Mom, Helen Geraldine, was born January 3, 1925 at home on the farm at Ardath, Saskatchewan to Martin and Marguerite Sonmor. She was the second born, the first was brother Lloyd. When she was two years old the family which now included sister Norma, moved to the farm in the Forgan District. Sister Joan, followed by two brothers Clare and Leif, completed the family. Mom took all her schooling in Forgan Consolidated School. She excelled in track and field and enjoyed oratory competitions. Upon completion of High School Mom attended Normal School in Saskatoon in the summer of 1945. After about six weeks of training she was a newly minted teacher and went on to teach in Coteau Hill, Dinsmore and Bounty. Mom met her future husband Joe Glass in Forgan and they were married on July 12, 1948. They moved to Dysart, Saskatchewan where Dad was a grain buyer for Pioneer Grain. They moved into a tiny little place at first and then eventually to the Pioneer Company cottage in November of that year. It had been moved in from the country and sat on skids all winter long. They lived in that house until 1978 when they moved to another home that they purchased after Dad’s retirement. Carol Lynn was born June 21, 1950 and Bonnie Ann on February 12, 1954 completing the family. Later the girls both married bringing sons-in-law to the family and children. Grandchildren followed and then along came great grandchildren and great great grandchildren. Mom and Dad were both very active in the community belonging to many organizations and volunteering their time. They enjoyed bowling and square dancing and music of all kinds. Mom really loved to sing and she even tried her hand at acting, appearing in a couple of plays. The first organization Mom joined was the Homemaker’s Club which later changed its name to the Women’s Institute. She served as President for 30 years at the local level and also served in that capacity at the District Level. In addition to that Mom took part in 4-H as a leader of various projects for several years. She was a founding member of the Dysart Ladies Rink Auxiliary, president of Donor’s Choice, a member of Community College, Dysart Historical Society and helped to organize the Dysart Golden Years Club. She was also the correspondent for Dysart News for the Fort Qu’Appelle Times for many years.
Mom worked as the Secretary Treasurer of the Village of Dysart for 16 years from 1968 to 1984. After her retirement she continued to volunteer her time and enjoyed many activities. She and Dad thought they would have more time to go camping and visiting. Dad passed away on November 7, 1987. Mom continued on in Dysart, staying very involved and active in her community. She took part in many activities with the Golden Years Club and travelled around a bit to other clubs and even took part in the Senior Games every year for many years. She was also a member of the TOPS Club. She always said that she liked to mingle with all ages, not just the seniors! She had a green thumb and continued to keep a lovely yard with all kinds of trees, shrubs and flowers. She knew every single flower by name and talked to her house plants daily. She could identify almost all the song birds that flew into her yard and if she didn’t know them she would look it up in her bird book. She enjoyed travelling and took a few bus trips with her mom and her sister to various places in Canada and the United States. Mom loved to take pictures and she compiled numerous photo albums and scrapbooks chronicling her travels. Mom kept journals and wrote daily accounts of her life in notebooks, on scrap paper and on calendars. She did this all her life and continued until about five years ago. She wrote many letters home and our Grandmother diligently typed up each of those letters to give back to her as a permanent and very interesting history of her life. We moved Mom to Coronation, Alberta in August 2008. She spent 60 years in Dysart and it was a very hard move for her. She knew that she needed a little help with things and being close to family was the right thing to do. She had a nice little apartment in King’s Court Manor and it was lovely to be only a few blocks away from Bonnie and Bernie. She spent most of her time going through her journals, letters and scrapbooks. We would often go over to see her and she would be reading out loud and chuckling as she reminisced about something or other. The last road trip she took was in June 2013 when she and Bonnie loaded up and went on a “Saskatchewan” tour. She visited with her friend of 60 years Barbara McNeill and with several folks in Dysart. Then it was on to Saskatoon to see her sisters Norma and Joan and daughter Carol and family. From there she went to Forgan to see brother Clare and Edith and Rosetown to visit with sister-in-law Margaret before heading back to Coronation. It was a lovely time and she cherished every moment spent with family and friends. Mom moved to Supportive Living in December 2014 and from there to Coronation Long Term Care in February 2016. She continued on as best she could and right up to a few months ago she still enjoyed looking in her history books and journals. She asked almost every day for the past year when she could go home.
Mom passed away in the early morning hours of July 7, 2018. Her journey has ended and she has gone home. Helen is survived by daughter Carol and Gord Gray and their family Susan Shipley (children William and Sarah), Tracy Updike (children Becky – Lexi and Maci, Jessica and Greg) and daughter Bonnie and Bernie Danylyshen and their family Nicholas and Pam Danylyshen (children Gwendolyn and Alice). She is also survived by her sisters Norma Tallis and Joan Taylor and sisters-in-law Edith Sonmor, Matilda Glass and Doreen Glass as well as numerous nieces and nephews. She is predeceased by her parents, her brothers, all of Joe’s brothers and sisters, by Joe in 1987 and Grandson Brett Danylyshen in 2000. Mom will be laid to rest in Forgan cemetery along with Dad – together again.
Memorial donations in Helen’s name will be gratefully accepted by Dysart Historical Society, Box 327, Dysart, Sask. S0G 1H0 Coronation Funeral Home entrusted with arrangements. 403-578-2928 www.coronationfuneralhome.ca
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