Obituary of Anthony Maria Heslenfeld
Anthony Maria Heslenfeld
(February 12, 1922 - February 21, 2023)
Anthony Maria Heslenfeld of Camrose, formerly of Daysland, Alberta, passed away on Tuesday, February 21, 2023 at the age of 101 years.
Anthony Maria Heslenfeld was born in Holland in 1922, the middle of five children born to Christine and Carolus Heslenfeld. He described growing up in a close, loving, religious and affluent family whose days were filled with travel, adventure, the fun of pets, and cycling. Six of his early years were interrupted by World War II. He was proud to have served in the Dutch military during that horrible time and, in due course, received government recognition for his participation in the Underground. Afterward, while Holland was rebuilding, he worked at various jobs until the opportunity arose to emigrate.
In 1950 Anthony moved to Canada. Josephine followed soon thereafter. Together they faced the unknown and met various challenges, spurred on by Anthony’s deep-rooted sense of adventure. They were married in Kamloops, BC in 1952. Anthony started his employment by picking fruit in the Okanagan, then he briefly worked in a candy factory before relocating to attend College in Los Angeles. Upon return to British Columbia, he landed a job in the remote town of Kemano, BC. To this day, the only access to Kemano is by boat or by plane. There, making their first marital home together in a 20-foot trailer, Anthony, in his typical way, poured his love of wife and family into home improvements and beautifications. Vincent was born in 1953.
Job opportunities with Alcan took the little family to Kitimat, BC. In 1960, Paul, the second born child, was four when he became sick and died. This tragedy left a permanent scar on Anthony’s, and all our lives. Theresa had been born in 1958 and was joined by sisters Marian in 1961 and Judy in 1964. What followed were busy times in our cozy, lovingly built and maintained log home. Anthony and Josephine guided us to be the best we could be by modeling church attendance and prayer, cleanliness, exercise and good nutrition, creativity and independence of thought, as well as, hard work and thrift. They gave us a solid foundation to succeed in life.
Anthony was never bored or boring. His interests included: gardening; bicycling and tennis; photography; owning and operating a printing press; beer and wine making; automotive repairs; furniture making; kite flying; shortwave radio; and politics and current affairs. He was a fun-loving and engaged Dad, unavailable only when working night shift at Alcan.
His career at the Alcan Aluminum Smelter advanced to where he became a control room operator. For twenty-five years he kept the hydroelectricity flowing to the town and to the potlines where the aluminum was smelted. He had a deep interest in electricity and family vacations often included trips to hydroelectric dams. During the last ten years of his career, he did similar work for BC Hydro in Prince Rupert and then in Terrace.
Next came twenty years of retirement in Abbotsford, BC where, besides hobbies, Anthony and Josephine enjoyed visiting children and grandchildren in Terrace, BC and on Theresa’s popular farm in Bawlf, Alberta. They now had time to travel and enjoyed touring Canada and the United States, often visiting Marian in California when embarking on cruises or bus tours. Dad described these retirement years as the happiest of his life.
In 2008, Anthony and Josephine moved to Camrose to be closer to Theresa and Judy and their families. His wife and partner in all things, Josephine, passed away in October 2017, aged 93. Luckily Theresa and Brian were always there to help Anthony, now with all the things that became difficult as he aged a widower.
Dad/Opa had a mind possessed of a bottomless well of curiosity. He had a striving intellect ever searching for understanding, be it technical, philosophical, political or religious. He passed on this great gift to all of us.
He leaves to mourn his passing his son Vince (Lilia) and their children Andrea (Guy) and Cristina (Court); his daughter Theresa (Brian) and their children Tyrion (Todd), Derek (Rayanne), Renee (Clinton); his daughter Marian (Joe); daughter Judy (Richard) and Judy’s children Rhys (Heidi) and Bryn; sisters-in-law Peggy, Mies and Renee; and great-grandchildren Cooper, George, Matty, Zachary, Jole, Hayden, Ava, Steven and Elise.
Anthony was predeceased by his wife Josephine; son Paul; sisters Lisbeth Debets, Marijke Vander Grinten; and brothers Hans and Carel.
A Funeral Mass was held at 11:00 a.m., February 28, 2023, from Our Lady of the Prairies Roman Catholic Church, 5202 59 St Daysland, with Father Danial DSouza as celebrant.
If family and friends so desire, memorial contributions in Anthony's memory may be made to Our Lady of the Prairies Roman Catholic Church or the Hegre Lutheran Church.