Helen Elizabeth Campbell of Irvine, beloved wife of Alexander, passed away March 29, 2023, at the age of 83 years, after a brave and painful battle with cancer.
She was born in Blaine Lake, Saskatchewan in 1940 to Mary and Dick Petruniak, and raised in Prince Albert, Saskatchewan.
With a reference from Prime Minister John Diefenbaker, Helen’s first job was with Indian and Northern Affairs in Frobisher Bay, NWT (now Iqaluit). There she met and married a Navy man, Alexander ‘Alex’, the love of her life. New adventures as a military wife found her living in multiple Canadian Armed Forces bases including Moncton New Brunswick, Inuvik, Northwest Territories, Alsask, Saskatchewan, and Shilo Manitoba. During these years, she became a mother to Lisa ‘Alix’, Patrick, and Lorilee. Helen and Alex settled in Brandon Manitoba where they raised their children, and where she found true challenge as agent and counselor for Veterans’ Affairs Canada. Her dedicated work in Brandon led to advocating and lobbying for the establishment of a satellite office to better serve our veterans in rural northern Manitoba. She relocated to Dauphin, Manitoba and independently manned this station . Alex notes “Helen would get an idea, and just do it! Anything she put her mind to!” For her efforts in creating this office, she was awarded the Canada 125 Governor General medal in 1992.
Helen and Alex retired in 1994 to ‘get back to the country’, and moved to an acreage in Irvine to garden, raise chickens, and be part of the rural lifestyle. They enjoyed peaceful living and local friends, going fishing during summer and ice fishing in winter, also loving travel to the warmth of Hawaii and Jamaica.
Helen will be remembered most as warm and social, a magnetic personality with a big smile, and ability to make lifelong friends anywhere she lived. In earlier years, swing dancing with Alex was a passion. A greater passion was hosting and entertaining extensive family and/or friends joined together to enjoy her generous and delicious cooking, including traditional Ukrainian meals. Some called her “Auntie Perogy”. Gardening during the summer led to canning the harvest for winter enjoyment and sharing. An avid sports fan, she was dedicated to watching MLB Blue Jays, CFL Bombers and Stamps, and curling.
Helen had a timeless beauty, and always looked her best. Her inner beauty kept her smiling and upbeat with family members, with unconditional love. She strongly believed life’s challenges are “In God’s hands”, and that “It will all work out in the end”.
Granddaughter Ava notes that “she was a well-loved grandmother and mother with a big heart and always set smiles on everyone’s faces, no matter how she herself was feeling. She reminds me of the sky at sunset, since it is so beautiful and bright, like she was. Grandma will now be an angel and set free to fly”.
Helen is predeceased by her parents Mary and Dick Petruniak, brother Fred, and sister Elizabeth.
She is survived by husband Alex; children Alix (Mike), Patrick, and Lorilee; grandchildren Ava and Cash; and brother Morris (Darnella); as well as an extensive network of relatives and friends scattered across Canada.
The Campbell family thanks the staff and teams of Medicine Hat Regional Hospital, Tom Baker Cancer Center, Healthworx Medical Clinic, and Dr Venter for their professional and compassionate care.
Rest in loving peace, Helen, free from mortal pain.
A graveside service will take place at Hillside Cemetery on Wednesday, April 5, 2023 at 2:00 p.m. with Life Celebrant David Townsend officiating. Those who wish to attend the graveside service are asked to meet inside the main gate to Hillside Cemetery by 1:45 p.m. To leave a message of condolence you may do so at the top of this page or email email@example.com.
To send flowers
to the family or plant a tree
in memory of Helen Elizabeth Campbell, please visit our floral store.