Wanda Belza (Eberman) passed away peacefully in Toronto on January 9, 2018 in her hundredth year.
A beloved wife for 45 years to her late husband Michael, Wanda will be greatly missed by her children George, Stan (Tish) and Christine (Tom O’Brien), and her dear friend Mara Arndt; her grandchildren Kerry (Patrick), Todd (Christina), Ellen (Paul), Michael (Vanessa), Wanda, and Patrick (Ashley); her great grandchildren Aidan, Ava, Scarlett and Brandon, who affectionately knew her as “Big-G”; her first cousin Inga Smith; her Polish and American relatives; and her friends. Wanda was also a wonderful pet mother to Rex, Macius, Wilk, Dusty, Shadow and Mumsi (and many squirrels in Willowdale).
Born August 28, 1918, in Augsburg, Germany, Wanda married Michael Belza in Winterthur, Switzerland on February 7, 1948 following an arduous journey from her home in Poland during WWII. Wanda and Michael came to Canada as displaced persons with their infant son George, and settled in Ontario, where they went on to raise their three children in Toronto and Elliot Lake, as proud Canadians.
Wanda was a loving, studious and hard-working woman. She obtained her law degree from the University of Freiburg, Switzerland, which she had begun prior to WWII at the University of Lvov, Poland. Fluent in five languages, Wanda translated her husband’s doctoral legal dissertation from Polish to German. Unable to practice law in Ontario, Wanda contributed to her immigrant family’s success as a teacher, first in the small mining town of Bruce Mines, and later at Richmond Hill High School.
Whether keeping fit on the tennis court, actively contributing to the Catholic Women’s League of St. Edward’s Parish, or joking with her children and grandchildren, Wanda easily imparted her zest for life to those around her. Her deep love for family permeated her approach to life and will continue to inspire the legacy she leaves. Wanda’s journey ended with warmth at The Village of Humber Heights retirement home, where she lived for her final 6 years, cared for by its truly remarkable staff.
Visitation: Thursday, January 11th, 2-4 and 6-8 p.m., Ward’s Funeral Home, 2035 Weston Rd.
Funeral Mass and burial: Friday, January 12th, 11:30 a.m., Holy Cross Catholic Funeral Home, 211 Langstaff Road East (at Bayview), Thornhill.
In lieu of flowers, in memoriam contributions may be made to Covenant House, Toronto or to Haven of the Heart, Palgrave, Ontario.
Life Story for Wanda Belza
Title: Memories of Mom
I only have fond memories of Mom: her devotion to her family, her constant love and support for our dad through their entire marriage, her joie de vivre, fondness of pranks, sense of humour, athletic ability in so many sports and activities, joy in playing games (in particular Bridge), sense of fair play while remaining competitive, her discipline to work to overcome obstacles, genuine humility, respect for others, love and treatment of animals and all life in nature, fluency in 5 languages, love of all things European but total devotion to Canada, openness about her admiration of Americans, appreciation of the arts, her own artistic and musical talents, the warmth and hospitality she and dad showed all guests (theirs and ours), her ability to adapt through trying times and willingness to sacrifice with ne'er a complaint, and her face lighting up at the sight of any of her children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren. But most of all her constant positive outlook. And lastly, I know I'm smart, likeable, and talented – she told me so repeatedly my entire life.