Hannelore “Eleonore” Slaby passed away February 9th at Kyle Health Centre following a brief illness. She was born May 22, 1926 in Oberhausen, Germany, the only child of Franz and Helene Riedl. After completing her primary education, she entered a three year apprenticeship program in office administration. It was there that she met her future husband, Frank Slaby.
They were engaged Christmas 1945, and married May 27, 1947, continuing to live in Oberhausen, where Mom worked in an office and Dad was employed as a machinist. Seeking a better life for their future family, Dad came to Canada in 1952, settling in White Bear. Mom stayed in Germany until Dad became established here. In May, 1954 Mom bravely boarded the ship, leaving friends and family behind for the long Atlantic crossing to join Dad in White Bear. There they began a new chapter of their life. It was at this time that Mom anglicized her name, and became known as Eleonore to everyone.
She integrated into the community very well, learning to speak English and making new friends. Soon after, their daughter Sylvia was born. During their time in White Bear, Dad worked at Schuler’s Garage and later for the RM of Lacadena. It was at this time that their dream of acquiring a farm was born, and they began renting land from Martin Rauser. In 1962 they fulfilled this dream by purchasing the farm of Charlie Carlson, and Mom said that’s when she finally felt at home. The following year Randy was born and their family was complete.
Mom adapted well to the role of a farm wife – planting a large garden, canning, baking, cooking, bookkeeping, sewing and mending. Having grown up in the 30’s, she was accustomed to these tasks, and helped to make the farm a success. She always had a large garden, including flowers, which she loved. Gladiolas were her pride and joy. She continued to garden into her early nineties, though the size of her garden became smaller as her mobility declined. She doted on her barn cats, ensuring they were well fed, often trekking 3 times a day on the bitterest winter day to do so.
With extended family and friends still in Europe, Mom was very dedicated to maintaining contact and wrote letters extensively. This habit continued throughout her life, as she learned to use a tablet and send emails in her late eighties. She never missed acknowledging a birthday, and continued to send cards until her last days.
Mom and Dad loved to travel, and made a number of trips to Europe with their children and later on their own. With Dad’s encouragement, when he was unable to accompany her, she took more trips with her daughter Sylvia. Her favourite destination was Europe, exploring different places each time, but always including Germany to reconnect with family and friends.
Family was very important to Mom. She was excited to welcome two grandsons, Jon and Dean, into her life. Family gatherings were arranged as frequently as possible, and Mom always made sure delicious meals were prepared, often spending hours to make everyone’s favourites. She paid attention to small details – often catering to someone’s preferences with an individual serving. She was dedicated to daily visits, with first her mother, and later her husband, when each became resident in Kyle Health Centre. This continued until Dad’s passing in May, 2007, just thirteen days short of their 60th wedding anniversary.
Mom continued to live on the farm until April 2021, when this was no longer possible due to her loss of mobility. She lived her remaining years at Kyle Health Centre.
She was predeceased by her parents Franz and Helene Riedl, in-laws Stanislaus and Maria Slaby, sister –in-laws Marianna Wallberg and Traute Slaby, brother-in-law Hans Slaby and her beloved husband Frank.
She leaves to mourn her daughter Sylvia Airey (Ken Chyz), son Randy, grandsons Jonathan Airey (Christi) and Dean Airey (Angela MacFarlane), as well as numerous nieces, nephews and cousins.
In her memory, donations may be made to Kyle & District Health Care Foundation.
There will not be a formal service held at this time. A private family interment will take place at a later date.
Arrangements entrusted to Warren's Funeral Home. For further information please call 1-306-773-8831 or 1-800-267-6606, or visit the website www.warrensfuneralhome.com and express your sympathy to family members on the tribute wall.