January 30, 1942 – March 16, 2022
Born in Gottenhaven Germany, Helma immigrated to Canada in 1953 with her parents and sister Gudren, settling in Black Creek, BC. Daughter of a Blacksmith and an avid gardener, Helma developed her tenacity for getting things done. Here, she started her family, first welcoming Ziggy in 1959 and Ralph in 1960. She was co owner and postmaster of the Black Creek Store and an active member of the German/Canadian Club.
Always up for a challenge, Helma moved to Campbell River in 1979 opening ladies clothing stores (Cinderella’s), where she met and married Gaylord Stewart. Together, they moved to the family holly farm Amblecote, in Duncan, BC. On their Quamichan Lake Farm, Helma connected her love of gardening and good business sense to establish Cottage Farm roadside stand, where she sold vibrant flowers, garlic, eggs and much more. She was a familiar fixture at the Farmer’s Market and Summer Festival Committee. After years of farming and caring for Gaylords parents and their passing, Helma and Gaylord retired, selling Amblecote, Cottage Farm, and building their dream home next door. She was fortunate to spend many years with her sister and later, niece Carol (Clive) and family who live on adjacent property and whom she had a special bond.
Retirement, however, was never synonymous with slowing down for Helma. They established their second seasonal home in Mexico and to no surprise, Helma’s passion for involvement crossed borders as she quietly assumed leadership roles at her Paraiso del Mar community, establishment of Las Tres Amigas Fundraising and Rotary. Helma was integral in fundraising efforts to support scholarships, youth groups, schools, breast cancer clinics and numerous community projects. She embodied the Rotary spirit of “service over self” wherever she went.
In 2017, Helma and Gaylord moved back to Campbell River to be closer to Ziggy in his final years. Now living on the golf course, Helma continued to garden and became known for her unique fundraising effort of collecting errant golf balls and returning them to players following a financial penalty, which was donated to the Campbell River Hospice.
Few could keep up with Helma, she could accomplish anything she set her mind to. Helma found happiness in gardening, fishing, Mexican train, cards, travelling, making the perfect roast beff and hosting people around her table for an incredible meal fit with lively conversations.
Her family was a great source of joy and pride. Family and friends will miss her vivacious, pragmatic, strong, and dynamic energy, that will be forever in the hearts of those she has left behind. Helma is survived by her husband Gaylord, her son Ralph (Denise) Kussauer, stepchildren Andrew Stewart and Karyn (Dave) Stewart, as well as grandchildren Brittany Horner, Cole (Karyn) Stewart, Sam and Alex Kussauer, Rachael, Scarlett, Raven and Dennae Stewart. Helma was also great grandma to Charlotte & Adelyn Horner and Jack Stewart. Helma was predeceased by her parents Hans and Margarete Wohlgemuth, sister Gudren Ferguson and son Ziggy Stewart. Although a rare condition ended Helma’s time on earth, that none of us were ready for, we know that there would never have been enough time for such an incredible human being. Helma lived a full and inspiring life. We are confident that her legacy of generosity, selflessness and strength will continue to inspire many for years to come. If there’s not fundraisers in heaven…. there will be!
Donations can be made to a Hospice or Mexican charity of choice.
A Celebration of Life will be held at a later date.
Online condolences may be made at www.hwwallacecbc.com
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