It is with great sadness we announce the passing of Helen.
She is survived by husband Joseph, sister Rose, children: Lynda Koehle (David), Wayne Clouthier (Colleen), Richard Clouthier (Teresa), and Darlene Grears (Ted), stepchildren: Julie Zekonic, Tony Nemeth (Vivian), Jeanne Stanicky (Rob), as well as grandchildren Brett, Brandon, Sam, Erin, Ben, Bryson, Colton, Josh, Emily, Janet, Gene, Tanner, Taylor, Mia, Talia, Sydney, Zack, and her great grandchildren Cohen, Teagan, and Lochlan.
Helen was preceded by her parents, her siblings, her son-in-law Perry, and her grandson Danny.
Helen was born on March 28, 1936 in rural Manitoba. Unusual circumstances meant Helen was given up for adoption, at which point she was blessed with the Chabans, a loving family in Blaine Lake, Saskatchewan. There she grew up with her two brothers, Steve and Bill, in a small town farm environment.
Helen quickly learned how to roll up her sleeves and work hard, particularly in the kitchen. She did so without complaint while maintaining her wonderful smile. These qualities never left her as long as her body was able.
As a young woman, Helen married Gabe Clouthier and they moved west to Alberni where she dedicated her energy to loving and raising her children and running the household. She was a natural mother: always kind, loving, and forgiving, and maybe just a wee bit mischievous. It was during this time that Helen’s friends and family recognized that she was the best Ukrainian cook in the free world.
As the children grew up, Helen’s life saw change. After one relationship ended, another began to grow. That is when Helen met Joe, who was a kind, hardworking, and loving man. She lived out the second half of her life in happiness with Joe as they got to enjoy their children and grandchildren together. Helen’s eyes lit up the most when she was with or heard about her grandchildren.
Later in life, after her Mom passed away, Helen received the special gift of meeting her biological family, who were incredibly loving and open to her. This had a profound effect on her as she was able to build and enjoy loving relationships with a new brother, three new sisters, and their extended families.
As Helen’s body began to wear out and her journey became difficult, she continued on, often enduring pain quietly. As always, the sure way to see her smile was a discussion about, or a visit from her grandchildren.
The family would like to thank the staff at Stanford Place for the kind and loving care Helen received. It was a true blessing for us to see the staff doing what they were meant to do.
A Celebration of Life will be held at Chapel of Memories, 4005 6th Avenue in Port Alberni, BC at 1:00 pm on Thursday, November 30th, 2017.
Stories and condolences may be left for the family at www.chapelofmemories.ca.