Eileen Hewson

Obituary of Eileen Margaret Hewson

It is with heavy hearts that we announce the passing of Eileen Margaret Hewson (neé Prust), age 89, of St. Catharines, ON and formerly of the Alliston, ON area.

Eileen, daughter of Dick and Cathy Prust, was born on July 11th, 1934 in Toronto ON and died May 17th, 2024 at the St. Catharines Hospital after suffering a serious stroke.

Eileen is survived by her brother Paul (Kingston ON) as well as cousin Lynn (David) Harrison (Cobourg ON) and many cousins in England and Scotland. She is also survived by her children: Janice (Steve), Alan (Carolyn) and Louise; her grandchildren Vanessa (Neil), Stephanie (Cody), Jocelyn, Jonathon, Christopher, Adam (Marjanna), Amanda (Nick), Rebecca-Lynn, Andrew and Scott. She was pre-deceased by her brother-in-law and sister-in-law Paul and Mary Morris, her sister-in-law Anne Prust and her grandson, Ryan Fralick.

She will also be eternally loved by eight great-grandchildren: Stratos, Emma & Ivy, Hallie & Tom and Nathan, Oliver & Bridget.

Eileen spent most of her adolescent years living in Georgetown, ON except for a five-year span when her father worked in Ottawa as a tool and die maker during WW2.

She was baptized, confirmed and married in St. George’s Anglican Church in Georgetown, ON and was very involved in the Anglican Church (in the Sunday School and working with youth). 

She graduated from Georgetown High School and Shaw Business College. She then worked for four years as a legal secretary, first in Georgetown, then with the same firm in their Toronto office.

Upon marriage, she moved to Airport Rd just north of Malton, ON, where her husband worked on his father’s farm, and then in 1962, they bought a dairy farm in Simcoe County, near Thornton, ON.  They led an active farm life and as a family were greatly involved in music, 4-H and their church.

As an empty nester, she built 2 small chicken barns and raised chickens and sold farm fresh eggs. She even had a Monday night egg delivery route to her regulars in Alliston.

Her hobbies included oil painting, spectator sports (Blue Jays, Maple Leafs and even the Argonauts) and she even took up the game of golf.

In about 1978, as active members of the St. John’s United Church Outreach Committee (that was supporting a Vietnamese refugee family), she and a friend opened a ladies’ wear store to find an outlet for the talents of the Vietnamese refugees who were seamstresses. The store was in Alliston, ON and was called “Something Different”.

Later, Eileen opened two fine gifts and china stores (called “Traditions”) in Cookstown and Alliston, ON.  And thus began her volunteer involvement with the Chamber of Commerce in both towns. At that time, both Chambers were collaborating with the community to bring an extension of the South Simcoe railway to their respective communities.

Eileen was actively involved with the United Church of Canada being an elder, secretary of the Official Board, outreach work, ministry and personnel committee, Sunday School teacher, member of the couples’ club and newsletter editor.

Beyond the local church, she represented St. John’s as a presbyter, chaired Mission in Canada and Stewardship Committees and served on the Presbytery executive.

At the conference level, she was secretary to both World Outreach and Church in Society Committees and a member of the Stewardship Committee. It was an honour for her to represent Simcoe Presbytery as a Commissioner at the United Church of Canada 1988 General Council meeting in Victoria, B.C., where the All Native Circle was started and they voted to allow gay and lesbian ministers.

In 1993, she was accepted as a member of the Alliston Rotary Club where she served proudly for many years. Rotary’s Motto “Service Above Self” could also accurately describe Eileen’s enthusiasm for helping others. Her greatest gift was her gift of time to the Rotary Club’s endless work as they supported numerous local organizations and programs.

While in the Alliston area, Eileen was also an active volunteer with Citizens on Patrol with the Police department, a volunteer for VICARS (Victim Crisis Assistance Team) and a hospice volunteer with Matthew’s House.

In 2014, she sold her home in Alliston and moved to St. Catharines where she lived close to her daughter Janice’s family. She very quickly became involved as a hospice volunteer with Niagara Hospice, as well as joining Silver Spire United Church where she served on the outreach committee.

She enjoyed gardening, watching the boats on the Welland Canal, meeting new friends and neighbours on Grosvenor St. as well as spending time with family whenever she could.

Her final two years were spent at Henley House in St. Catharines. The family expresses their deep gratitude for the excellent care that she received while living there, especially amidst a pandemic. She will be missed by newly made friends Virginia, Corrine, Sharon, Eunice and Vince.

Eileen passed while surrounded by many loving family members who remained by her side in her final hours; sharing stories and playing some of her favourite songs on the piano.

A private family graveside service will be held at a future date at the Greenwood Cemetery in Georgetown, ON. The family requests that remembrances be made in the form of donations to:

St. Johns’ United Church in Alliston ON https://www.stjohnsalliston.ca/ways-to-give

or Silver Spire United Church in St. Catharines, ON https://www.silverspire.ca/give 

Eileen lived for her family, her friends and her faith. She accepted all people as friends, some for a reason, some for a season and some for a lifetime.  She will be greatly missed by them all, but will be fiercely remembered.

Her beautiful smile would warm up any room that she walked into.

Sometimes our joy is the source of our smile, but when you remember Eileen, your smile will become the source of your joy.

A Memorial Tree was planted for Eileen
We are deeply sorry for your loss ~ the staff at George Darte Funeral Chapel Inc.
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