October 5, 2019
Helen’s family is sad to announce her passing on October 5, 2019 at age 98. Mom was a nurse; she graduated as an RN in 1944. After WWII she moved to Trail to work at the Trail hospital. Mom worked in various nursing positions over the years, eventually taking on the Head Nurse position for the new Extended Care Unit when it opened in 1970 (now Poplar Ridge). She had a good rapport with her staff and many of them called her “Mother”. She worked there until her retirement. Mom was part of the team instrumental in getting Columbia View Lodge built and was a volunteer board member there for many years after retiring.
Mom was a social, outgoing person who always kept busy. She knitted, sewed, beaded and baked items for many people and charitable organizations. She had a soft spot for animals, children and seniors. After retirement, she kept busy sewing and sending hundreds of “quillows” to Easter Seal House for BC Children’s Hospital patients, volunteering with the stroke club and baking for fund-raisers, her family and friends, and she baked cookies for the Canada Post Office employees, who called her “The cookie lady”. She was an excellent baker and many will remember her awesome Nanaimo bars.
Helen had a large, extended family and a large social circle. She enjoyed having lunch with “The cousins” until her loss of hearing and sight made that difficult. After retiring, she still kept in touch with “The Brat Pack”, some of her staff who worked on ECU when she was Head Nurse. During her last years at home, Irene and Mel’s visits to “get her gorgeous” was the highlight of her week.
Helen met her first husband, Dave McCall, in Saskatchewan during the war. They were married in Trail in 1946 and had four children together, BettyAnn, Gerry, Margie and Erna. She remarried in 1976, to Andy Cavallin. Andy had two children, Connie and Rick. Helen was predeceased by both husbands, four sisters and her son, Gerry. She leaves to mourn her daughters, BettyAnn (Wayne) Richards, Margie McCall and Erna McCall, her daughter-in-law Sherry McCall, stepdaughter Connie (Dale) Karst and stepson Rick Cavallin, 13 grandchildren, 25 great grandchildren and 9 great, great grandchildren, and Andy’s cousins, nephews and nieces.
Many thanks to family and friends for your support and visits to Mom in Poplar Ridge over this past year. A private family service will be held at a later date. Al Grywacheski of Alternatives Funeral and Cremation Services has been entrusted with arrangements.
As an expression of sympathy, donations to a charity of your choice would be appreciated.
You are invited to leave a personal message of condolence at the family’s online register at www.myalternatives.ca
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