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BLACK, Elena Grace


black, elena 90

It is with great sadness that the family of Elena Grace Black announces her passing on January 21, 2022, in Ridgetown, Ontario, five weeks before her 100th birthday. The last pages of her beautiful life story have now been written.

Born Elena Westfall in Trenton, Ontario, on February 28, 1922, to Myrtle and Roy Westfall, she outlived her two brothers Bill and Bruce Westfall and younger sister Joyce Donaldson. She married RCAF Flying Officer George Black in 1943 and nurtured her growing family through wartime, with moves spanning half the continent. She moved over 35 times in her lifetime, making friends easily wherever she went. Elena was a wonderful mother and fun-loving friend who spread affection and laughter everywhere, facing life’s challenges with strength. Her family grew to four children, 12 grandchildren, and 22 great-grandchildren.

Elena is the mother of late Carol (late Jim), Tycho (Brigitte), Terry (Maria), and Fran (Morris), grandmother to Todd and Andrea, Jessica, Adam, Michael and Katie, Thierry and Geneviève, Tyler and Tory, Jodi and Dan, and great-grandmother to 22 and counting. She loved her grandchildren and great-grandchildren dearly, and made each one of them feel special.

Elena went back to work after her children matured and excelled in her career as secretary to the mill manager at St. Mary’s Paper in Sault Ste. Marie. She was described by her boss as the best secretary he ever had. She was hard working, a marvellous letter writer, effortless typist and great organizer, in addition to having stellar social skills. Later in life, Elena and George took on a new challenge and bought a unique tourist business on Pancake Bay called Black’s Little Bear Camp. They worked hard to make it a success and enjoyed five summers there until they sold the property to the provincial park.

Elena knew how to have fun wherever she went. She was a great dancer and sang beautifully. She loved to garden, play golf and tennis, skate and ski, bowl, play cards, and shuffleboard.

She also faced adversity in life. As a war bride, she saw her new husband go off to war in England; later, she lived in a remote prairie farmhouse in Manitoba with three young children; she organized moves  for the family more than a dozen times, following George’s employment; worst of all, she suffered the loss of her daughter Carol in 1986, and her much-loved husband George who passed away in 2000 after 57 years of marriage. Her strong Christian faith and values made her compassionate, generous, and forgiving in the face of these hardships. She has set a remarkable example for the family she leaves behind; she will be greatly missed.

A special thank you to Elena’s friend Dan MacEwen for being such a faithful companion in recent years. Also, special thanks to the Continuing Care staff at the Chatham Kent Hospital and the staff at The Village on the Ridge for their care of Elena in recent months. The biggest thank you is reserved for her daughter Fran, who has been a devoted caregiver and constant support for her mother in recent years.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in Elena’s memory to Chatham Kent Health Alliance Foundation (Continuing Care) or Village on the Ridge (Recreation department) in Ridgetown. A funeral service and celebration of life will be held at a later date in the spring. Online condolences may be left at
Arrangements entrusted to: McKinlay Funeral Home

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