Helen Bowen (1925–2024) passed away at St. Norbert Personal Care Home on January 6.
She was predeceased by her parents, Kathleen and George; her three siblings George (her twin), Daphne and Nancy; her nephew Ron; and her great-niece Jackie. She is survived by three nieces and four nephews and their families.
Helen was a loving daughter and aunt. She connected the families by passing on everyone’s news. Every Christmas/New Year’s she would visit all the siblings’ houses in different provinces. She would bring gifts for not only her siblings, nieces and nephews but for their spouses and children as well.
An avid sportswoman, Helen was up on the stats for many sports teams. She was the longest standing member of her golf club. At 87, she got her first hole-in-one. She was Manitoba champion in mixed doubles badminton for many years. She also travelled and performed as part of a synchronized swimming team in Chicago where she worked for a few years in her 20s. They would sometimes perform in the dark using black light to illuminate them.
Helen obtained her Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Manitoba studying “the easy ones” i.e. Math, Physics and Chemistry. She worked as a scientist in diabetes research.
Helen loved to spend time at her cottage. As a child she would spend the whole summer there with her family. She continued to go there into her 80s. She loved nature and was a great blueberry picker (she picked clean and fast).
She had a large vegetable garden and shared the harvest with her friends. Along with Marie, her good friend of 40 years, Helen travelled to Hawaii and Japan among other places. She regularly visited her sister, Nancy, in Florida. Later in life, she decided to see the polar bears in Churchill and headed up there on her own.
She had a big heart and supported so many charities over the years. There is a Foundation in her name supporting local hospitals and the arts. In her 80s she volunteered to help with a class that taught new immigrants how to use the computer.
A big thank you to Joan and Ray Thorsteinson, Susan McCowan, and the staff at St. Norbert for their care.