In memory of

Ilona 'Helen' Oravecz (née Lahner)

August 18, 1938 -  November 24, 2023

It is with great sadness we share with you that Ilona Terez Oravecz (née Lahner), in her 85th year, passed away suddenly at her home in Toronto on November 24, 2023. She was born on August 18, 1938 in Ujverbasz, Yugoslavia. Ilona (also known as Helen, Ilus and Mamo) had two brothers, Peter, and Tony Lahner who both immigrated to New York and then to California. Helen is predeceased by her parents, Aladar and Iren. She always spoke highly of her parents, who were strong believers in education. She talked about how her father, Aladar, enjoyed taking pictures and how her mother, Iren enjoyed cooking.
Ilona went to Kazinscy Gimnasium (High School and College) in Gyor, Hungary and later went to a Geologia Technical School to study and become a Land Surveyor. She worked in Gyor, Hungary for many years before eventually immigrating to Toronto, Canada and continued her career with Giffels Land Surveyors. Ilona was known for her hard work and diligence. She was precise, a perfectionist and was well liked as she was known to get the job done.
She met her future husband, Josef Alexander Oravecz in Acs, Hungary and later they married in Toronto, Ontario. Together they built a successful aggregate business. Their two children -Jacqueline & Jeffrey eventually took over the business and continued their legacy. Together they bought a modest cottage in Haliburton and later a condo in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. She was extremely organized and incredibly meticulous. Helen loved to read, was a passionate cook and baker, enjoyed her fine herbs in her garden and most of all enjoyed swimming. She lived independently after she lost her husband Josef three years ago. She decided to stay in her home after his passing where she was well cared for by Flora and Belinda. She enjoyed their ongoing friendship, support and care.
Helen was incredibly humble, generous and caring person with her friends. She was passionately dedicated to her family and adored her five grandchildren. She was gracious, thoughtful, with a heart of gold. She always had a smile on her face and always looked for the positive. Helen was always surrounded by the most beautiful flowers, her favourite being the white orchid. She is survived by her daughter Jacqueline and son Jeffrey; son in law John Stewart; her daughter in law Cassandra Oravecz; and five grandchildren; Andrea and Natalie Stewart, Caleb, Carson and Kendall Oravecz. Mamo will be forever missed and remembered by her family and friends.
Viewing will take place on Friday, December 22, 2023 from 9:00am– 11:00am at Mount Pleasant Funeral Centre. You may tune in to Webcasting on Ms. Ilona Oravecz webpage found at Funeral Mass will be held at St. Elizabeth of Hungary on Friday, December 22, 2023 at 12:30pm in Toronto, to be followed by interment at Mount Hope Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to the Heart and Stroke Foundation or to North York General Hospital.
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Amanda Lahner (Great niece)

Entered December 2, 2023 from Reno, NV

I loved my Aunt Helen so very much and have wonderful memories being able to cook with her. She will be missed so very much and wish that my son would have had the opportunity to know her better.

Ellen Thomas (Niece)

Entered December 2, 2023 from Reno Nevada

Auntie my heart is saddened by your passing. You will be truly missed by all of our family and friends. I am very grateful for your support and love and prayers for All of our families. God Bless you and RIP Love you Ellen 💋

Maureen Daane (Niece)

Entered December 3, 2023 from Reno

My Dearest Aunt Helen,

I just wanted you to know how loved you are. Your beauty, smile, kindness, and warmth emanated whenever you entered a room. Thank you for sending me a few baby photos. Without those, I would not know what I look like. I will always love you.

I will think of you often, your loving niece.

Jeffrey Kent (Longtime family friend.)

Entered December 4, 2023 from Leaside, Toronto

What is the first thing that comes to mind when I think of Helen...this is actually very hard to do. As a child growing up on Leith Hill Rd., it is easy to think of Helen's wonderful cooking, and I have had countless of these over several decades. There were numerous times when I was over at the "Oravecz's" to play with Jeffrey and friends, and Helen would always offer up a fantastic snack or usually a great meal. I don't think there ever was a time when I said no to Helen's food! In later years as an adult, I would also make room and time to fit in one of her awesome meals, which just seemed to come naturally for her.
Helen was a VERY warm and caring person, with an infectious smile. She always greeted everyone with a personal touch and bright smile. Even if she was having a rough day, she was a master at disguising it. She was always curious at what I was up to, how I was doing, and what was coming up for the next chapter in my life. Because of this curiosity, it made for good conversation. When working as a robotics and automation engineer, chatting to Helen about this line of work, I was often surprised at her interest in the subject matter and her intelligence and understanding of a variety of topics. Never a dull conversation with Helen! At the family cottage on Kushog Lake, Jeffrey, Joseph, Anton, myself and others, were often embroiled in repair and/or building projects requiring lots of hard work over many years. Helen was always instrumental in such projects, to "oversee" things, make sure the crew was well looked after and that cooler heads prevailed, especially when it was crazy hot out.
There are many other things/ characteristics that I enjoyed about Helen and she will definitely be missed. The world is a little bit dimmer now that she is gone.

Julie & Melanie Greco; and Anna Lavinsky (Friends)

Entered December 6, 2023 from Toronto, Ont.

Our sincere condolences go out to Helen's entire family for this incredibly sad loss. Please know that Helen will forever be in our thoughts and prayers. All of the good times we had with her will remain in our hearts and we will cherish ALL of these happy memories with her forever. God bless her and may she rest in peace. Love Julie & Melanie Greco; and Anna Lavinsky


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