On Tuesday at 12:30 pm, my sister Heather and her son Ryan held my mother’s hands while she took her final breath. Stella Myers, or “Mouse” as I affectionally called her, was our vibrant mother, grandmother, and friend, who even at the very end of her 97 years, was full of life. Born in Dublin in 1923, to an Irish family within the tight-knit Jewish community, Stella had an adventurous heart. In 1946, shortly after meeting my father while he was on RCAF leave from London, she bravely said goodbye to her family to immigrate to Canada. She traveled aboard the luxurious White Star Liner RMS Mauritania, which the Canadian government chartered to bring troops back to Canada. On the ship, Stella and her fellow war brides traveled first class across the Atlantic to a country they had never seen before, never knowing if they would ever return to their homelands. Stella and Reg lived in the Castlefield area of Toronto for 6 years, where my sister Barb and I were born. We later moved to St. Catharine’s in the early 1950s, Stella raised their 3 children, now including my baby sister Heather. She was a working mother, holding many jobs throughout our lives including working for dad’s insurance business, at Eaton’s (both downtown and Pen Center) at Sears, and later at their own gift store, the “Curio Shoppe” in the Seaway Mall. Stella was an amazing grandparent, become an especially close friend to my wife Michelle, and she appreciated friendships with her son-in-law Allen and George. After the death of my father, Stella lived alone for over 20 years in her beloved house surrounded by caring neighbors whom she loved and who loved her. During this time, Mouse did volunteer work. She loved being a teacher's aide at Briardale School. Stella was also an active member of the local Jewish community here in St. Catharine’s, seldom missing a service. She was proud to become B’nai Israel’s oldest surviving member. Stella leaves behind her sister Lorna in London, her 3 children, Barbara in Rochester, Marty, and Heather in St. Catharine’s; her 6 grandchildren, Jordan and Adrian in Rochester, Jackson in Boston, Brittany in New York City, Lauren and Ryan in Toronto, and her 4 great-grandchildren, Max, Michael, Maddy and Skylar, and countless other loved ones. Stella loved her family, her friends, and her St. Catharine’s home of over 60 years, filled with happy memories of a long-lived life. During her last months, due to the Pandemic, my sister Heather became her primary caregiver, to which we are all so grateful. Stella was a matriarch to many of us and she will be missed dearly. If desired, memorial donations to B’nai Israel or the March of Dimes would be appreciated by the family.
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