Helen Eileen Holmes

September 11, 1944July 4, 2019

Helen Eileen Holmes passed away peacefully on July 4th 2019 at her home on Vancouver Island in Courtenay, BC. She was born in Calgary, AB, in 1944. Helen was predeceased by her parents, Donald and Margaret McKeague. She is survived by two loving daughters, Lindsey Holmes (Andrew Kyrgoussios), and Paula Holmes-Rodman (William Rodman). Helen also leaves behind her two younger siblings, Donna Cortino, and Doug McKeague (Judy McKeague), many nephews and nieces, cousins, friends and colleagues. Helen grew up in Calgary and her greatest pleasure were weekends on horseback in Bragg Creek. She attended the University of Montana in Missoula and achieved a B.A. in Drama and English. She then earned an M.A. in English at the University of Waterloo, Ontario. Helen spent most of her career at the University of Calgary as both a teacher and a senior administrator. In 2006, she was awarded The Order of the University of Calgary for extraordinary contributions to the university. Her dream for her retirement was to move to Vancouver Island, wear sensible shoes, walk her dogs, and plant flowers in her garden. Helen did crossword puzzles in pen, and measured her wealth in books, friends, and family. In Helen’s memory, take the long way home, on a back country road, and listen to Janis Joplin sing “Me and Bobby McGee”. Helen knows all the words, and somewhere she’ll be singing along. At Helen’s request, there will be no service. Memorial donations may be made to the Anderton Therapeutic Gardens Society (PO 1416 Comox, BC V9M 7Z9) or to the BC SPCA (


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Helen Eileen Holmes

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Tamara Seiler

July 15, 2019

Helen was our colleague for many years, and we were very sad to hear of her passing. We have many fond memories of working with her over the years: we valued her intelligence, her strong work ethic, her forthrightness, her sense of humour, and her kindness. Her positive influence was widely felt, and all who knew her will miss her. We send our sincere condolences to her family.

Robert & Tamara Seiler

Lloyd Sciban

July 14, 2019

It is with both fondness and sadness that I think of Helen. I enjoyed our conversations at the University of Calgary, where I found her professional yet amiable. It is sad to hear that she has passed. A beautiful painting she did hangs in our living room allowing me to remember her often.

Mary Valentich

July 13, 2019

My condolences to family and friends. My memories relate to the friendship that evolved as we worked on issues of equity and justice, in particular for women. I always appreciated Helen's warmth and insight. I hope that she enjoyed her move to Vancouver Island.

Annie Katzenberg

July 12, 2019

I am very sorry to hear of Helen’s passing. I have fond memories of her at the University of Calgary and knew some of the Redwood Meadows/ Bragg Creek family. She was a wonderful colleague.

Dr E Lisbeth 9Betty) Donaldson

July 12, 2019

Helen was a friend and colleague at the University of Calgary. Always supportive, she was instrumental in hiring me and I did my best to repay that faith. Her contributions were not only to the University as an institution, she positively influenced many lives. I remember the pride with which she introduced her daughters to me - they were a cornerstone achievement. I'll light a candle in honour of her life. There will be good books, good music and good writing where ever her soul and our memories travel.

Lindsey Holmes

July 10, 2019

What to write? Mom was a gifted writer and teacher. Strong, gutsy, independent and devoted to her family. Loved dogs, a good deal, navy suits, blue and white striped shirts, blue jeans and sunny blue Alberta skies. Loved music from the sing-along Messiah to Janis Joplin. Took English in university because she liked to lie on the couch and read books. Turned a severely neglected pile of weeds into a beautiful garden in Calgary's climate. Got a standing ovation for her contributions to the University of Calgary. Spoke her mind with kindness and sensitivity. Deeply ethical. Believed Paula and I were capable of anything. Taught us that work and honesty are success. Walking with us forever.