Helen Margaret Derry
March 20, 1929 – May 27, 2018
It is with a mixture of great sadness and relief that we announce the death of Helen Derry at age 89. Helen was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s about 10 years ago and since then this disease slowly robbed her of her memories, independence, and ability to express herself verbally. She still talked non-stop, but she did not make too much sense. However, her facial expressions and gestures left no doubt how she was feeling in any situation.
Helen Margaret (nee Hiller, Goodwin) Derry, passed away on May 27, 2018, in Prince Albert, SK
Helen was born on March 20, 1929, in Saskatoon, SK to parents: Amanda (nee Frerichs, Hiller) Wallace and Fred Hiller; step-father: Arnold Wallace.
Helen raised three children on her own in the 1960s while working full time at Woolworths in Saskatoon. She cooked, baked bread and cinnamon buns, she gardened, canned, sewed, knitted and hid bottles on her walk to work to be collected on the way home and cashed in to pay bills.
Helen had a great sense of humour and loved music and dancing. Hallowe’en was her favorite day because she loved dressing up and she loved children. She joined the gym class at Margo Fournier Centre and exercised three days a week up until about age 83. Helen loved showing off her kickboxing moves. She made sure any newcomer was welcomed and introduced to everyone.
Helen was a people person and would strike up a conversation with people anywhere - waiting in lineups, people doing yard work, little children in the malls. Some of those people became her close friends and Helen was a loyal ally. Helen remembered everyones birthday and anniversary and faithfully sent Christmas cards to friends and family.
Helen loved thrift stores. She met many new friends when she was out thrift store shopping or checking out rummage or yard sales. Helen was an environmentalist long before it was fashionable. Everything got used and reused – egg cartons, tin cans, the waxed paper from the cereal boxes and clothing. She would find a nightie at the thrift store and she would make it into a couple of pairs of undies for herself. Her family teased her about displaying her colorful underwear on the clothesline and, much to Helen’s delight, her homemade undies took on a prominent role at her 80th birthday party.
Helen will be truly missed, not only by her family but by the staff and residents at Pineview where she laughed, danced and sang her way through to the end of her life. Thank you to all the Kopera and Pineview staff who took such good care of Helen and kept her safe, well fed and happy. A very special thank you to Shannon and Cathy from Pineview who took Helen on adventures and who kept Helen laughing.
Thank you also to Dr. Dale Ardell, Dr. Walters, Wendy and Trina for their care, compassion and patience.
Helen is survived by her daughter: Joan (Dan) Clark; children: Dana (Jay) Stephenson; McKenna, Fisher, Piper & Pope, Robyn (Eric) Zboya; Emersyn & Bennett, Shauna (Scott) Cowan; Cooper & Sage; her son: Grant (Donna) Goodwin; children: Amanda (Vladimir Socaciu) Goodwin, Gavin Goodwin;.her daughter: Cathy (Les) Dickson; children: Adriann (Torin) Locke; Ellis & Declan, Graham Dickson, Ian Dickson; sister-in-law: Leone Hiller; step- kids: Jim (Colleen) Derry, Bernie Derry; step-grandkids: Glenn, Shawn & April, Holly, Melanie & Danielle; step-siblings: Verne Wallace, Ken Wallace, Maxine Thiessen.
Helen was predeceased by her parents: Amanda, Fred Hiller, and Arnold Wallace; husbands: Arnold Goodwin and Tom Derry; brother: Doug Hiller; step-sister: Marlene Wallace; step-daughter: Sharon Derry; step-son: Warren Derry.
We will be celebrating Helen’s life on Sunday, June 3 from 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. at Pineview Terrace. 1200 A 24th St W. In lieu of other tributes, memorial donations in memory of Helen may be made to Pineview Terrace Staff Fund. There will be free parking in the front lot. If you were blessed enough to have known Helen, please join us and come prepared to share stories and some healing laughter. Interment will be held at a later date. Condolences may be sent to the family at www.grays.ca. Funeral arrangements have been entrusted to Gray's Funeral Chapel, (306-922-4729).