Hedija (Hedy) Djonlich

June 7, 1946 - May 23, 2024
May 28, 2024 7 Condolences Print Obituary Send Flowers

It is with much love and sadness that we say goodbye to our Mother Hedija (Hedy) Djonlich who passed away May 23, 2024 at the age of 77 years in Edmonton, AB.

Hedy is predeceased by her husband of 36 Years Rifat (Richard), many other family members and just recently by her beloved Sister Fatima in Bosnia, who in her final months traveled a parallel journey with her from across the world. She is survived by her two sons Eddy and Dennis (Roxanne); her 3 grandchildren Cedar, Junah & Norah, and her faithful furry companion Stella.  Hedy was born in G. Moranjci Srebrenik, Yugoslavia on June 7th, 1946 and immigrated to Canada with her husband on Dec.20th 1967, eventually making her way to Edmonton where she stayed, put down roots and remained for the entirety of her life.  She worked tirelessly to build a better life for her and her family and succeeded in every respect.  Being a mom was a dream come true for her and she adored us.   When she became a grandmother (Nena) she took it on with the same enthusiasm she had for her own children; she was present, patient and loving and developed a special bond with her granddaughter Norah. After her retirement she opened up her house to countless university students over the years, initially as a way to make a little extra money but ultimately touching the lives of many young people at a time in their lives that they needed it most.  She leaves a lasting legacy of kindness, generosity, compassion & unconditional love.

We will cherish our memories of her and endeavour to carry forward the lessons taught.

Thank you to her many friends for their kindness and to the women of her Bosnian community, who delivered us guiding angels when we needed them most.

We wish to express our heartfelt thanks to Dr. Vicaruddin and the rest of the doctors, nurses, staff and volunteers at the Pilgrims Roozen Family Hospice who not only excelled in the care & compassion they showed to Hedy and to her friends & family, but to all the patients and families who were on a similar journey there during our stay.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in Hedy's honour to Roozen Family Hospice Centre https://pilgrimshospice.com/get-involved/make-a-donation/

A Celebration of Hedy's Life will be held on Saturday, June 15, 2024 at 2:00 pm at Trinity Funeral Home Chapel.

  1. Dear Ed and family – Hedy truly was an angel here on this earth. I will remember her fondly with love and so much respect. I will never forget her sparkling eyes and how her smile and laughter would light up a room. Hedy touched my life in a way I simply cannot articulate in words. My life is better for knowing her and the kindness she bestowed upon me. She had such a gift for seeing and bringing out the best in people. Sending my deepest and sincere condolences for the tremendous loss of your beloved Mother. She was a remarkable woman whose zest for life will be imprinted in my memory and heart forever.

  2. Dear Eddy, Dennis, and family

    My deepest and most heartfelt condolences on the passing of your remarkable mother, an extraordinary woman. I was one of the countless international students who had the privilege of being welcomed by Hedy into her home, first solo and later with my daughter. From the moment I met Hedy, I felt an immediate warmth and kindness in her words and actions.
    Hedy’s kindness extended far beyond offering a peaceful place to stay. To name a few of the countless favours Hedy did for us: she continually offered us meals, shared grocery rides, checked in on my daughter at school, and even played badminton and volleyball with her after school while I was immersed in my doctoral courses and research. Hedy was a never-ending spring of affection and support at a time when I could hardly survive without it.
    Beyond being an incredibly caring friend, Hedy soon became an exceptional mentor who touched my life in many brilliant ways. Our conversations spanned various topics, including stories of her childhood and how it shaped her identity, her stories of immigration and her resilient success in overcoming hardships, and her profound reflections on the value of life, self, family, love, and happiness. In my eyes, Hedy was a scholar whose knowledge and reflections were as enriching and thought-provoking as the graduate courses I took at UofA.
    Hedy illuminated my life forever with her wisdom, positive vision, and remarkably humane deeds.
    My respect and love for Hedy are eternal. I miss her dearly and will continue to cherish her memory. May Allah grant her eternal peace and bless her with a beautiful garden in Jannah.

    With deepest sympathy,
    Shahin M. Sarabi

  3. I am so very sorry to hear of the passing of your wonderful mother, Hedy. I met Hedy many years ago when she befriended my mom Valerie as they lived on the same street. She was an incredibly kind, warm, vivacious and feisty woman who I always enjoyed visiting with whether it was with my mom or passing by her place on dog walks and stopping to chat. She even joined a dance class I was teaching years ago and I so loved her enthusiasm in trying something new. I have always been so grateful that Hedy was such a dear friend in my mom’s life- a friend who my mom spoke about and still speaks about often. This is a huge loss for so many people and is a testament to her beautiful impact on all the people in her life. Praying for your family during this very difficult time.

