Helen passed away peacefully in the early morning hours of Saturday, Feb.13th, 2010 at Noric House Vernon BC. Mom was just a few months short of reaching her 90th year. Mom was the last surviving member of her family of 4 brothers and 2 sisters and her husband Robert predeceased her in February of 1994.
Helen first arrived in Nakusp in 1950 aboard the Minto Sternwheeler. She had been corresponding with Robert Roder through letter writing. Robert had purchased Lee’s Cabins (the block of property where the Selkirk Inn is located today) in 1949. Robert and Helen were married on February 14th, 1951 and made Nakusp their home for the next 20 years. They both appreciated the natural beauty of the Arrow Lake Valley and area, particularly Saddle Mountain. So, they renamed their business Saddle Mountain Cabins.
They had two children, Ronnie and Roma, born at the original hospital in Nakusp. Meanwhile, Mom was a busy woman. She did the books, grew two huge gardens for food, canned and preserved everything (her granddaughter says she made the best pickled beets), she grew beautiful flower gardens of dahlias, gladiolus etc., she did the laundry for all nine cabins using a wringer washer and hung everything out on
clotheslines. As a young woman, Mom had a career as a stenographer in Ottawa, forming many lifelong friendships. She loved travelling and seeing different countries, photos and family lineage, writing poetry, typing and music. She was taught beautiful
embroidery by her mother.
As a young girl Helen recalled a big Bible in their family home which was read only by her father. This made an impression on her so that she always felt the Bible had real meaning in one’s life. This lead to many questions after she was first widowed in the 1940’s. Her good friend Florence shared the Bible’s hope of the resurrection and the hope of the paradise on earth with her. This was a message that she and Robert
enjoyed sharing with communities up and down the Arrow Lakes, the Village of Nakusp and surrounding area. The events and changes that came about in the 1960’s with the damming of the Arrow Lakes, that brought such heartache to many peoples lives and families only emphasized to Helen and Robert the need for God’s will to be done on earth by means of His kingdom. (Matthew 6:10) Helen was physically strong, however it was her hope and faith that carried her through the many trying and difficult times in her life. Psalms 37: 29 says the righteous themselves will possess the earth, and they will reside forever upon it. Verse 11 continues, but the meek ones themselves will possess the earth, and they will indeed find their exquisite delight in the abundance of peace. This was Mom’s hope that the earth would be filled with peace and happiness forever.
She is survived by her son Ronald, daughter Roma, son-in-law Randy, grandson Cody, granddaughters Christina and Melanie and their husbands. Helen had 2 great grandchildren, Emma and Owen. She is also survived by 9 nieces and nephews (one nephew predeceased her).
Her family is having a memorial service Saturday, May 1st 2010 at 2:00pm at the Kingdom Hall of Jehovah’s Witnesses, 1424 Mission Hill Rd. Vernon BC.
Her family wishes to express heartfelt appreciation to the wonderful caring staff at Noric House. Mom so enjoyed the outings you girls were able to take her on!
Also, thank you Dr. Chan for your care and also Karin her care aide.