elevated QCu7t Helen was born September 26, 1935, in Grassland, Alberta, to parents, Vasyl (William) and Annie (née Fidunchuk) Zamostny. Her family moved from Grassland to Toronto when she was 12 years old.
elevated QCu7t While in Toronto, she met and married Michael C. Shanahan of West Cork Ireland, near Bantry Bay (Village of Durrus), on May 5th, 1955 at Saint Patrick’s Catholic Church in Toronto. They would relocate to the house at 7th Street in Etobicoke on The Lakeshore, where with love, they started and raised their family of 5 children over the course of 40 years. Motherhood and her family were Helen’s life work and devotion.
elevated QCu7t Helen’s children and grandchildren were her pride and joy. Her quiet, sensitive and selfless spirit always put the needs of others before hers. She was deeply proud of the academic and career accomplishments of her 5 children, who all graduated from university and started strong Catholic families of their own. Her grandchildren were another point of pride and joy for her. She relished in their many accomplishments and delighted in providing them care. She kept all of their various newspaper clippings, artworks, writing, athletic awards, school pictures and accomplishments displayed throughout her home; she was their biggest fan.
elevated QCu7t Helen was a kind, generous and empathetic woman who felt deeply for those in situations of need, particularly women and children. She had an unwavering devotion to Our Holy Mother and The Merciful Redeemer. When unable to attend church, she would watch the Catholic Eternal Word Station daily to partake in mass and reflect on her faith and the life of Christ. She was never found without a rosary in her hands, which she prayed often throughout her days.
elevated QCu7t Helen loved her siblings, holding close friendships with her sisters, particularly Jean, whom she mourned deeply upon passing. She loved Jean’s children Michelle, Gregory and Terry like they were her own. She often reflected on her childhood growing up on the farm and though it was humble, it is where she harnessed her hardworking, pioneering spirit of resilience, hope and perseverance. She spoke often of her mother and father, sharing memories of the incredible accomplishment of building lives in a new country from nothing. In Grassland, they had built their log cabin with their own hands, learned to speak English, farmed the difficult prairie land and raised their family, of which Helen was the youngest.
elevated QCu7t She was proud of her Ukrainian and Polish roots, but also embraced her husband’s Irish culture. Helen was a fixture at Irish Dance Competitions throughout North America, where her children were National and World Champions. She loved Irish music, art, and a good soda bread with her morning tea. Her sons Kevin and Christopher were also very accomplished track athletes.
elevated QCu7t She was a private lady of considerable grace with old fashioned manners and a meticulous sense of order. Like the roses in her gardens that she so loved, she was breathtakingly beautiful throughout her entire life.
elevated QCu7t Preceding Helen in death is her beloved husband, Michael; her parents; and siblings. Survivors include her children, Michael and his wife, Joan, Kevin and his wife, Maureen, Bernadette, and her husband, Brian, Christoper, and his wife, Rebecca, Catherine, and her husband, Craig; and fourteen grandchildren, Katie, Steven, Breanna, Aislinn, Michael, Heather, Liam, Catarina, Riley, Joseph, Henry, Lana, Alice, and Helen.
elevated QCu7t Though she was of small stature, standing barely 5 feet, she was mighty. We will forever miss her and pray for her as she did for us.
elevated QCu7t Visitations will be held privately with her immediate family. Please keep her in your hearts and prayers.
elevated QCu7t In lieu of flowers, please have a mass said in her name.
Dear Shanahan family. This evening, Steven came to St. Helen’s Church to request a mass for the seventh day of late Helen Marika Zamostny Shanahan’s passing. Our parish community will pray for her and for the entire family this coming Saturday, May 29, 2021 at 6 PM (Feast of the Holy Trinity). Be sure of our deepest sympathies for your loss. May Our Lord Jesus Christ grant you comfort and peace. Helen is surely resting in peace in Jesus’ arms and heart.
The following is the link for the mass:
Thank you for your kind words. I have passed on your message to the family and we will be sure to attend the mass at the link you provided.
I love you mom.
Sending prayers of comfort to all the Shanahan & Zamostny families.
I have very fond memories of your beautiful mother Helan. She was always elegant & poised & so proud of her children ,,grandchildren & their accomplishments of which there were many.Bless you all.
Thank you for your kind words Paula
Dear Shanahan family,
My sincere condolences on the recent passing of your dear Mom. My thoughts and prayers are with you at this difficult time.
I came upon Helen’s death quite by chance. Your Mom was such a lovely, graceful lady. I remember her well at weekly lessons and feises when I danced with Bernadette, Kevin and Michael at the Butler Academy. Your Mom was so proud. May she rest in peace.