Helene Clements

Helen was born in 1935 or perhaps 1934 (Helen was always cagey about her year of birth) in Toronto and died Thursday March 30, 2017 in Duncan, British Columbia. As a young child, she moved with her parents, Ray Clement and Freda Hawken, to Strathroy, Ontario, where she spent her childhood and teen years. After graduating from Strathroy Collegiate Institute, Helen took secretarial and clerical training, joined the RCAF and met her future husband, Edwin Macpherson, when they were both stationed at RCAF London, Ontario. After their marriage, she and Edwin moved to British Columbia where Ed became a renowned bush pilot. Helen flew with Ed throughout northern BC and the Yukon, hunted moose from the roadway and enjoyed the adventures of a rugged and exciting life. An excellent seamstress, Helen made all of their clothes in the early going. After Ed was in a near-fatal automobile collision Helen dedicated months to nursing him back to health. As years passed two good people decided to part and Helen taught bookkeeping courses in community colleges, worked in the medical records department of St. Joseph’s General Hospital in Courtney, BC, served as the receptionist/office manager for several physicians and started her own temporary worker’s agency in Nanaimo, British Columbia. Her spirit of independence and innovative employment was severely tried when she began to suffer from rheumatoid arthritis, a disease that crippled her grandmother. As the condition worsened the simplest tasks became fraught with pain but she insisted on living on her own with the help of friends at her trailer park in Crofton, BC, until a stroke necessitated her move to Cairnsmore Place Nursing Home in Duncan, BC. Throughout her life, she was passionate about the care of animals and adopted and cared for dogs and cats that had been abandoned or mistreated, a passion she inherited from her mother and father who raised Boston terrier dogs during her childhood. Predeceased by her brother, George, and her sister, Eilene, Helen is survived by her niece, Joan Patch (Dan), and nephews John Clement (Christine), Robert Clement (Joanne), great niece Gail Clement (John), great nephews Paul Clement and Adam Clement (Tawnia), great great nephews Jasper Forsyth and Skylar Young and great great nieces Molly and Alice Forsyth and Olivia Young. Special thanks to Dr. Roy and Dr. Heard of Duncan, BC, and to the staff of Cairnsmore Place Nursing Home in Duncan. The benefits of the steadfast help offered by Helen’s friend, Martin Bayuk and his late wife, Tova, as her health and mobility declined cannot be overstated. Memorial service and burial to take place in Strathroy at a future date.

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