On October 21, 2023, Helen Adele Fairfield passed away peacefully in her sleep. Born on June 23, 1931, she was the beloved daughter of Harold Robert Sanderson and Adelgunda Kopeski and the cherished sister of Sandra Bogseth. She was born in Winnipeg, Manitoba.
The family sincerely appreciates the compassionate and competent care she received from Andy’s House. She is sorely missed by her family; her children Wendy Whillans (Bill Keller), Diane Pick (Larry), Jan Bradley, and Bobbi Garrow (John); grandchildren Lisa (Youssef), Fin (Erynn), Kaely, Jennifer (Greg), Eric (Mimi), Jessica (Mike), Thompson, Turner, and Devynn; and great-grandchildren Owain, Eamon, Greta, Ava, Matthew, John Hugh, and William.
As the eldest of two sisters, Adele’s early years were a balance of commitment to family and the joy of singing dancing, and modeling for the Eaton’s catalog. Her academic journey led her to the University of Manitoba, where she became a member of the Zeta Tau Alpha sorority. She was not only a cheerleader but also a passionate dancer and spent many hours playing bridge.
Adele's favorite tale was her enduring love story. She and Hugh met at the tender age of 16, and their bond remained unbreakable until Hugh passed away in her arms at the age of 90. Their love story is a testament to unwavering commitment and strength through the many trials of life.
Their lives took them to many places including Massachusetts, Jamaica, Brantford, and finally Walker’s Point, Muskoka which was the place they loved most in the world.
Adele was a devoted volunteer, committed to building strong communities. When she became a permanent resident of Muskoka, she joined the Board of Directors of Big Sisters in Gravenhurst. Adele was a strong advocate for children and their opportunity to enjoy the amazing benefits of camp life in Muskoka. She worked to connect Big Sisters to the Tim Horton’s Camp program. It brought her great joy every year when she saw that Tim Horton’s Kids in Muskoka were going to camp.
Adele was invited to join the Library Board of Directors in 1994. She was still an active leader involved with the Muskoka Lakes Township Library in 2021.
Among her proudest accomplishments was her role in building the NEW Port Carling Library, transforming a small, cramped space into a thriving hub for the community.
When the Walker’s Point Community Library faced the threat of closure, Adele, alongside a dedicated group of volunteers, stepped in to ensure the doors remained open.
Her dedication to libraries was matched by her service as a counselor and Deputy Mayor for the Township of Muskoka Lakes, where her constituents fondly remember her as the "Best Counselor they ever had. She really knew how to get things done.”
Adele leaves a profound impact on everyone fortunate enough to know her. She is remembered for her unwavering determination and boundless love for her family. Her family carries her indomitable spirit forward.
In her life, Adele imparted invaluable lessons to her loved ones, teaching them to craft exquisite Yorkshire puddings, create delectable pie dough, prioritize family over housekeeping, celebrate the significance of cherished friendships, and the healing power of kindness. She demonstrated that women can achieve anything, and she instilled the importance of volunteering and community building. She cherished the pleasures of wine, laughter, and humor, sharing her love for card and board games. The beauty of the lake in every season held a special place in her heart, and dancing was her secret recipe for lifting spirits and bonding with family.
Adele's memory lives on, as a beacon of strength, resilience, and love. We celebrate the life of a remarkable woman who faced every challenge with unwavering tenacity and an indomitable spirit. May her legacy continue to inspire us all.
Adele’s funeral service will be held at the Trinity United Church, 290 Muskoka Rd. N, Gravenhurst on November 11 at 1:00 p.m. Following the service there will be a reception and/ or visitation from 2:00 – 4:00, held in the Murray Walker Grace & Speed Boathouse at the Muskoka Steamships and Discovery Centre 275 Steamship Bay Road, Gravenhurst.
In lieu of flowers, the family is asking for donations to the Walker’s Point Community Library or Andy’s House, Port Carling. Online Condolences can be made at www.reynoldsfuneral.com.