January 23, 1928 – January 12, 2009
Helena passed away peacefully on Monday, January 12 in the Intensive Care Unit at St. Joseph’s Hospital, at the age of eighty, surrounded by family.
Helena (Lena) was born in Pincher Creek, Alberta, January 23, 1928 to Tom and Selena Ball. She was the youngest daughter of eight children: Ivy, Jack, Emma, Tom, Bessy, Martha, (Helena), David and Matthew who died at birth.
During the depression, in 1938, Lena’s family moved away from a difficult farming life on the Prairies to Marsden Road in Courtenay when she was ten years old. She and her siblings helped tend the large family garden and walked five miles to school in downtown Courtenay. Sometimes, they were fortunate to get a ride from Johnny Marocchie.
As a young woman, Lena worked as a cleaner in the Cumberland Hospital and on her time off, she sometimes attended dances at the Cumberland Community Hall. It was here she met her loving, devoted husband of 60 years, a coal miner from Cumberland, B.C., Alexander Ramsay Bell.
Lena and Alex were married September 30, 1948. Lena and Alex are very proud to have raised four children: Alex Jr. (Mary), Jimmy (Maureen), Brenda (Bob), and Gary (Julie); 11 grandchildren: Louise, Jamie, Nick, D.J., Selena, Jimmy Jr., Robert, Wayne, Amanda, Amber and Crystal; 8 great-grandchildren: Jade, Luke, Cole, Danielle, Brooke, Sadie, Savannah, Hayden and baby boy? They also raised two foster children, Jenny and Darlene.
Lena was a caring, generous and very loved person. She was committed to her family, relatives and the community of Cumberland throughout her whole life. Lena was a member of the Pythian Sister’s, the Rebecca’s and the Women’s Life Insurance Society. We all enjoyed Lena’s special wild blackberry, lemon meringue and pumpkin pies, banana bread, and real Scottish shortbread. Lena was a fantastic crocheter and made beautiful doilies and tablecloths as gifts or to sell. For Lodge, Lena loved to memorize poetry for contests, some of which she won. For many years, Lena enjoyed attending the Cumberland United Church. After raising her children, Lena began working at the Comox Airbase as a civilian kitchen aid. Here she met many new friends and had a lot of laughs.
One year ago, Lena had stomach surgery to remove cancerous tumors. Her strength, persistence and love of life gave her another year to live. She believed in remaining positive and to treat others as you, yourself would like to be treated.
A Funeral Service will be held at the Cumberland United Church Monday, January 19, 2009 at 1:00pm with visitation from 12:00pm-1:00pm. In loving memory of Helena Bell, donations can be made to any of the three organizations mentioned above, the United Church or the Canadian Cancer Society.