With deep sadness, we announce the passing of Helena in Strathmore on April 9th, 2021 at the age of 91 years. Mom was born on May 4, 1929 to Michael and Alice Donovan on a farm near Blackie, Alberta. Mom was active in sports, had a keen Irish wit, and an equally sharp sense of humor, honed by 2 older teasing brothers. After a year of normal school at the University of Calgary, Mom began her teaching career at Grainger, where she was also responsible to start the fire in the schoolhouse in the morning before classes. After 1 year, she moved to Strathmore, where, after meeting a local conservationist who presented a wildlife film to her class, she ended up marrying him on July 10, 1952. Mom taught grade 3, where she imparted her significant wisdom and expertise to a large number of past and current Strathmore citizens. Her teaching career would span 4 decades during which she worked hard to obtain her Bachelor of Education, commuting to U of C to take night classes after a day of teaching Grade 3’s. Mom and Dad were truly a team where Helena’s quiet contributions allowed George to be so active in the community.
An avid golfer, gardener, and volunteer, Mom was an active member of Royal Canadian Legion #10, the Christmas Hamper, the Strathmore Golf Club executive, and the publication of the Strathmore History Book, “The Town that Moved”. She was a gracious hostess, and always had a meal available on short notice for relatives, friends, or DU staff that dropped by the house. Everyone will have a memory of a special dish that Helena cooked for them.
Mom leaves to mourn daughter Georgina (Roger), son Larry (Debbie) and her pride and joy: the grandchildren Sarah (Brent), Tim and Anne Wozney, sister-in-law Joy Donovan and a large group of family and friends here and in England.
She was predeceased by her husband of 65 years, George, brothers Clarence and Lyle Donovan, sister Elizabeth Goodwin, and her parents Alice and Michael Donovan.
Special thanks to Sagewood Community, especially Eagle Lake staff, Drs. Young and Fanning and Devony Greentree for Mom’s tender care in her later years. Thank you to the neighbors in Glenwood community, the relatives, supportive friends, former teachers and old time Coffee Crowd for visits and special moments.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to Helena’s favorite causes (Helena Freeman Academic Scholarship at George Freeman School, WFCSS Christmas Hamper, Western District Historical Society, Ducks Unlimited) or a charity of your choice.
. Many hearts have been forever touched by Helena. We love you and miss you!
A celebration of Helena’s life will be held on May 8, 2021 at 12:00 p.m
To watch a live stream of the funeral service CLICK HERE. The video will go live approximately 10 minutes prior to the service.