Helen Elizabeth Martin (née Lautard). Born July 8th, 1935 in Rhone, BC. Died December 28th, 2015 in Sidney, BC. Loving wife of Frank and mother to Stephen (Drew Thomson) and Victoria Linda (Warren Feek). Grandmother to Benjamin, Jocelyn, Kaitlin, Braden and Logan. She is also survived by 3 of her 10 siblings, Paul, Eddy and Jeanette, and many nieces and nephews.
If life is meant to challenge, and living is to challenge life, then Helen had a very full time on this earth. She came from a large, proud French family in the Kettle Valley. Born at the end of the Depression Helen left the Valley to attend secondary school in Vancouver followed by nursing training and working at St Paul’s Hospital. She returned to meet and marry Frank before leaving again for Victoria, Cobble Hill, Maple Bay and Esquimalt.
Family, friends, nursing, art, community involvement were the major themes in her life. She was married to Frank for 40 years until his passing in 1996. In his latter years she attentively provided the care he required. Her children were loved and supported to follow their academic, community and sporting interests – all with some challenging questions and observations from Mum. Helen¹s wide circle of friends experienced her generosity, big dinner parties, boating and other adventures – sometimes with a unique twist to liven events. As a devotee of the phone, all of her friends and family enjoyed regular calls from Helen. Well respected as a public health nurse in the Cowichan Valley, Helen loved her work in the Cowichan Valley. She challenged herself to reveal the inner artist with impressive results – and even more friends in the arts community. Later in life her community commitments were exemplified by the campaign for the crosswalk on Esquimalt Road and her support of work with children experiencing Fetal Alcohol Syndrome. Her dress hat collection of 200 at last count is legendary.
We will greatly miss a woman with a sharp intellect, huge compassion as well as a talent for the unexpected and sometimes challenging. May she rest in the peace of mind that she so richly deserves.
Our fulsome thanks to all who cared for and loved her, especially Dr. Derek Carroll for his incredible skill, compassion, and patience for these many years of care. At Helen’s request there will be no service. Should you wish, in Helen¹s memory and in lieu of flowers, please make donations to the Canadian Mental Health Association.
Messages to the family can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org.