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63 Mimico Avenue
Toronto, ON M8V 1R2
Phone: 416-251-7531
Fax: 416-251-5236
Elena Urbanec

Elena Urbanec

Tuesday, August 13th, 1946 - Wednesday, May 1st, 2019
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It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of Elena (Helen) Urbanec (nee Sitarikova) at age 72 on May 1, 2019 at Dorothy Ley Hospice in Toronto from a sudden illness. Predeceased by her beloved mother, Jozefina Sitarikova, and her loving husband, Rudolph (Rudy) Urbanec (d. 2010), Elena leaves behind her cherished daughter Elizabeth Sinasac, son-in-law Brian, twin granddaughters Emilia and Fiona, and many extended family and friends in Slovakia, the Czech Republic, Ontario, Quebec, Florida and Michigan. Elena will be particularly missed by Rudy's children Sue (Mark Kruk) and Rudy Urbanec (Karen), grandchildren Rachel Kruk and Steven Kruk (Jessica), and great-grandchildren Hailey, Aiden and Grayson Kruk.

Born on August 13, 1946 in Breza, Slovakia, Elena lived a life marked by loving family, bravery, and compassionate friendship. On tragically losing her mother, Jozefina, as a young teen in Slovakia, a loss which she felt keenly throughout her life, Elena was warmheartedly welcomed into the home of her maternal Aunt Helenka, Uncle Misko, cousins Viliam and Peter, and her maternal grandmother, Babka Bakosova, of Bratislava. Like so many other young people who were leaving Czechoslovakia at the time, Elena immigrated to Windsor, Ontario in her early twenties, and took on the challenge of living in a new country and learning a new language with enthusiasm and vigour. Despite her life’s early hardship, Elena was an open and affectionate woman who made friends, and maintained relationships, easily. Nearly fifty years later, many of the numerous Slovak and Czech friends she made on her arrival to Windsor remained an active part of her life to the end.

During her years in Windsor, Elena was a devoted mother to her beloved daughter Elizabeth. Through her example and strength, Elena impressed upon her daughter the importance of selflessness, kindness and family. They shared a tremendously special and unbreakable bond that will be Elena’s legacy.

In 1993, Elena married the love of her life, Rudy, and moved to Warren, Michigan, where she embraced his children and formed particularly strong relationships with grandchildren Rachel and Steven. She so dearly loved Rudy, and found profound joy and happiness in their life together. They had an open door to visitors and often had family and friends stop by for a weekday meal or drink, and hosted memorable Christmas dinners every year. Always active, and with a shared zest for fun, they spent weekends happily dancing polkas and singing folk songs with their many friends on both sides of the border. Their love of family took them on frequent trips to Slovakia and the Czech Republic to spend countless hours visiting their many relatives. Elena also took great pleasure in exploring the woods around her home with her dear friends and neighbours, watching the deer and foxes, and noticing the budding wildflowers.

Shortly after Rudy's passing, Elena courageously left her life in Michigan behind, and moved to Toronto, Ontario to be closer to Elizabeth and Brian. Over the course of her seven years in Toronto, she made cherished new friends at The Second Mile Club, and continued her passions of gardening, sewing, cooking, and taking care of those around her. She was blessed by the arrival of granddaughters Emilia and Fiona, whom she adored to no end, and who, in her, found a treasured and devoted "Grandma Helen”. She loved sewing dresses for their dolls, watching their swimming lessons, attending regular family dinners, and being part of their daily lives. Her family will always remember their frequent outings to apple orchards and strawberry patches, and their summer family vacations. An avid gardener, Elena could make any plant or flower flourish. She spent hours with her daughter and granddaughters caring for the gardens around Elizabeth’s home, with the fruits of last year’s attentive labour now blooming for all to enjoy. Elena was a constant, caring presence throughout Emilia and Fiona's lives, and will surely be watching over them from Heaven. In her final days, she asked her loving friends and co-grandparents Grandma Connie and Grandpa Ted to watch over their girls on Earth.

Those who knew Elena will remember her kind and gentle nature. She was a sensitive soul, who always made time to listen to others. Even in her final days in hospice, she was concerned with the comfort of her visitors, frequently asking if they would like a cup of coffee or something to eat, and worrying whether out-of-town visitors had a place to stay. The numerous calls, cards, flowers and visits she received from so many are a testament to her impact on those fortunate enough to have known her. She was loved and will be remembered. We take comfort in knowing that she will be hugging her mother Jozefina, and singing and dancing with Rudy, up in Heaven.

Elena was a Catholic and found solace in her faith. A funeral mass will be held on Monday, May 20, 2019 at 10 am at St. Paul of Tarsus Church, 41300 Romeo Plank Road, Clinton Township, Michigan, followed by interment of her ashes at Resurrection Cemetery, 18201 Clinton River Road, Clinton Township, Michigan, and a luncheon at Fern Hill Golf Club, 17600 Clinton River Rd, Clinton Township. In lieu of flowers, donations in Elena's memory can be made to Dorothy Ley Hospice, where she spent her final days. Special thanks to the staff and volunteers for the excellent care they provided. Online condolences can be made at
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Service Details

  • Service

    Monday May 20, 2019 | 10:00am
    Monday May 20, 2019 10:00am
    St. Paul of Tarsus Catholic Church
    41300 Romeo Plank Rd
    Clinton Twp., MI 48038
    Get Directions: View Map | Text | Email
  • Interment

    Resurrection Cemetery
    18201 Clinton River Road
    Clinton Twp., MI 48038
    Get Directions: View Map | Text | Email
    Section 25
  • Reception

    Fern Hill Golf Club
    17600 Clinton River Rd
    Get Directions: View Map | Text | Email


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Posted at 04:43pm
With loving memories of "Elena Urbanec", From Peter and Martina Urbanec and Family of Bozena U.,Milan U.,Jana B., Bozena B.
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Kathy Dunn

Posted at 11:01am
Beth, Uncle Gary and I when we think about your mom we remember someone who is kind , sweet and full of love for her daughter , son in law and grand children. Your mom was a gentle soul. Your mom will be certainly be missed by all who she touched.
We are very saddened by Elena’s passing. Our thoughts and prayers are with you and your family. We love you all very much.

