Helen Sweeney

Obituary of Helen Yvonne Sweeney

With heavy hearts, we announce the peaceful passing of Helen Sweeney, 88, at Chartwell Westmount Long Term Care, Kitchener on January 13, 2021 of COVID-19.

Helen is survived by her daughters Lisa (Wally) Gangl and Jill (Murray) Flanagan, and her grandchildren Melissa Gangl (Mark), Jenna Gangl (Cameron) Drew Gangl (Lauren), Matt (Destiny) Flanagan, Leah Flanagan (John) and Allie Flanagan (Jordan), and great-granddaughter Alivia Flanagan.  Predeceased by her beloved husband Duane Sweeney (2004), sister Laurene Archer, father-in-law Vincent Sweeney, mother-in-law Catherine Sweeney, brother-in-law John Sweeney and sister-in-law Reta Sweeney. Survived by brother-in-law Jim Archer, Braden Litster (Carol), sister-in-law Del Kraehn and brother-in-law Larry Kraehn.  Preceded in death by her special Goddaughter and niece Mollie Haugh (Kraehn). Helen will be fondly remembered by many nieces and nephews. 

Helen was born in Orillia, Ontario, daughter to Allen and Mildred Fell (Abbott) (Litster). She went on to become a Registered Nurse at the Royal Victoria Hospital in Barrie, Ontario. It was in Barrie where she met her dear husband and soulmate, Duane. They married in 1958 and eventually settled in Kitchener to start a family. Helen held many distinguished positions within her field. She was passionate and proud to work as Head Nurse in the Nursery and Pediatrics at St. Mary’s General Hospital in Kitchener. She ultimately retired after providing elder care at Victoria Place in Kitchener. Over the years, her kind and empathetic nature, knowledge and genuine interest in nursing made her the family spokesperson for medical advice and treatments. She was the first one to support others in time of illness and to lend helpful advice when others needed to navigate the healthcare system. Aside from her nursing career, spending time with her family was everything to her. When her children were little, she enjoyed camping and beach days, themed birthday parties, baking and crafts. With her daughters, she shared her creativity and love of inventing recipes, composing poems and jingles in personalized birthday cards, decorating, fashion and everything matching. She thoroughly enjoyed shopping trips and shoes.

In retirement, she and Duane travelled Canada, the U.S. and abroad. After the passing of Duane, Helen thoroughly enjoyed being included in excursions with friends. Special mention to her brother-in-law Jim, who frequently assisted her to church and to various social outings which included brunches and country drives. As a Nana, she savoured all the special occasions and daily updates. Even though her memory faded at times, she was crystal clear about being a Great-Grandma to her dearest Alivia. Daily phone chats and regular visits always seemed to warm her heart.

With the further decline of Helen’s health and mobility, she settled in at Chartwell Westmount Long Term Care in Kitchener. The family would like to give a very special thank you to the staff who cared for Helen in the Pioneer neighbourhood of the home; Dr. Kugler, the Nurses, Personal Support Workers, Administration, the Recreation Team and volunteers.

As per Helen’s wishes, cremation has taken place. Due to the present COVID-19 restrictions there will not be a visitation or funeral service.  A private family celebration of life will be held at a later date. In memory of Helen, donations to First Baptist Church in Waterloo or a charity of your choice would be appreciated by the family and may be arranged by contacting the Erb & Good Family Funeral Home, 171 King St. S., Waterloo, www.erbgood.com or 519-745-8445.

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