Helen H. Spencer passed away on Sat., July 4, 2020 while in the Coronation Health Care Centre at the age of 91 years.
We gather here today to remember Helen, our mom, grandma, great-grandma and friend.
Jack and Annie Polson welcomed Mom to their lives on Dec. 27, 1928.
She was raised on the Polson farm with her siblings Robert, John, Margaret and Roger.
She had fond memories of riding horses, doubling with Roger to school, and hooking up the team with Rob so they could go to town on Saturday nights.
Soon Dad was in the picture and they were married in Jan. 1950, when they were both 21.
After setting up their home in what was known as the “nurses home”, they soon had Joan and Lorna and Uncle Joe, who was staying with them, to keep them busy; then Barb, Bill and Margaret added to the family.
After the move to Hanna in 1963, we were all excited to have a new baby sister, Audrey.
Mom had such strength in running a house with six kids.
She was a meticulous housekeeper, a great cook and did so many small things that made our childhood special.
She was artistic and hand-drew our valentines to give out at school.
Every Christmas morning, we woke up to brand new hand-sewn clothing on all of our dolls.
She persevered through all of our dance lessons, coached us through piano lessons and encouraged us through school.
We all remember Sunday afternoon board games, popcorn in the big copper bowl, and brown sugar fudge.
She kept this up in visits with the grandkids and was especially close to Paul when he came to her house after school.
Mom liked nice things in our home and saved up for crystal and her china set. She was also known to rearrange the furniture regularly, much to Dad’s dismay.
She was strongly independent.
We all applauded when at 50 years old, she applied and got her first job away from home: vet assistant in the Hanna Clinic.
When she moved back to the farm in Consort in 1981, horses were back in her life.
She had her team and stubbornly built a whole buggy and sleigh in her kitchen over the winter.
She loved the horses – the chickens maybe not so much.
Mom was very intelligent and would take on any challenge when it came to doing repairs, figuring out how something would work, or finding an innovative solution.
It was very difficult for her when Dad passed away when they were both 70.
When she moved to town a few years later, her new home became home to all of us again.
In later years, Ivar Nelson became her companion.
They had so many fun days camping and fishing, visiting the birthday group and spending time with Ivar’s family.
She turned her artistic talents into doing a needlepoint picture for each of her six children and all 13 grandchildren. She spent many hours not just colouring in her books but getting all the shading just right.
She also knit toques for babies in the NICU.
In the last few years, her iPad was a close companion – she checked in first thing every day to see what all us were up to.
She would smile at pictures of her 10 great-grandbabies.
She would challenge anyone to a game of online scrabble and win.
She loved her 90th birthday party.
Photos of her as a young child, a vibrant young woman, loving mom and caring and generous grandma reminded us of her life well-lived. You all made that a special day for her.
Mom passed away peacefully on Sat. July 4 with family at her side.
Special thanks to Dr. Stephen Akindipe and the Coronation Hospital staff who believed in Mom and helped her through these last six difficult months.
She touched many people, was the best mom and we will all miss her dearly. It is hard to say goodbye.
Helen is survived by her daughters Joan (Wayne) Kautz of Edmonton, Lorna (Bernard) Fandrich of Lytton, B.C., Barbara Spencer of Edmonton, Margaret (Mike) Baskey of Consort, Audrey (Craig) Hollingshead of Red Deer; son Bill (Karen) Spencer of Bragg Creek; 13 grandchildren; 10 great-grandchildren; sisters in law Emelia Polson and Jean Polson; other family and many good friends.
Donations in memory of Helen may be made to the Lakeroad Cemetery, Coronation Hospital Foundation, The Canadian Red Cross Society or to STARS.
For those wishing to express their condolences to Helen’s family, please visit www.parkviewfuneralchapels.com
Parkview Funeral Chapels entrusted with the care and funeral arrangements, for further information, please call 403-578-3777.