Mary H. Jacko

Posted at 02:19pm
My husband Mike and I were honoured when we were asked to be godparents for Elizabeth. This request and our acceptance cemented our friendship forever. So many happy memories to recall as the years went by.

When my parents passed away, I was comforted by Helen's presence. She was there for me when my beloved husband passed away. She visited me and stayed with me several times during my mourning process and never tired of listening to my cries of sorrow.

When I visited her in Toronto a few times, we walked in High Park every morning and Helen was able to name the different flowers and trees. We enjoyed a delicious breakfasts at the park's Outdoor Patio Restaurant.

It was exciting to go to downtown TO with Helen. She introduced me to the Metro and how folks get around in a big city without a car. We went to an Elvis Concert "Return to Grace" at the Ed Mirvish Theatre during one of my visits. Another time, we took in "Matilda" The Musical also at the Mirvish.

At my suggestion one Sunday morning, we ventured forth (Helen driving) to find Sts. Cyril & Methodius Slovak Church in Mississauga. Not an easy task since we didn't have a GPS but It's a good thing we left early because we got lost trying to find
the church. To top it off, we got lost getting back to Helen's apartment in the late afternoon. It was quite an ordeal! We relieved our stress by dining at a rooftop patio restaurant overlooking the setting sun.

Helen's passing has left me with a deep sense of sadness. I will miss our bi-weekly telephone conversations and our personal visits.

Dear Elizabeth, Brian. Fiona and Emilia, Please accept my deepest sympathy on the loss of Helen your beloved mother, dear mother-in-law and dearest grandmother. She loved you and her spirit will be with you for ever! God Bless You as you grieve your heartbreaking loss.❤️

With Love,

Lillian Domin

Posted at 04:55pm
Coming to Canada as immigrants, my parents created our Canadian family by connecting with other families who shared their birthplace, their language, their songs and food, and, most of all, their hopes for a new and better life. And so Elena became our ‘Teta Helenka’ – aunt to my brother and I, not through blood but through the depth of shared roots, love, and the turning of many seasons together. Unknown to us as children, this was one of our great blessings and good fortunes. For she was that rarest kind of adult, at least in our world – the kind who you never felt you had to hide or shy away from, the kind whose gentle smile and quiet ways always reassured and lifted, the kind who looked into your eyes only and always with warmth, kindness and validation. Her quiet strength, her quick and fully joyful smile, her deep intelligence, wit and empathy, were the hallmarks of her character and the abiding pillars of our childhood.

Although there were long stretches, especially as we grew into teenagers and young adults, when we didn’t see her often, she was always there somehow – etched so deeply and permanently into the background of our life that we never imagined it without her. When I was confirmed in the church at 14, she became my confirmation mother and walked with me to the altar of our shared faith. When I graduated from high school, she was the one who shopped with me for my prom dress, the one that needed to be absolutely perfect, and, when I didn’t find it, brought me what turned out to be the perfect dress – Elizabeth’s dress from a year earlier!

When our father was battling with a sudden and painful cancer, she came to spend one of his very last afternoons with him, sitting with him in her peaceful and quietly loving way, holding his hands, and telling him the old stories of their many good times together - even though he himself could barely speak anymore. When he died, she spent the passing years grieving with us, saying that he was like a brother to her and had been there for her during some of her darkest years. She and I had many healing phone calls during which we cried together – about the loss of her best friend and beloved husband, Rudy, and the loss of my father, her ‘brother’. We talked and cried and laughed and remembered, and at those times she was, again, a mother to me. The many times my brother went to visit her while she lived in Toronto, she greeted him as a son, fed him to bursting and then sent him home with at least another day’s worth of dinner. We always knew, as she never failed to tell us, that we were always welcome in her home, that we were her children too.

My brother Ivan and I, and our mother, Magda, will miss Elena very deeply. We know Elizabeth and family, in Toronto and Michigan, will miss her even more, and we are so very sorry for your loss. I feel that we were all so incredibly blessed to have had her in our lives, and our love and thoughts go to Elizabeth and her family, and to all of those who are grieving the loss of this beautiful and special woman.

Teta,Helenka, remembering you with love,

Lillian, Ivan and Magda Domin

Posted at 11:23pm
Hello all. I am Elizabeth's aunt. I had the fortune to know Helen through many family gatherings. The first time I met her, I remember thinking what a nice person she was ! And she truly was one of the nicest, kindest person that I have had the privilege to call my friend I will always remember her genuine respect and how she liked my in laws! She did so much to make them feel comfortable and would be there to help them at a moments notice. I will never forget that. There we many family gatherings that we were thrilled to see her attend. She was part of our family and will forever hold a special spot in our hearts. ❤️

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