H.W. Wallace Cremation & Burial Centre

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Karen Hellmann

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Karen Joy Hellmann

April 7, 1958 - December 11, 2023


Karen Joy Hellmann
April 7, 1958 – December 11, 2023

We sadly announce the passing of Karen Joy Hellmann, beloved wife, mother and grandmother.

Karen was predeceased by her parents, Ted and Mary Gonske; sister, Verna and brother, Norman; and her daughter, Melissa, at birth. She leaves behind the love of her life, Mike Hellmann; sons Travis Derouin and Adam Derouin; grandsons Brayden and Justin; four brothers and three sisters as well as in laws, many nieces and nephews and great nieces and nephews.

Karen was born in Dryden, ON. Her childhood years were spent in Ontario and Manitoba. She eventually moved to Vancouver Island where she lived in Nanaimo, Port Alberni and the Cowichan Valley.

Karen was a welcoming person who would greet you with not only a smile, but would make you feel like your arrival was a celebration and upon your departure, she’d affirm her love for you. Her phone calls expressed the same sentiment. As her middle name suggests, she was a joy to many.

As a young adult, Karen trained in hairdressing. Over the years she clipped and permed the locks of almost everyone she ever met. Later she directed her creative talents to sewing as a profession, where she sewed for some big companies like Tanjay. She could sew the most lovely, delicate baby clothes and the bulkiest industrial items like boat awnings and upholstery. Her favorite by far though was anything brightly colored and flouncy. These brought her joy. Jewelry didn’t have to be expensive, but if it was unique, shiny and outstanding, it won a place in her collection.

She loved flowers. When she was healthy, she cultivated their small acreage with plantings suitable for different settings, from a big showy centerpiece in the sun to tiny shade-lovers in a woodland hide-a-way beneath the trees.

Above all, Karen loved her family. She eagerly awaited Mike’s return from work each day and visits from her sons and grandsons. This was her nourishment.

She will be sadly missed by her immediate and extended family and close friends


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From: H.W. Wallace Cremation & Burial Centre

H.W. Wallace Cremation & Burial Centre staff send our condolences to family and friends.

From: Jennifer Barrette
Relation: Long time friend

My boys and I got to know Karen on our little dead end street.Our friendship never waned over the years. We were always close even though I moved away. This now is a void in my life.. she will be sadly missed but never forgotten. May god bless you my dear

From: Pauline Jackson
Relation: Yes as a acquaintance long ago. She shares my birthday. and was a neighbour of ours long ago.

Karen I had not seen you in a long time. Now I know that that cancer ripped you away from all that you loved here on earth. We shared a birthday too. even though you were four yrs younger than myself. I hope that you are at peace now. Pauline and Gary Jackson.

From: Ray Gonske
Relation: Brother

As her older brother, I am one of only a few who can say they had the privilege of knowing Karen for all of her 65 years. Because she was my closest sibling we shared many of the same life experiences, and as a result we developed a special bond throughout life. Though long distance physically separated us for most of our adult lives, our spirits were always close. She will forever hold a special place in my heart. My dear little sister, I will always miss your smile, your giggle, and your happy disposition. I love you and look forward to meeting you again. ♥♥♥

From: Della Gonske
Relation: Cousin

One of the brightest sparks of pure joy I ever came across in my life. How blessed I was to have grown up with her as my cousin. Though life circumstances and distance had separated us, the few occasions as adults where we did see each other, it was just like ol’ times. Karen your laughter and ability to find a funny side to most anything – such a special gift. At anytime I think of you Karen, my mind immediately sees your HUGE smile, hear your infectious laughter….and on my own face I’ll be smiling too!!! Such a gem of God you were here on this earth. Those close to you Karen will experience a very big adjustment without your laughter and love about, but oh how love so generously lives on in our hearts. They will be fine. Karen, thank you for the role you played in my life and impression of joy you left on it. Blessings in abundance. Heaven has really welcomed home a gem!!

From: Jodie Morgan
Relation: Mike & my parents

Mike & family, I am very sorry for your loss. Karen was such a kind-hearted, free-spirited person & will be greatly missed by all who knew & loved her. Her smile was inviting & her laugh was infectious, I chuckle thinking about it as I write this to you all. She will live on in all of our hearts & memories. xo

Service Schedule

Private service arrangements have been made.

Memorial Gifts

The family has not designated a preferred charity at this time.

Thank You Notice

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Floral Tributes may be ordered at:

Blooms at 49th Parallel – 778-422-0262
Floral Bar at Party Mood – www.floralbar.ca  or 250-701-3151
Floral Department at Thrifty Foods –  http://floral.thriftyfoods.com/ or 250-715-2630

When ordering please have the name of the deceased, the date of the funeral service and the Funeral Home information.

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