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HELGA ANDERSON  Obituary pic

HELGA ANDERSON

Born: Feb 13, 1931

Date of Passing: Apr 11, 2017

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HELGA ANDERSON (nee BALDWINSON) February 13, 1931 April 11, 2017 Soffia Helga Anderson passed away on Tuesday, April 11, 2017 at Jocelyn House Hospice, Winnipeg, Canada. She was predeceased by her father Sigvaldi Baldwinson; her mother Valgerður (Valla) Geirlaug Baldwinson (nee Guömundsdottir) and step-brothers and sisters, Gunnar Baldwinson, Elin Katrina Irwin, Malin Baldvinson, Jon Baldvinson, Margrete Baldvinson, Halldor Hjalmarson and Ingvar Baldwinson. Surviving her with loving memory are her two children, Valdine (Ian) and Douglas and her grandchildren, Soffia Louise, Ingrid Anne, Brigitte Heather and Signy Raquel. Helga was born in Winnipeg on February 13, 1931. Both parents born in Iceland, Helga grew up in a culture rich in pride of heritage and with the mantra of her optimist father: to reach for the stars. Realizing Helga's gift for music, Helga's father bargained piano lessons with nuns in a nearby convent in exchange for employment. This bargain was to be the foundation for a lifelong career in music and teaching for Helga. Helga completed a Teacher's ARCT diploma in Voice and in Piano from The Royal Conservatory of Music and an Associate diploma (A.M.M.) from the Western Board of Music. Helga became a music teacher and music consultant with the Winnipeg School Division #1 and a frequent adjudicator in rural and civic music festivals (piano, voice and choral) throughout Canada. Helga was a member of the Manitoba Registered Music Teacher Association and on the board with the Winnipeg Music Festival and numerous other musical organizations. Although her parents were of the Lutheran religion, Helga attended the United Church from the age of five years, confirmed at the age of 14. She became active as a musician in many churches, including MacLean Mission, St. Stephen's-Broadway United Church, Silver Heights United Church, Norwood United Church, Lutheran Church of the Redeemer and lastly, St. Andrew's River Heights United Church. Helga was married to Barry Anderson from 1959 until the early 70s. The birth of a daughter and son in 1960 and 1963 respectively brought them to Fort Garry where they bought a house. Helga had a large private music studio and her house was continuously filled with the comings and goings of piano and singing students. In 1966 to 1974, Helga took over the leadership of the Winnipeg Boy's Choir and from that choir, formed the Bass Clef Chorus and the Better Half Singers. This group became nationally known, frequently heard on CBC radio. Tours throughout Canada, to Iceland and Israel and a prolific performing schedule raised the profile of the choruses to a professional level. In 1981, the two choirs plus friends donated the Helga Anderson Trophy to the Winnipeg Music Festival to celebrate excellence in community choral singing. In 1992 to 2002 Helga was the chorus director of the Gilbert and Sullivan Society. Helga kept close friendships with many of the choir members and choristers until her end. Her love, encouragement and unfailing support of the choir helped many to launch careers in the arts. In 2001, Helga formed the Joie de Vivre Singers, a choir for seniors, affiliated with the University of Manitoba´s Preparatory Studies Department in the Desautels Faculty of Music. She did this until 2011, again making life-long friends and encouraging people to share and express their passion for music with their voice. Around this time, Helga trained to become a Royal Conservatory of Music examiner and travelled extensively across Canada each spring. Helga lived and breathed music and people. But bridge was also a passion. C.H.E.R. was formed, the first initial of each bridge player in her quartet for Saturday afternoon games. Helga was also deeply involved in the Icelandic community in Manitoba and her relations in Iceland. In 1999, she was chosen to be the Fjallkona for the 110th Islandingadagurinn Gimli Icelandic Festival, and recently took immense pride that one of her granddaughters was studying Icelandic. In 2007 she was nominated in the category of Arts and Culture for the 31st Annual YMCA-YWCA Women of Distinction Awards. Helga moved from her Linden Woods condo to Jocelyn House Hospice early in 2017. Her life story was celebrated as a front page feature article in the Jocelyn House Hospice newsletter where her optimism and belief in the power of music came through loud and clear. Her end was peaceful, surrounded by her children and grandchildren, as she would have wanted. The family would like to thank the staff and volunteers at Jocelyn House Hospice for their amazing, sensitive and respectful care of Helga in her last months. A memorial service and celebration of Helga's life will be held at 1:00 p.m. on Friday, April 21, 2017 at St. Andrew's River Height United Church, 255 Oak Street. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in memory of Helga to Jocelyn House Hospice. NEIL BARDAL FUNERAL CENTRE 204-949-2200 neilbardalinc.com

As published in the Winnipeg Free Press on Apr 15, 2017

Condolences & Memories (4 entries)

  • To Valdine and family: I am so sorry for the loss of your mother- her energy and sparkle for life really shined through her persona. As an educator and mentor to all students as well as a driving force and role model to colleagues- she will be missed but not ever forgotten. We are all so blessed to have known her. Take care. Lorilee Glenat - Posted by: Lorilee Glenat (formally Lorilee Voetberg) (Colleague) on: Apr 20, 2017

  • Dear Valdine, I was so sorry to hear this sad news. I have so many wonderful memories of your dear Mother. I treasure the years that I sang with the Bass Clef Chorus under your Mother's direction. One of my musical highlights is the choirs' tour to Iceland many years ago. I still remember the "Kossu mér góða nótt elska" fund raising buttons. I am very grateful to have known her. My thoughts are with you. Sincerely, Gordon Ritchie, Edmonton AB - Posted by: Gordon Ritchie (Fellow musician) on: Apr 19, 2017

  • Dear Valdine I was so sorry to hear about your mom. The picture in the obituary really captures her essence. She had many lovely chats at prep recitals. Always smiling. That is the Helga that I will remember. Most Sincerely Erica - Posted by: Erica Schultz (Colleague) on: Apr 18, 2017

  • Thank you Helga for the music, and all the good times that were had! - Posted by: Cathy Bachynski (Member of the B.CB.H) on: Apr 18, 2017

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Neil Bardal Funeral Centre (Winnipeg)

Neil Bardal Funeral Centre (Winnipeg)

3030 Notre Dame Ave (Map)
Ph: 2049492200 | Visit Website

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