Helen Tainsh

Obituary of Helen Tainsh


Helen D. (Simons) Tainsh was born August 1, 1921 at Munson, Alberta to Robert Simons (a United Church Minister) and Olive Simons (a teacher). Helen travelled much of Alberta, being the daughter of a United Church Minister. She was born in Munson then moved to Wembley, Sexsmith, Ft. Saskatchewan and Innisfail. She attended Normal School at the University of Alberta in Edmonton in 1939 and 1940. From there she taught school in Bowden, Innisfail, Buckeye and Torrington before retiring in 1980 after a 25 year career of teaching. She influenced many, many children during her long eventful and satisfying career.

It was while teaching at Buckeye School that Helen met the love of her life, Peter Tainsh, and they married on June 28, 1947. Helen was a sports enthusiast and loved skating, baseball and hockey. She enjoyed baking and gardening and continued to start her gardening at 6:00 am (before the heat of the day) well into her eighties. She enjoyed singing and participated in and lead choirs for all of her active years in the United Church and also in the senior choir in later years. She enjoyed board games and cribbage and was a fierce competitor. Fans at Thrasher hockey games soon learned to not sit too close to Helen as often after every goal whoever was sitting either beside or in front of her had their legs or backs heartily pummeled. Helen was a very organized person saying that being a teacher and raising five boys and helping out her husband on the farm required being on top of everything. No matter how busy her schedule she still made sure there were cookies in the cookie jar (even providing pails of cookies for her grandchildren to take home), lunches made for everyone and a hot meal on the table in the evening (which always included dessert). During harvest she made sure that the harvest crew had a cool drink of ice tea, ice water or lemonade and a full meal including homemade cookies or squares. The family got used to her daily, weekly and monthly lists and each of the boys have followed her example. Her Mottos were anything you do, do your very best; be ready to help someone when you see their need and do something for someone every day.

Helen is survived by her five sons: James (Carolyn), Norm (Gail), Brian (Terri), Tim (Mary Lou) and Dennis (Kelly), 16 grandchildren, 24 great grandchildren and 2 great great grandchildren, her sister Vivien Fofonove, her sisters-in-law Thel Simons, Marie Simons and Marion Meston, as well as many nieces and nephews. She was predeceased by her husband Peter on May 2, 1992, her parents Robert and Olive Simons, her siblings Robert Simons, Margaret Lynch, Harold Simons and Wesley Simons.

A memorial service was held Thursday, December 31, 2015 at Knox United Church in Three Hills, Alberta. Memorial tributes may be made to Knox United Church, Three Hills.

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