Hélène Julia Mair

BMJ 2009; 339 doi: (Published 28 September 2009) Cite this as: BMJ 2009;339:b3931
  1. Eve Hunnings,
  2. Anneke Rees

    Born in Utrecht, Holland, Hélène Julia Mair (“Oma”) died peacefully at home in Boundary Bay, Delta, British Columbia, Canada, with her daughters, Eve (David) and Anneke (Rob), at her bedside. Predeceased in 2004 by her husband and lifelong professional partner, Dr Nicholas Saul Mair (“Opa”), she leaves two daughters, five grandchildren (Nick, Alex, John, Katie, Julie, and husband, Yuriy), and their two children (Nicola and Noah).

    Oma was a decorated resistance fighter in the second world war, and her courage, humility, kindness, and integrity remained a constant inspiration to everyone who knew her throughout her life. After a three decade career in virology research in Britain, Oma and Opa retired to Boundary Bay in 1986 to enjoy a new life with their growing family. Oma exchanged long letters with her friends all over the world and was constantly curious about ideas and people. Her generous, loving spirit touched everyone she met, and her desire for justice and peace never waned. She remained an active member of the Medical Association for Prevention of War (MAPW) till the end.

    Oma will always be loved and missed by her family, whom she made the centre of her life. As someone who walked her walk to the very end, she requested no flowers or memorial. Rather she asked that donations be made to Habitat for Humanity Greater Vancouver ( or to the Vancouver Holocaust Education Centre (


    Cite this as: BMJ 2009;339:b3931


    • Former virologist Public Health Laboratory Service, Groby Road Hospital, Leicester (b 17 October 1918; q Brussels/Manchester 1940s; Dip Bact 1952, MRCPath 1964, FRCPath 1976), d 26 July 2009.

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