  4. The Berry family is so sorry for your loss. We could always see how much your Mom meant to you and your family. Her and your parent’s story is inspiring and we can see the values and life lessons that influenced the person you have become. She was blessed to have all of you in her life. I hope her memory and life has made a great impression on many others. All the best. The Berry’s

  5. Dear Ed, Dennis, Roxanne, Cedar, Junah and Norah. I send you my deepest sympathy, love and prayers at the loss of your incredible mother and grandma, Hedy. It was my good fortune and one of my life’s biggest blessings when I met Hedy 18 years ago. She stopped on her bicycle in front of my house one day to introduce herself and over the years we developed a heart friendship. One of the things I truly admired about Hedy was that she was so friendly and interested in people and met all of the neighbours on our street. She absolutely made Westmount a nicer community to live in.
    Sweet Hedy was such a trusted friend and we shared our hopes, dreams, joys, sometimes sadness, discussed current events and loved to tell stories about our children and grandchildren and all of the wonderful adventures and changes they were experiencing. She was so proud of her family.
    Your mom/grandma/nena was such a spirited woman, always up for an adventure and her positive attitude and sense of fun was contagious. We walked our dogs together, often had coffee or lunch at our favourite local restaurants, The Colombian, The Duchess and Tiramisu. We also shared meals in each other’s homes, took classes together; art, yoga, dance and attended performances. Sometimes we would go grocery shopping and it didn’t matter what we were doing, I loved Hedy’s company and appreciated the unconditional love that she offered. When you were with Hedy, you knew you were accepted for who you were and that was a great gift.
    Hedy’s gracious, generous hospitality was legendary and coffee at her home always included a little feast of fruits, cheeses, pastries and sometimes food she grew herself in her gorgeous garden. What a fantastic cook she was!
    The dozens of international students that shared her home hit the jackpot when they chose to live with Hedy. She was the house mother, a friend, an encourager to lonely students so far from their homes and families. Hedy would spend countless hours in conversation, giving the opportunity to practice their English and learn about Canada and taste her delicious cooking.
    Hedy was such an elegant woman, the way she spoke, the way she dressed and kept her beautiful home. And she was brave, confident, strong and a deep thinker, developing opinions after much research and holding onto her beliefs, not being easily swayed. In her last days we discussed her faith in God and how wonderful heaven was going to be with Jesus and her loved ones. Hedy prayed often and said she knew that God heard her. My hope of being with my dear friend again in heaven is what helps to replace some of the deep grief and loss. Rest in peace sweet Hedy. You were a shining star on earth and I know you are having the greatest adventure in your forever home. I love you forever and always. xo Valerie

  6. Beloved Hedy,

    I will forever cherish the countless beautiful memories we shared. I fondly remember our walks with Honey, the neighbor’s dog, and the times we spent exploring the river valley together. Our afternoons were filled with joy and creativity, whether we were at my elementary school’s playground playing volleyball and badminton, or sitting at the dining table painting and making jewelry.

    Gardening with you in the backyard during spring and summer, shoveling snow together in the winter, and doing nail art with your collection of polishes and stickers were also moments of collaboration that meant the world to me, especially with the level of patience and encouragement that you blessed my 11-year-old self with. Each activity was a lesson in love, care, and shared joy, filling my life with warmth, kindness, and guidance.

    During challenging times, especially when I faced bullying at school, your advice and comforting presence were invaluable. Your kindness, generosity, and wisdom made such a significant impact on my life. Your welcoming and optimistic yet realistic attitude towards life was truly inspiring and provided me with the strength to persevere.

    Hedy, you were an incredibly kind-hearted, generous, compassionate, patient, supportive, comforting, inspiring, and knowledgeable person with a beautiful soul. Though you may have passed, your memory and the love you gave us will live on forever. Thank you for everything you did for my mom and me. You will always hold a special place in my heart.

    With all my love,

  7. Dear Family Djonlich,
    I am deeply saddened by the passing of Hedija. She was an incredible person whose kindness, warmth, and vibrant spirit touched everyone who had the privilege of knowing her. During this difficult time, my thoughts and prayers are with all her family and friends. To her sons, I hope you find comfort in knowing how loved and admired she was by all of those who surrounded her. May her spirit give you strength and her memory bring you peace. If there is anything I can do to support you, never hesitate to reach out.

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