In loving memory of Helen Annie Hodgson (nee McKee), who passed away in her 86th year on Saturday, October 24, 2009 at Extendicare Falconbridge. Helen married Harry Hodgson in 1942 and was his loving wife until his death in April 1982. She was devoted to her family and loved them with all her heart. Loving mother of Nancy (husband John Glover) of Ajax, Ernie (wife Elizabeth) of Toronto, Elaine (husband Peter Labbee) of Essex and Randy (wife Susan) of Falconbridge. Cherished grandmother of Alissa (husband Dave Weichel) of Nobel, Jared (special friend Jennifer Kirkland) of Garson, Erin of Toronto and great grandmother of Hayley and Camryn of Nobel. Dear daughter of Hamilton and Selina Annie (Ruff) McKee predeceased. Dear sister of Milton McKee (wife Mary) of Onaping, George McKee (wife Mary Helen) and Dave McKee (wife Cecily “Sis”), both of Falconbridge, Ann Shepley (husband Roy predeceased) of LaSalle and the late Jim McKee (wife Jean of Vancouver), Jack McKee (wife Kay Stoddard of Windsor) and the late Winnifred Whitman (husband Charles), Agnes MacKinnon (husband Allan) and Marion Rhude (husband Warren) all predeceased. Sadly missed by many nieces and nephews.
Helen Hodgson was born in Falconbridge and lived there for most of her 85 years. In her close-knit family. 7 of her 10 siblings lived close by and socialized at their cottages on Windy Lake every summer for all those years. She was the family historian - keeping up the Family Tree and the old stories. During World War II she met and married Harry Hodgson - following him to Petawawa and Truro before he shipped overseas. When Harry was wounded in May 1945, Helen was expecting her first child, which she delivered in Sudbury while he was still recovering in hospital in Belgium. Harry’s Nova Scotia mayflowers bloomed near Falconbridge and every spring he would pick them for her. She and Harry raised their four children, Nancy, Ernie, Elaine and Randy together and after he passed away she babysat her two grandchildren, Alissa and Jared, for 12 years. Her wish to be a great grandmother was fulfilled when Randy’s daughter, Alissa, had Hayley and Camryn. Helen was a full-time Mom and a life-long learner - giving her children and grandchildren one-on-one art, reading and writing lessons and great winter carnival costumes. A lucky Mom in a small mining town, her husband could walk home for lunch every day. Actively involved in her home town - she was a member of the United Church Women’s Auxiliary - teaching Sunday School and helping with the church teas and making crafts for the bazaars. Mom could knit an Aran Isles sweater without a pattern. She taught Apple-Doll making at Cambrian College. For the Royal Canadian Legion Branch 336, she was one of the founding members of the Ladies’ Auxiliary, their official photographer and poet for special occasions and was a Life Member with over 35 years of service. When her own mother passed away, she became the Silver Cross Mother for her brother Jack. As a child of Falconbridge she attended Falcona Camp from its first year 1937. Harry was the handsome sailing instructor. Her children also got to experience outdoor life at Falcona. She returned as a senior citizen for many years - assisting with the crafts projects. A true artist, her paintings in oils and watercolours won local art contests. She was a member of both the Onaping and Nickel Centre Art Clubs and took many years of painting lessons - her most memorable from Ivan Wheale. Very competitive, she loved contests and winning, playing Bridge for over 40 years, playing Bingo and Rummoli, going to the Casino, solving Jumble puzzles and scratching lottery tickets. She entered contests for Stompin’ Tom Connors song verses, for winning lemon pies. Her poems and photos appeared in the Finlandia newsletter. An avid reader, writer and poet, her hundreds of commemorative family poems were bound into a book called Come Reminisce With Me. At age 75 she wrote a fictional novel, A Saga of Sable Island, about Edward Hodgson’s 30 years of life with his family in the 1800s as the Superintendent, of the life-saving station on Sable Island, Nova Scotia. For the McKee Millennium reunion, she wrote stories about her Irish father Hamilton McKee, that were included in the family cookbook. She was the editor of the Falcon Flyer for many years - creating puzzles and games to interest the local children. Her stories won the Sudbury Star short story contest several times. Photography was a big interest - with stills and video tapes she documented family weddings and birthdays. She entered photos in the Ducks Unlimited contest and the Onaping Falls Cavalcade of Colours contest. Two photos, one of granddaughter Erin and one of turtles were in the 2008 Sudbury Lakes calendar. A true monarchist - she wrote the Queen Mother several times about the August 4th birthdays her two children shared with the Queen Mom and was thrilled with the replies she received. She also wrote her to ask for acorns from the Royal Windsor Garden to plant in Falconbridge to commemorate the Queen Mom’s visit in 1939. The Royal Gardener sent the acorns and they were planted by Falconbridge Public School students. Helen was the central contact point for all family goings-on and she will be greatly missed. We would like to thank Dr. De Blacam, the caring staff at Finlandia Supportive Housing, Laurentian Oncology Ward and Extendicare Falconbridge for their patient and loving attention to our mother.
Resting at the JACKSON & BARNARD FUNERAL HOME, 233 Larch Street, Sudbury. Funeral Service in the R.J. Barnard Chapel Wednesday, October 28th at 11:30 am. Friends may call 2-4, 7-9 on Tuesday and after 10:30 on Wednesday morning. Interment in the Park Lawn Cemetery, Sudbury. In lieu of flowers donations can be made to the Canadian Cancer Society or to Sick Children’s Hospital - Mom’s favourite charity