Helmi Lepni



June 15, 1916 – September 6, 2021


It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of our beloved mother, Helmi.  She was born in Tallinn, Estonia, where she received her education.  She always considered herself a city girl.


Unfortunately, the events of WWII compelled her to leave on a journey that finally lead her to settle in Canada.  Upon arrival, because of her language skills, she quickly became employed.  “Ema,” as she was lovingly referred to, set about establishing a new life for herself and her family upon arrival in Canada. She was a multi-talented person who worked all her life in administration until her retirement.


Helmi became very involved in her community and was a founding member of the women’s league at St. Peter’s Estonian Church.  In addition, her varied interests included the study of languages (of which she spoke five fluently).


One of the most important events in her life was the opportunity to build a cottage in Muskoka, along with her husband, which they fondly referred to as “Kaljula” as a reminder of their earlier life in Estonia.  It served as a home for the family to enjoy summers at the cottage.


Furthermore, she had a passionate interest in horticulture and she was the secretary of the North Toronto Horticultural Club in Edwards Gardens, where she also won many awards competing with her roses and other floral arrangements.


© 2021 Humphrey Funeral Home A.W. Miles – Newbigging Chapel Limited. All Rights Reserved.


Her artistic talents sparked her desire to oil paint, knit, crochet, sew, etc.  Helmi also found time to participate in Tai Chi classes for over twenty years.


She was predeceased by her husband, Erich (who perished at sea during WWII, and Adolf (Adi). Helmi will be sadly missed by all, including her daughter, Tiiu and son-in-law Russell.  She was admired by her grandchildren, Liisa (Mark), Karen, Mark (Gillian) while having the good fortune to celebrate the birth of six great-grandchildren.


The family wishes to express their gratitude and thanks to all the wonderful and caring staff at the Ehatare Retirement Residence.


A private service will be held at the Humphrey Funeral Home A.W. Miles – Newbigging Chapel, 1403 Bayview Avenue, Toronto, with interment in Mount Pleasant Cemetery. 


In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada or the Alzheimer Society.  Condolences may be forwarded through www.humphreymiles.com.


© 2021 Humphrey Funeral Home A.W. Miles – Newbigging Chapel Limited. All Rights Reserved.