Helen Marie Abbey (Gabryluk)


ABBEY, Helen Marie – On May 22, 2016 at the age of 92 Helen passed away peacefully into the arms of her Lord Jesus at the Lake of the Woods District Hospital.  She went to meet “Hon” her beloved husband Albert on a beautiful day of spring, her favorite season.  Mom will be missed so much by the children she leaves behind, sons Larry and Tom (Bonnie) and three daughters Donna Abbey-Colborne (Joe), Patricia Graham (Rodger) and Susan Lacroix (Dan).  “Nanny” had immeasurable love for her 16 grandchildren, 16 great-grandchildren, and 2 great-great grandchildren and she held a special place in her heart for each and every one of them.   She was “Aunty Helen” to numerous nieces, nephews and other members of her extended family who will also miss her dearly.  Her investment in the lives of family members was at the centre of who she was.

Helen was predeceased by her husband Bert in January 2015.   They had been married for almost 70 years.  She was also predeceased by her parents Alex and Lena Gabryluk, brothers Ray, Don, Bill, and Peter.  She is survived by her cherished sister Elsie Lindsay, “two peas in a pod”, 3 sister in-laws Marie, Marlene and Marilyn Gabryluk. 

Helen was born on April 7, 1924 in Kenora where she spent almost all her life.  She spoke often of her wonderful childhood memories and time spent with her fun- loving, close girlfriends. Her first job was at the North End Store and following that she dedicated her time and talents to raising her children.  As they became older she began working again at Walkey’s and Western Drug Mart stores.  She enjoyed working as it gave her another outlet to help others. She loved to cook and bake, not only to feed family and friends but also bring them together.  Loyal to countless friends, neighbors, acquaintances and church family, she used her gifts of encouragement, care, and wisdom to touch many lives.  She met once a week for almost 50 years with her ‘coffee group’ and was a very active member of the First Baptist Church.  Her volunteer jobs included the Cancer Society and Pinecrest, Shriner’s ladies group and the soup kitchen.  She was always offering to meet the needs of others and was dedicated to prayer for all.

Helen’s beautiful smile that warmed your heart and her wonderful sense of humor was used to help herself and others through many difficult situations. Her loves included talking on the phone, holding babies, getting her hair done weekly, travelling to see family and having them visit, spending time at camp, reading a good book, and of course doing laundry.  She possessed a grateful heart for any gesture, blessings small and large. 

The family would like to say thank you to Dr. Spencer, home care workers from Paramed while Helen was at home and while residing in Benidickson, thanks goes to Jan Robertson and all her wonderful support workers.   We also thank Lisa Degagne for the many hours she spent with Helen to help and encourage. 

“God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can and the wisdom to know the difference.”

A celebration of life will be held on Thursday June 2 at 1:00pm at First Baptist Church, Kenora.  A luncheon will follow.  A private family interment will be held.  In lieu of flowers please make donations to The Lake of the Woods District Hospital, Cancer Society, Alzheimer’s Society or a charity of your choice.