Helene Marion Keyes (nee Munroe)
Her life story as told by her daughter, Marg
Mom was born on June 3, 1929 in Renfrew, Ont. to Clara and George Munroe. She had a sister, Hazel, born two years before her, but only lived a couple of days.
Mom’s dad was a Bell Canada Pioneer, his work took them to a number of places in Ontario. She lived in Winchester, Cornwall, and Ottawa where she attended Teacher’s College.
Mom graduated Teacher’s College in 1949, and taught a total of 18 years. Shortly after graduating, she met her husband to be, Harry Keyes, who is still living in Welland at Seasons Retirement Home. They married on Feb. 7, 1953, and Mom was a devoted wife to Harry for 64 years. He deeply misses her.
Together they had three children: Valerie, who is married to Gerald Baldwin and resides in Calgary, they have two children, Jason and Lisa, who also have two children each; Marg, who married Rick Smith and resides in Welland with their son Caleb; and Paul, who married Cindy and resides in Edmonton with their two children, Clarence and Bridgit.
Mom was always available with her love and help to her family, and will always be remembered with deep affection. She especially enjoyed being a “Grandy.”
During her life in Winchester, they established some lifelong friendships with Ron and Phil Workman, Reg and Mary Fetterly, Roy and Shirley Fawcett, Frank and Elaine Morgan, Dalt and Jean Kenny, and Deb and Hans. She kept in touch with her relatives, always including cousin Lois Robinson, with whom she had many long phone calls remembering all the good times growing up.
After retiring, she travelled to many countries — Egypt being her favourite.
In 1980, she had the first of two heart attacks, the second one 23 years later, and in the following years, three mini strokes. Mom was often called a medical miracle by many doctors. Her memory remained excellent and never left her, she was extremely sharp and had a cute sense of humour right until her last few days.
In 2014, they sold their Winchester home, and moved briefly to a retirement home in Cornwall. While they were there, she broke her collarbone and we all realized they would need help, In October of 2014, they moved up to Welland, where myself, my husband Rick, and our son Caleb, live.
They moved into Season’s Retirement Community, and Mom thoroughly enjoyed her years here. We did many of her favourite things: shopping, winery tours and tastings, the Shaw festival, as well as many great meals at wineries and golf clubs, and day trips in her red convertible. It was my family’s pleasure to look after them, take them to appointments, and help in any way we could. She was extremely grateful to us for the help.
Mom went into the Welland County General Hospital on Sat., May 26 with symptoms of kidney failure.
On Sat., June 3, we helped her celebrate her 88th birthday with bouquets of her favourite flowers – roses and lilies – we sang “Happy Birthday”, and opened all of the beautiful cards and gifts from her friends. She received family calls and also enjoyed her favourite beverage — a Tim Hortons Iced Cappuccino, as well as a small bite of a cupcake. A really good day with her.
On Thurs., June 8, with grace and spirit, she left her family peacefully knowing how much she was loved and would be missed.
As Mom had requested, she was to be cremated with a graveside service to be held at a later date at Maple Ridge Cemetery in Chesterville.
She would be pleased if you raised a glass, and for those who knew her knew she enjoyed her Pusser’s Rum and Pepsi.
To happy recollections, “Cheers.”
A special person, a special face, someone we loved and can’t replace
Never selfish, always kind, your love, laughter, smile and humour remain
Those are the memories you left behind
We Miss You Mom!
Always and Forever in Our Hearts
Love Your Family