HELEN SARAH (SMITH) JAMES, loving mother and grandmother, passed away peacefully on Easter Sunday, April 12, 2020. After a courageous battle with cancer and Parkinson’s, she quietly and gently succumbed to her illness at Greenwood Court, Stratford. She was born 24 May, 1933 in Fortune, Newfoundland, to George F. and Alice M. (Lake) Smith. Helen studied teacher training at Memorial University and taught in several Newfoundland communities. In 1953, she changed careers and graduated from the KW Hospital School of Nursing and nursed in communities across Canada and England. Helen had a deep faith, gift of service, and love of travel, which led her to Paris where she met Paul. In 1967, she married the Rev. John Paul James in Brighton, England. In 1971, they moved with their two children to Canada, first to Arvida, Quebec and later to Quebec City, Westmount and finally to Beebe where Helen and Paul retired. In 2003, they moved to Stratford, Ontario to be near children and grandchildren where they became active members of St. James Anglican Church. Helen was predeceased by Paul in 2007 in Stratford, her sister Edith (Browning) in 2011 in California, her brothers Frederick in 1995 in Newfoundland and Clyde in 1986 in Ontario. She is survived by her daughters Ruth Lovell (Joshua) of Stratford, and Sarah Hicks (David) of Mississauga; by five grandchildren: Adam, Gabrielle and Megan Lovell and James and Shawn Hicks; by older brother Philip (Fumiko) of Montreal, as well as by a number of nephews and nieces in Canada, the US and UK, and special friend Marjorie (Lake) Townson of St. Thomas. Helen will be long remembered for her kindness, loyalty and gift of hospitality. She made friends wherever she went and was deeply devoted to Paul, her daughters and her grandchildren. Over the years, she touched many who had the pleasure of knowing her. In her final days at Greenwood Court, her gentle personality left an impression on all who cared for her body, mind and spirit. The family is forever grateful for all who supported her in the final stages of her battle: the nurses and PSWs whose visits allowed her to maintain her independence for years; Dr. Tomlinson and her medical team who cared for her at every turn; the compassionate team at Greenwood Court who allowed her to pass away with dignity, her friend and pastor Glenda Meakin who prayed over her in the final days, all of the friends and family who called daily and sent messages of strength and hope. We are all grateful for the gift of Helen in our lives. Due to the current pandemic, the family asks that you please take a moment and leave an encounter or memory of Helen. A memorial service, along with scattering of the ashes at God’s Holy Acres, St James Anglican Church, will take place at a later date. As expressions of sympathy, memorial donations may be made to Parkinson’s Society, Greenwood Court or Community Living St. Marys through the W.G. Young Funeral Home, 430 Huron Street, Stratford. 519.271.7411. www.wgyoungfuneralhome.com
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