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QHS Receives Major Bequest Gift for New Centre


QHS Shelter from L to R – Marilyn Lawrie, Donna Endicott, Andre Martin, Jodi Milligan,
Christian Jaehn-Kreibaum and “Nightmare” -
a sweet and affectionate Beagle ready to find his forever loving home.

Belleville – Thanks to the caring generosity of the late Ilse Huszka, the Quinte Humane Society is $244,383.47 closer to moving out of its current dilapidated, overcrowded and unworkable shelter.

“This gift is very touching for so many reasons, but especially because Ilse actually considered our poor animals in need and the urgency to find them a new home while making her Will.” commented, Donna Endicott, Chair of the volunteer Board of Directors. “We are extremely grateful for this special gift and we plan to honour Ms. Huszka with a special dedication in the new Centre.”

As a bequest gift to QHS, Ms. Huszka will also be treasured as a patron of The Pat Culhane Legacy Circle, which was established to celebrate Pat’s enormous contribution to QHS and to acknowledge all those who have included QHS in their Will.

Huszka, Ilse (nee Grosser, 1928) passed away peacefully in Belleville on 22 January, 2020 in her 91st year. Ilse immigrated to Canada from Germany around the age of 25 to further her education in the medical field, qualifying as a laboratory technologist after a period in a child psychology ward. She became a Canadian citizen in January 1967.  Ilse’s husband passed away at an early age, when she was 52 years of age, and found a new companion about 5 years later, Gaston Petit, with whom she shared about 25 enjoyable years as snow birds as well as going on many cruises until Gaston’s passing in 2013. Ilse drove South with her pets for 3 more years when she decided that it was time to stay home and enjoy her quiet landscaped waterfront property.  She was 87 years of age when she last drove alone from Florida.

Ilse with companion Candy, Christmas morning

Andre (Andy) Martin, a very close friend and neighbour of Ms. Huszka, presented the wonderful gift to Ms. Endicott in the old barn section of the shelter. On-hand to support Ms. Huszka’s wishes was Mr. Martin’s financial advisor Christian Jaehn-Kreibaum and his long-time assistant Jodi Milligan of Raymond James, Trenton and everyone was welcomed by Marilyn Lawrie, QHS’ new Executive Director. On behalf of all the animals, “Nightmare”, a sweet, adorable and affectionate seven-year-old Beagle ready to find his forever loving home, howled his gratitude for Ms. Huszka’s generous gift.

As a follow up to the donation, Mr. Martin provided the following anecdotes about his friend, the late Ilse Huszka. “As a friend of Ilse for over 30 years, I can say that she was a private, strong willed and somewhat sophisticated lady who just loved nature with all that it had to offer, including all animals. One could observe her either holding one of her pets or at times getting a big smile from her while being photographed with a wild animal. I thought the best way to attest to that warm, undeniable love she had towards animals, was simply to show some photos, some of which have captions she wrote.

Ilse would enjoy reading a book either from her sunroom or her covered balcony and listen to the birds that she would feed from the many bird houses she had at the front and back of her home. Her dream was to stay in her home, a little paradise of great water views, the shrubs, the trees, and the sound of the birds and the quiet. Regrettably, for her own safety, Ilse’s medical condition would not allow her to stay in her primary residence since 1972 and went to a retirement home for about 3 months before passing peacefully at a nursing home. She will be missed, and the animals lost a very caring friend. As Ilse would say “there will always be people to look after people but often, animals are forgotten”, hence her long time wish to donate to QHS for the betterment of animal care and protection.”

Ms. Huszka’s legacy will always live on at the Quinte Humane Society and many from both ends of the leash will benefit from her thoughtful generosity.