Vivian E. Helsell

Obituary Condolences

Vivian E HELSELL Vivian Powell Helsell, Age 86, died peacefully from Pulmonary Fibrosis and Congestive Heart Failure, with her husband, Bill, at her side, on Monday, October 5, 2009. Vivian was born on September 7, 1923 in Brooklyn, Annapolis County, Nova Scotia and was the last of three daughters and two sons of Truman and Ada Moore. Vivian's mother was widowed when Vivian was 5 years old. Ada Moore then proceeded to raise her family on the small farm where they lived by dint of hard work and help from the five children, relatives and neighbors. Vivian attended grade school and high school in Middleton, N.S. and then attended Business College in Truro, N.S. She worked as a receptionist and than as a legal secretary for a well known Halifax Barrister. She and a close friend from Middleton decided to "go west" in Canada and they did so settling first in Toronto where Vivian worked as a legal secretary. The two girls then went further west and rode a Greyhound Bus to Seattle and on up to Vancouver, B.C. Again, Vivian had no problem getting employment as a legal secretary. She and her friend found living space with two other girls from Canada in a private home in Vancouver. After another year the friend got homesick so they both came home to Nova Scotia. The friend was engaged by that time to a man from Tacoma, Washington. She returned to the Seattle area to marry him. Vivian went again to Vancouver to work in a law office, but, while visiting her friend and the friend's new husband she met Don Powell, a Seattle resident and was soon engaged to him and then married him and moved to Seattle in 1950. She became a naturalized citizen of the U.S. She and Don had two children, Bradley Lew Powell and Pamela Jean Powell (now Pamela Weston). Don Powell died prematurely in 1961. Following the example set by her own widowed mother, Vivian was forced to return to work as a legal secretary to support herself and her two children. She spent the last 25 years of her working life as a secretary in Seattle at the Helsell Fetterman law firm. During the last 22 years before her retirement in 1990, she was Bill Helsell's secretary. Bill's wife, Virginia, died in 1994. He needed secretarial help in answering the letters of condolence and Vivian agreed to help. She and Bill were married in June 1995. They spent 14 happy years together traveling to all parts of the world, mostly by small ships and freighters. One such trip involved a journey across Australia by train from Sydney to Perth and a return by air from Perth to Sydney and by freighter from Sydney to San Francisco. Another was a trip to the North Pole on a nuclear powered Russian Ice-breaker. Vivian was a true lady. She was beautiful inside and out and was most unpretentious. She was kind and thoughtful and won the respect, admiration and affection of all persons who knew her. She will be sorely missed by her family and by Bill and Bill's family whom she treated as her own. Vivian is survived by her husband, Bill, by her son Bradley, his wife Judi and children Devon, Trevor, Michael and John, and daughter Pamela, her husband Rich and children Jennifer and Robert. She also acquired six step-children when she married Bill, many step-grandchildren and six step-great grandchildren. A Memorial Service will be held on Saturday, October 31st at 3:00 .p.m. at University Christian Church, 4751 15th N.E. in Seattle. Remembrances may be sent to Northwest Harvest, PO Box 12272, Seattle, WA 98102 or Ballard Food Bank, 7001 24th Ave NW, Seattle, WA 98117. LIFE IS ETERNAL "I am standing upon the seashore. A ship at my side spreads her white sails to the morning breeze and starts for the blue ocean. She is an object of beauty and strength and I stand and watch her until, at length, she hangs like a speck of white cloud just where the sea and sky come down to mingle with each other. Then someone at my side says "There! She's gone." Gone where? Gone from my sight-that is all. She is just as large in mast and hull and spar as she was when she left my side, and just as able to bear her load of living freight to the place of destination. Her diminished size is in me, not in her; and just at the moment when someone at my side says, "There! She's Gone," there are other eyes watching her coming and other voices ready to take up the glad shout, "There she comes!".
Published in The Seattle Times from Oct. 18 to Oct. 31, 2009
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