Aug 17, 1935 – Apr 13, 2018
Our mother, Helen Thatcher, was born August 17, 1935 in Powell River, B.C. to Iris and George Silvester. She was the oldest of four sisters (Pat, Louise and Marie). She married Bill MacFarlane in 1954 and soon had four children Debbie, Heather, Sherry and Brenda. The family moved to Chilliwack in 1963, and to Courtenay in 1964. Their last child was added to the family in 1965, with the birth of Wendy, yet another daughter, rounding out the “fabulous five”.
Helen was a working mom. She started out selling Tupperware at home parties which allowed her to meet many people and make many friends. She then worked at the candy store on 5Th street in the 1970’s, and then with her husband at Marshall Wells. She became the regional manager for Vancouver Island’s Reitmans and Sweet Sixteen stores in the 1980’s. She worked at People’s Jewellers in the Driftwood Mall before her retirement.
After a divorce Helen married Richard Thatcher in 1982. This brought a lovely man and two more daughters into the family (yes, that’s two more daughters) Lori and Shelly, creating the “super seven”.
Helen was an adventurer and Richard always went along for the ride. She loved to travel and explore new places and could never sit still for long. Helen loved to take photographs and you could always find her with a camera in her hand.
Helen’s life revolved around her family and friends. Whether it was camping or creating a family dinner, she was happiest when her house was full. She enjoyed friends and family dropping in for tea. Her home was a hub; the neighbours marvelled at the activity that went through that house daily, and Helen was the center of it all. She was a true matriarch of the family!
She never met a stranger that she did not want to talk to. She knew everyone, made friends easily and had many great friendships including her best friend of 50 years Marilyn (Ted) McCarthy, Roberta, Almeda (Bob) Lynn from Powell River, Norma Cronmiller, Bea Miller, her neighbour of 50 years, Flo Melville, and her sister in law, Betty MacFarlane, a great friend and travel partner.
Helen’s life was filled with children. Her grandchildren called her “The Flying Grandma” because she could get them to the ferry in record time! In retirement Helen and Richard enjoyed travelling in their motorhome, and taking their grandchildren camping. In the warm weather they could regularly be found at Kitty Coleman Beach and at the Fish and Game side of Comox Lake.
Helen was a Legion member for more than 50 years, and valued the friends she made there as well as the service to the community.
Helen is survived by 7 daughters, Debbie Smith (Phillip) Heather Kayes (Chris), Sherry Torry (John), Brenda Wiebe (David), Wendy Lewis (Pat), Lori Kenny (Chris), and Shelly Waterfield. She also leaves behind 20 grandchildren, Ashley Crockford, Danielle Smith, Samantha Smith, Tony Cochrane, Jayson Cochrane, Brandon Kayes, Alicia Kayes, Dustin McCallum, Scott McCallum, Kevin McCallum, Jordan DeRegt, Eric Wiebe, Jennifer Wiebe, Nikola Wiebe Laing, Tiffany Williams, Bailey Walsh, Adam Lewis, Sean Kenny, Bradley Kenny, Gavin Waterfield, and 22 great grand children. She is also survived by sisters Marie Goss (Maple Bay), and Patricia Cuthbertson (Texada Island).
Helen was also a foster mother to Shelley Fraser (Marinus), Lorraine Rozanno, and Suzanne Davies, to mention a few.
Helen was predeceased last May by her loving husband of 35 years, Richard. She was also predeceased by her mother Iris and father George, and by her sister Louise, who passed one week earlier.
Thank you to Dr. Winters and the amazing staff at the Ocean Views, including the nurses, care aides, activity aides, and the whole team that cared so lovingly for our mom, and us!
Our “Beautiful Helen” was finally released from her earthly bonds Friday night. All of us girls took her hand and walked the long journey with her, and were so relieved to see such peace on her face at the journey’s end. With the support of our husbands we made it through. We miss her already! We Love You.
A celebration of life is to follow on Saturday June 9th, 2018 2:00 pm at the Native Sons Hall, 360 Cliffe Avenue Courtenay B.C.