June 6, 1943 – August 29, 2019
With great sadness the family of Slav Heller announce his passing after a valiant battle against cancer. Slav passed peacefully on August 29th at the age of 76 and is survived by his wife Eva, sons Tom and Mike (with wife Katie) and two grandchildren who were by his side in the last months. A heartfelt thank you to the doctors and nurses at the Fraser Canyon Hospital for your patience, compassion and support during this difficult time.
Slav was born on June 06, 1943 in Lodz, Poland to Roman and Anna Heller. He earned a Masters Degree in Chemical and Food Engineering from Lodz Politechnika and began his career in the sugar processing industry, rising quickly to lead one of the biggest factories in Poland. Slav met Eva during their university studies, and they were married in April of 1970, they would have celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary next year. Eva gave birth to two boys, Mike in 1973 and Tom in 1975. In 1981, they made the difficult decision to leave Poland behind to seek a better life abroad. They arrived in Canada in July, 1981 and started a new chapter in Lethbridge, Alberta.
After learning English, Slav successfully completed his professional engineering credentials (P.Eng) in Canada and went on to work for several alcohol distillers in Lethbridge, Kelowna, and Calgary. Always seeking knowledge, Slav completed his second Masters Degree, an MBA, from Athabasca University in 1997. Slav finished his career within the Agriculture division of the Alberta Government, where he promoted alternative farming practices and sustainability. During this time, he helped found the Alberta Rural Sustainable Alternatives Network (ARSAN). Following retirement, Slav and Eva settled in Hope, BC close to their family.
Slav was a devoted family man who had a passion for life and learning. His home is full of heavily annotated books on a variety of topics, and he was always looking for more. A ‘big picture’ thinker he was most interested in organizations (management) and the sustainable production of food. He had a deep passion for gardening and fishing and he enjoyed both until the end. He could talk about gardening for hours and was always happy to give a tour of his garden to anyone willing. He also enjoyed picking wild mushrooms, watching premier league football games or Seinfeld, and cooking for friends and family, much to rave reviews.
Slav touched the lives of many people and will be dearly missed. A celebration of life will be held at the Hope Art Gallery (349 Fort St, Hope, BC) at 2:00 pm on Monday, September 16th. Flowers are respectfully declined. For those interested, please contribute to a charity of your choice to honour Slav.
– Eva, Tom & Mike