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HELEN SIGURDSON (MASSE)
Born: Dec 06, 1928
Date of Passing: Oct 07, 2021Send Flowers to the Family Offer Condolences or Memory
Helen was predeceased in 2010 by her loving husband of 55 years, Albert (Frank) Sigurdson. Remaining to forever cherish her memory is daughter Janine (Brian) of Sedgefield, England; sons, Norman and Richard (Cheryl) of Calgary; and Christopher (Teresa) of Winnipeg. Helen also leaves her beloved grandchildren, Richard, Laura, Amy, Erika, Charlotte, Anton, Lorraine, Nola, Ava and Henry, as well as 12 great-grandchildren.
Helen was born on the family farm near Starbuck, Manitoba on December 6, 1928 - the last of the children of Flora (née Chabot) and Alphonse Masse. She was predeceased by brothers, Theodore, Medric, Arthur and Wilfrid; and by sisters, Jovanna, Florence, Dora and Yvonne. Both of her parents' families had deep roots in what is now Quebec. On the Masse side, Helen traced her ancestors to the 35th recorded marriage in New France in 1644.
Despite growing up during the Depression, Helen enjoyed a happy childhood focussed on home, church and school. As the youngest, she was pampered by her older siblings, and remembered laughing and giggling as she was tossed from one brother to the next. She enjoyed school and at 14 was enrolled in St. Joseph's Academy in St. Boniface. Inspired by the nuns who taught her, Helen determined to be a teacher herself. After a year at Normal School in Winnipeg, she embarked on a highly successful teaching career that started at age 19 in a one-room rural school and ended in 1985 at a large, modern suburban school, Hastings Elementary, where she taught for over 20 years.
Teaching turned out not only to be her vocation but it provided the chance to meet the love of her life, Frank, who was one of the other new teachers when she took a job in Dominion City in 1953. They started dating, fell in love, married in 1954, started a family, moved to Winnipeg and eventually built a house on Cabot Crescent, which would be her home for the next 57 years. Helen and Frank made precious, lifelong friends on Cabot. Their children grew up there among a throng of neighbourhood kids, and their grandchildren loved visiting and playing in the park behind the house. In 2019, Helen moved to Dakota House Assisted Living, then in June, 2021 to Poseidon Personal Care Home, where she died peacefully.
Helen and Frank enjoyed travel - especially to England after Janine moved there - but Helen was happiest at home or at the cottage, purchased in 1981 at Glen Bay, just north of Gimli. Wherever Helen was she had a book on the go. Reading was her passion, and she passed on this love to her children, who remember gathering at her feet to hear her read to them each night. (A favourite was Stig of the Dump by Clive King.) When she retired, the extra time allowed Helen to take up writing. She published a memoir in 1994 and wrote frequent book reviews into her mid-80s.
Helen will be remembered for her compassion, empathy and wisdom. She will be profoundly missed, and her memory deeply cherished.
There will be a Roman Catholic Funeral Mass on Tuesday, October 19, 2021 at 11:30 a.m. at Christ the King Church, 847 St. Mary's Road.
In lieu of flowers, please give to a charity of one's choice in Helen's memory.
Publish Date: Oct 16, 2021
December 6, 1928 October 7, 2021
Helen is survived by daughter Janine Lowes (Brian) and sons, Norman, Richard (Cheryl) and Christopher (Teresa).
A full obituary and funeral announcement will follow.
Publish Date: Oct 9, 2021
As published in Winnipeg Free Press on Oct 09, 2021, Oct 16, 2021
Condolences & Memories (9 entries)
Dear Janine, Norman, Richard and Christopher - from the Oakes family to each of you, we were all so very sorry to learn about the loss of your Mom. She was a special person, good friend to my Mom and a wonderful Mom to all of you. Personally, I feel so very lucky to have spent the time I did with both of your parents. I had the good fortune to know them and experience what truly wonderful parents they were to all of you. I have so many wonderful memories of the times we all spent together. My heart goes out to you as you mourn your Mom's passing. xoxo - Posted by: Karen M Sprigle (family friend) on: Oct 19, 2021
Chris and family, I am so sorry for your loss. Your mother has left you all with great memories that you will cherish for a lifetime. Your mother was a great woman with a very fascinating history! She will be remembered fondly by everyone who knew her. - Posted by: Mike Christie (Friend of Chris) on: Oct 19, 2021
Our condolences to the Sigurdson family, you have lost a special member of your family! - Posted by: Yvette Desmarais/ Prefontaine (One of her first students in the rural school..I was in grade one and she boarded at our home😊) on: Oct 18, 2021
Richard and Christopher, I am so very sorry to learn about the loss of your mother. May memories of her and her love for you and your families bring you solace at this difficult time. - Posted by: Emoke Szathmary (Friend of Richard and Cheryl) on: Oct 16, 2021
Our most sincere and heartfelt condolences to Helen's family. We were friends and neighbours at our cottage just north of Gimli on Lake Winnipeg. In the evenings we sat by the campfire under the canopy of the milky way reflecting on life and the activities of the day. We marveled at the arrival of the family of deer grazing in the setting of the sun at dusk. We watched in amazement as the lightning and thunderstorms passed overhead and across the stormy lake. One could not have better neighbours than Helen and Frank whom we miss dearly especially our exploration of the countryside in search of "history" and Saskatoon berries. From Spring to Autumn we enjoyed what nature had to offer sitting on a comfortable lawn chair there on the warm and sunny front deck. As life continues on our memories reflect the past, a time of youth and adventures there at our cottage on the shores of Lake Winnipeg. Tony and Anna Zienkiewicz, Friends and neighbours, October 16, 2021 - Posted by: Tony Zienkiewicz (friend and neighbour) on: Oct 16, 2021
My deepest sympathy to the family of Helen. Remembering many times of fun and laughter with your mom and dad at the cottage in Glen Bay or at Jean and Ron Oakes' cottage in Gimli (sister and brother-in-law of my husband Ed). May Helen rest in peace now with Frank. - Posted by: Audrey Powroznik (Acquaintance) on: Oct 16, 2021
It's with love we offer our condolences. We wish your happy memories to carry you forward. Hug. - Posted by: Corinne Herne and Mark Blatz (Aunt) on: Oct 16, 2021
Dear Chris, Teresa, Ava and Henry. I am so sorry for your loss. Helen had such a beautiful smile and so clearly loved you. - Posted by: Liisa Cheshire (Friend) on: Oct 16, 2021
Janine, Norman, Richard, Christopher and all the Family.........so sorry to hear about your mum. Sending you my deepest sympathy and some very big hugs. She was a very special lady. - Posted by: Sidney Macaw (family friend) on: Oct 09, 2021
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