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January 25, 1920 – July 3, 2014
With great sadness the family of Mary-Helen Richards announces her passing on July 3, 2014 in Saskatoon. Mary-Helen was born in Somerville, Massachusetts, USA. She received her B.Sc. Home Economics, and Registration in Nursing at Michigan State University, and took further training in Psychiatric Nursing, Psychology and English. Mary-Helen was a decorated veteran of WWII, serving in the U.S., Hawaii, and Okinawa as 2nd Lieutenant with the U.S. Army Nurse Corp. Mary-Helen met J. Howard Richards, a Welshman who had served with the RAF and joined the Canadian Army, while visiting mutual friends in New York. Following the war, they married and had seven children. Mary- Helen remained a landed immigrant in Canada, and through her lifetime of volunteer work received many awards in recognition of her commitment to improving the lives of women and children, and later on the rights of the elderly. She lobbied for incorporation of kindergartens with the public school system, co-founded Theatre for Children and the Society for Protection of Children, and founded the Saskatoon Crisis Nursery. She was named CFQC's Citizen of the Year in 1978, and received the Canada Volunteer Award in 1987. Mary-Helen embraced the world with concern, respect, humour, and courtesy, tempered by the impatience required to get things done. We love and admire her. She is predeceased by her husband Prof. Emeritus J. Howard Richards, her daughter Pegi (Margaret) Richards, infant grandchildren Sarah McGillivray and Benjamin Didur, and daughter-in-law Elizabeth Richards. Mary-Helen is mourned by her children, David (Jo Bell), Anne McGillivray (Archie), Alun (Catherine), Harriet (Neil McMillan), Bill (Roxanne Classen), Tom (Lisa); Catherine Barry; sixteen grandchildren, and ten great-grandchildren. We are grateful for the loving support of friends and family, and the fine care Mary- Helen received at Circle Drive Special Care Home. At her request, donations in Mary- Helen's memory can be made to the JH Richards Graduate Award, Dept. of Geography and Planning, University of Saskatchewan. A Memorial Service will be held 2:00 p.m. Friday, July 11 at St. John's Cathedral, 816 Spadina Crescent E, Saskatoon. Arrangements are entrusted to Saskatoon Funeral Home (306-244-5577)
Saskatoon Funeral Home
338 4th Avenue North
Saskatoon, SK S7K 2L7
Published in The Saskatoon StarPhoenix from July 4 to July 8, 2014