French, Helen Ainsworth (née Munro)

French, Helen Ainsworth (née Munro)

May 19th, 2021

Peacefully with family by her side at Amica London, on Wednesday, May 19, 2021, in her 99th year. Mother of Laird (Nancy). Adored grandmother of Jaiden and Liah. Predeceased by her husband, the late Stanley (1992); and all of her sisters and their husbands: Etta (Ed) Chanter, Margaret (Roy) Davis, Jean (Rod) MacCuish, and Nina (Ted) Lee. Survived by her only brother, George (Cathy) Munro; and many nieces and nephews. Helen was fiercely proud of her Scottish birthright, being born in the north of Scotland and coming to Canada with her mother (Margaret Jane) and three sisters, in 1927, to reunite with her father (George) and settle in South Porcupine, Ontario. Nina and George would be the first of the Munro’s born in Canada. Helen left Northern Ontario to study and pursue a nursing career at the Hamilton General Hospital. She was a proud HGH grad, attending annual May class reunions well into this century. In the early 1950s, Helen’s life took a turn when she met Stanley on the tennis courts in Hamilton. After marrying in 1952, Helen encouraged Stan (who was forced to leave school in grade 8 to start a depression required work career) to return to school; first for eight years of night school to obtain a high school diploma, and, ultimately, to complete an MBA degree from the University of Western Ontario. Along the way, Helen and Stan traded Hamilton for London, ON and then made homes through the years in Sarnia, Switzerland, Montreal (on two occasions), and Ancaster. Finally, Helen returned to London where she spent her final two decades enjoying being “Gran” to Jaiden and Liah. Helen loved to watch all sports: preferring the CFL to the NFL, enjoying the summer and winter Olympics equally, but hockey above all. Helen favoured the Leafs of the thirties and forties and the Habs of the sixties and seventies – we aren’t sure who she would be rooting for this spring! A keen reader all of her life, Helen’s eyes would light up when new books arrived for her enjoyment. She would routinely finish a half-dozen books a week and her daughter-in-law, Nancy, became adept at identifying and requesting new large print mystery novels from the London Public Library; all of which were duly delivered to her Sunday morning to replace last week’s inventory. Mom liked a fast-paced detective novel that could teach you something new about the world and she was constantly interested in learning. For many years the World Book was her preferred source, but as time and technology changed, Google and Wikipedia searches, completed on her behalf, replaced it. Many thanks to all of her caregivers over the years, both at Amica London and provided through Medical Priorities. Cremation has already taken place. Those wishing to make a donation in memory of Helen might consider the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada or the World Wildlife Fund Canada, two of Helen’s preferred charities. 

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Book of Condolences

Linda ( & Roland & Gaelan Adams)Dear Laird & Nancy , Jaiden & Leah We are so sorry to hear of Aunt Helen passing. She was a wonderful person! We have many fond memories of Helen ( she preferred the ‘Aunt’ part was to be dropped!) . I am so sad that we will not be able to attend the services for her & to see you all, but hope to see you all later this year when the border opens. Best wishes to you all, love, Linda, Roland & Gaelan
Bruce & JacquelineWhen thinking about Aunt Helen, what comes to mind were the many wonderful visits we had to Sarnia, Montreal, and Ancaster. Aunt Helen was a kind and welcoming host. What I remember most though, looking back, is just how interested she was in our lives, whether that was school, work, travels, or relationships. She was that way with me as a nephew, but also when my wife came into the picture later on. We were certainly very lucky to have had so many rich conversations with Aunt Helen over the years. Our thoughts are with you all.
Carole GorhamDear Laird, Nancy,Jaiden and Leah Thinking of you all at this sad time with love and sympathy. Hugs Carole
Erin Munro-CsokeLaird, Nancy and their two beautiful daughters , we wish to send your our deepest love. Sitting chatting with dad about his sister these last few days brings great memories of your family being in Ancaster. I can still picture the home we would visit, not far from our own. I clearly understand that reading runs in the family. Dad and I discuss who has the most time to finish the latest detective novel. Our hearts and souls are with you all. Erin, John, Sarah and George
Nancy French WilkinsonDear Laird, Nancy, Jaiden and Liah, My most sincere condolences on your loss. But what a full, rich, vibrant life Aunt Helen lived. And what an interesting, strong and intelligent woman she was. Take comfort in knowing that she is now joyfully reunited with her beloved Stanley (she always called Uncle Stan, “Stanley”), and is being embraced by oh, so many loving arms. You are all in my thoughts and heart. Love, Nancy
Cathy BaragarDear Laird, Nancy, Jaiden and Liah. We are sending you our sincere condolences on the loss of such a remarkable woman, mother, mother -in -law and Grandmother. She will be missed for sure. Much love. The Baragar Family
Linda ClementsAlthough we lost touch both Helen and Stan were like grandparents to my children Renate,Emilie and Karl on Chatterson Dr.. Helen was a lovely lady and I am so happy she had the experience to be Grandma to her own grandchildren. : Rest In Peace Helen Sincerely; Linda Clements
Jackie and Blair MacCuishDear Laird, Nancy, Jaiden and Liah. We send our sincere condolences. Blair has such fond memories of Aunt Helen and Uncle Stan. When I married into the family they welcomed me warmly. Our thoughts are with you all. While she lived a wonderful full life, I know Helen will be missed.
Rob and Aletta FrenchLaird, Nancy, Jaiden and Liah, our sincerest condolences to you at this time. May you forever have wonderful memories of the person your Mom and Grandmom was and how she has enriched your lives. Hugs.
Rob and Jan ChanterWhen I was young, Aunt Helen always remembered my birthday by sending a card. I have great memories of visiting her in Sarnia, Montreal and Ancaster and always enjoyed time spent with Aunt Helen and Uncle Stan. They were always genuinely interested to hear what was happening in my life. My wife Jan remembers being introduced to Helen and Stan after we were newly engaged and we were made to feel so welcome while visiting their home in Beaconsfield. Once we had family of our own, our daughters enjoyed visiting her as well and remember the "pink popcorn", lavender sunken bath tub and sleepover in the big double bed. They loved swimming in the pool in Ancaster with Laird, Uncle Stan and Aunt Helen surrounded by the rose garden. Aunt Helen was a remarkable woman. We will miss her sharp mind, spirit and twinkle in her beautiful blue eyes. May your loving memories of a wonderful Mom and Grandmother bring you comfort during the difficult days ahead, Laird, Nancy, Jaiden and Liah. With Love, Rob, Jan, Katie, Meaghan and Heather
Brian & Annette GentDear Laird, Nancy, Jayden & Liah, We are thinking of you at this time. Our Sincere condolences to the French Family. I read the obituary and your mom sounds like she was an amazing woman. So happy she was with family during her passing. God Bless, Annette & Brian
Robin & FamilyDear Laird, Nancy, Liah & Jaiden, I kept thinking I would find the perfect Robbie Burns quotation from the little book I have from Gramps. But nothing seemed quite right. I am blessed to have so many wonderful memories of her, Uncle Stan and you Laird. The times in Beaconsfield and Ancaster, seeing the 76 Olympics with you, the family showers she so graciously hosted - she was always so welcoming and made you feel special - even if she said exactly what was on her mind. I always looked forward to receiving her cards she was always so thoughtful to send, and I loved her very much. Thinking of you all as life moves forward. With much love - Robin, Alex, Heather & Peter
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