Obituary of Helen McGregor
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It is with profound sadness that we announce the passing of Helen McGregor (nee Large) at the Brandon Regional Health Centre on Friday, July 28, 2023 at the age of 96 years. Helen passed away peacefully with family by her side.
She was predeceased by her husband Morris, son Donald, and all but one of her seven siblings.
Left to mourn and cherish her memory are her children, Malcolm, Loree (Kevin), Heather (Kelly), grandchildren Chris (Amy), Andrew (Zoe), Kelsey, Katlin (Nina), great-grandchild Cade, brother John (Christa), as well as many nieces, nephews and friends.
Helen was born on September 10, 1926 in Makaroff, where she was raised on a farm during the difficult days of the dirty thirties. Daily life was hard, but school was a great escape, and a part of her life she really enjoyed.
After completing her Grade 11, and a short training course, she became a Teacher on Permit, as during the war there was a shortage of teachers. After teaching one year at a small one room school near Inglis, she went to Winnipeg to complete her Grade 12, followed by a year of Normal School teacher training. It was during Normal School that her love of choral music conducting took hold. These were very exciting and fun years for her.
Her teaching career took her to many communities: Teulon, Foxwarren, Melita, Flin Flon, and eventually after marriage, Kenton. It was while teaching in Flin Flon that she began conducting choirs, which would later become a passion of hers. It was also while on summer vacation in Oak Lake that she met Morris. The following year he courted her from afar, proposed to her that Easter and they were married the following October.
After getting married and settled in Kenton, Helen taught one year before staying home to raise her family, having four kids in quick succession. For many years, life as a wife/mother/ homemaker kept her busy with childrearing, housework, gardening and sewing, not to mention also becoming a politician’s wife with additional responsibilities.
Once the children were all in school, due to another teacher shortage Helen resumed her teaching career, teaching first one year in Harding, and then in Kenton until she retired. She enjoyed it very much, particularly her involvement in choral music, as well as helping individual children with their solos and spoken poetry. She excelled at both and loved it.
Helen, while teaching in Kenton, completed her Bachelor of Arts from Brandon University by attending evening, intersession, and summer school classes over many years. Quite an accomplishment for a busy wife/parent of four, all the while maintaining a home, garden, and a full time job.
One of her favourite pastimes during these busy years was curling. Like everything else, Helen was quite good at it and often was the skip.
She attended almost every game/race/activity her children were in, which they all appreciated.
After retirement Morris and Helen moved to Brandon, living first on Wilnor Bay, then a condo at Horizon Place, and Helen moving to River Heights Terrace for the last 14 years. For many years, Morris and Helen spent a few winter months in Arizona, Texas or Victoria to escape the cold. Helen’s later travel included a couple of months in Victoria most winters, a cruise with Bridge friends, a few trips to England, and a month long stay in Australia.
In later years, Helen began enjoying Bridge. It was a very stimulating hobby that she enjoyed tremendously, and created a large network of new friends and acquaintances. She took particular interest in Duplicate Bridge, and eventually achieved her Life Master status in it.
Her lifelong approach to learning helped her embrace technology, which she used to enhance her life.
No matter what challenges were presented to her, such as foot pain, hearing and vision decline, covid restrictions, etc. Helen always seemed to cope remarkably well and tried to make the best of it. As her mother used to tell her, “Rise above it”, and so she did.
She had become the matriarch of the extended family, very much loved and appreciated by all for staying in contact, remembering their birthdays, and being updated about their lives.
Many friendships, new and old, have been cultivated and maintained right up to the time of her passing. She was lucky to live long enough to establish wonderful adult friendships with all her grandchildren and their partners, and certainly became enamored with the newest addition to her family, her great-grandson Cade.
A Celebration of Helen’s Life will be held at the Brockie Donovan Chapel, 332-8th Street in Brandon on Friday, September 15, 2023 at 2:00 p.m. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to a charity of choice.
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Celebration of Life
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