Elliot Lake Funeral Chapel
& Cremation Centre Limited
It is with heavy hearts that we announce the peaceful passing of Hilja Tirrul on July 8th, 2022 in St Joseph’s General Hospital in Elliot Lake at the age of 101. She was born in Estonia on her family farm on June 15th, 1921. Loving wife to Lembit (deceased), mother to Anu (deceased), Rein (deceased) and Jaak (deceased). She is survived by her three grandchildren, Leena (Michael Meier), Kaja (Jesse Stewart) and Kristjan, and her great grandson, Finneas. Sister to Aino Leilop, Vivi Tiessen and Hans Kalmet (deceased). Aunt to Miia, Arvo, Harry, Paul, Erik, Richard, Donna Maria (deceased) and Christine.
Seen as the matriarch of the family she bravely led those close to her to safety during World War II. She married Lembit Tirrul in Brussels on March 26th, 1949, in a displacement camp having fled from the Russian invasion of Estonia. In 1950, she had her first child, her daughter Anu, in Belgium before making the crossing with a small infant, her husband and her family to Canada. Hilja’s young family first settled in Renabie Ontario, and her first son, Rein, was born in Chapleau in 1950. They lived in Renabie until she created her forever home in Elliot Lake after the town was established. Hilja had her third child, a son Jaak, in 1955.
Her husband worked in the mine, and Hilja raised three beautiful and intelligent children who were all successful in their own ways. Instilling a sense of drive and curiosity in their children which has transcended through the generations.
She always kept her mind and hands busy as an avid painter, gardener, baker, chef, and reader. In her final years she remained fully present, able to recall the smallest details of her courageous and interesting life. She moved from her home on Central Avenue into the Hillside retirement residence at the age of 95, where she spent her final years receiving great care while maintaining her own independence.
Her humour, resilience and energy will be missed, and we are forever thankful for her bravery, generosity, and endless support.
A graveside committal will be held at Woodlands Cemetery in Elliot Lake on Thursday August 11, 2022 at 1 pm. The Rev. Roberta Wilson-Garrett officiating.
My heart is with each of you as you mourn your dear grandmother. May she rest forever at peace. 🌺
No words can describe the long and courageous life of your dear matriarch. May her bravery, generosity and endless support be found in each of you as you, too, make your own journey. Sent with heartfelt hugs.