Peacefully, on Sunday, September 14, Helene in her 87th year was summoned by God's angels to live in peace and tranquility for all eternity. The beloved wife of Fred and dear mother of Catherine and Robert, Helene passed away at the Parkridge Centre after a lengthy battle with dementia. Helene was an intensely loyal sibling, wife, mother and friend. Growing up in rural Kirkland Lake Ontario, and coming from a large family herself (3 brothers - Norman, Samuel and Edward; 4 sisters - Eva, Francis, Margaret and Mamie) she always put the needs of others ahead of her own. Her father Elias (Alex), passed away when Helene was a teen, thus leaving the older siblings to provide for her mother Hadla and each other. Helene contributed her part to the family even after marrying and raising a family of her own. For her own family, she strived to treat everyone equally and was a very proud mother, grandmother and wife. She balanced the full-time job of raising a family with her second full-time job as an equal contributor in the family business. Helene was a kind and caring person who enjoyed many pursuits. Socially, she was always outgoing and friendly and loved the company of her friends and family. Physically, she was small but mighty. As the saying goes, "good things come in small packages". She was a talented softball player and turned evening social walking to help digest a good meal, at times, into a full fledged route march. An excellent cook, a talented self-taught seamstress, she enjoyed knitting and crocheting well into her golden years. If knitting was an Olympic sport, Helene would be the Gold Medal Champion. Living in the Northern Ontario town of Geraldton, Mother Nature provided one with a bountiful harvest and Helene enjoyed reaping the rewards of fishing to picking blueberries and raspberries. When fishing Helene would let out a holler when she landed "the big one" not wanting her catch to get away. And, when picking "in the bush" as they say, no matter what the terrain, she cradled her prized "blue and red gold" with the tenderest of care. Helene always picked clean. But most of all Helene was a survivor. An early near fatal car accident returning from a softball tournament as a teen, a battle with breast cancer, arthritis, kidney disease, and even a few broken bones could not slow her down. Even in the latter stages of her life, Alzheimer's slowed her but could never break her undying spirit and soul. Helene is survived, by her husband of 53 years, Fred, children Catherine Wegren (Tim) and Robert Kelly, two grandchildren Matthew and Mark Wegren, brother Samuel (Irma) Habib, and many loving nieces and nephews. A special thank you from our family is extended to Dr. Yelland and the nursing staff of the Parkridge Center for their loving care of our mother during her three-and-a-half year stay. In lieu of flowers donations can be made in Helene's memory to The Canadian Cancer Society (www.cancer.ca) or the Alzheimer's Society of Canada (www.alzheimer.ca).
The Funeral Service will be held at 1:00 p.m. on Wednesday, September 18 at Living Hope Church (102 Goerzen Street). Arrangements in care of John Schachtel - MOURNING GLORY FUNERAL SERVICES (306-978-5200) www.mourningglory.ca
Published in The Saskatoon StarPhoenix from Sept. 16 to Sept. 17, 2013