Major bequest brings Quinte Humane Society closer to a new home

·3 min read

Since 2015, Quinte Humane Society has received 24 bequested gifts ranging from $500 to $1,000,000. Most recently, QHS was gifted $244,383.47 thanks to the caring generosity of the late Ilse Huszka.

The Quinte Humane Society is now $244,383.47 closer to moving out of its current dilapidated, overcrowded and unworkable shelter on Avonlough Road and towards an upgraded, and safer facility along Wallbridge-Loyalist Road.

Ilse Huszka passed away peacefully in her 91st year in Belleville on January 22nd, 2020.

On Thursday, December 17th, Huszka’s very close friend and neighbour Andre (Andy) Martin, alongside his financial advisor Christian Jaehn-Kreibaum and long-time assistant Jodi Milligan, presented the wonderful gift to Donna Endicott, Chair of QHS’ volunteer Board of Directors, in the old barn of the shelter.

“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,” said Martin. “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.”

Everyone was welcomed by QHS’s new Executive Director Marilyn Lawrie, while Nightmare, a sweet, adorable and affectionate seven-year-old Beagle ready to find his forever loving home, howled in gratitude on behalf of all the animals for Ms. Huszka’s generous gift.

Ms. Huszka’s gift was been designated to the quest to secure a new home for the animals, staff and community programming and outreach.

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

As a bequest gift to Quinte Humane Society, Ms. Huszka will 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 been generous enough to include QHS in their Will.

After immigrating to Canada from Germany in her mid-twenties to further her education in the medical field to later qualify as a laboratory technologist after a period in a child psychology ward.

In January of 1967, Ilse became a Canadian citizen. Ilse’s first husband passed at an early age, and five years later she found new love with Gaston Petit, with whom she shared 25 enjoyable years as snowbirds and taking cruises until his passing in 2013.

Passionate about animals, Ilse often continued the snowbird tradition, driving South with her pets for three more years after Gaston’s passing until she last drove home from Florida at the age of 87 to stay home and enjoy her quiet landscaped waterfront property.

“She will be missed, and the animals lost a very caring friend,” said Martin. “As Ilse would say, ‘There will always be people to look after people but often, animals are forgotten.’ Hence her long time wishes to donate to QHS for the betterment of animal care and protection.”

Virginia Clinton, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Intelligencer