the disease with grace and dignity. Her final gift was to assure her family that she had indeed lived a full and complete life, and that even at the end she wanted for nothing.
Terry is Anne's daughter-in-law.

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