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Helen Sheppard (nee Buryere)

December 31, 1920

November 6, 2023

We sadly announce the peaceful passing of our beloved Matriarch, Helen Bruyere, at St. Joseph’s Villa. She was born on December 31, 1920, in Elk Lake, Ontario, to Lucy and Ed. Helen married her childhood sweetheart, John Sheppard, and they shared over 50 beautiful years together. She was preceded in death by her siblings Pearl Cox, Eva Stringer, Bertha Sheahan, and Wilfred Bruyere. Helen is survived by her 5 children: Lana Sissons (Bob) of Wasaga Beach, Edward (Cheryl) of North Bay, Murray (Laura) of Falconbridge, Clyde (Gundi) of Garson, and Wanda Sarvas (Doug) of Sudbury, who cherish countless cherished memories of their mother. Her 14 grandchildren, their spouses, and 32 great-grandchildren fondly referred to her as “Nana Helen.” Helen’s remarkable 103-year journey was filled with pride, independence, and resilience. Until the age of 97, she maintained her own home and drove her own car, showcasing her unwavering capabilities.

Throughout her youth, Helen excelled as an all-star softball pitcher, a diligent cross-country skier, and a skilled badminton player. Even into her 90s, she continued to enjoy swimming and kayaking, proving her zest for life. She dedicated numerous hours to knitting unique and vibrant socks and mittens, spreading warmth, love, and joy to those in need. Helen’s professional endeavors led her to the accounting department at Falconbridge Nickel Mines, and she actively participated in various organizations such as the Catholic Women’s League, The Sudbury Women’s Professional Association, and the Falconbridge Seniors’ Club where she played a vital founding role. Helen and her late husband, John, embarked on countless rail trips, with their voyage to Alaska standing out as an unforgettable experience.

Helen’s significant distinction lies in being the longest-standing resident of Falconbridge. From 1929 until 2019, she resided in the town, becoming an integral part of its fabric. In 2019, she moved to the Westmount Retirement Home and later found solace in the caring embrace of St. Joseph’s Villa. Helen’s longevity was a blessing to her entire family, who saw her as a source of guidance, historical wisdom, and a stellar role model as a devoted wife and mother. Her unparalleled vitality made her the family’s cherished “Fountain of Youth.” Honoring her wishes, Helen’s ashes will be laid to rest alongside her late husband John at the Lasalle cemetery in Sudbury. The family plans to arrange a future “Celebration of Life” event to commemorate her remarkable journey. Expressing their deepest gratitude, the family would like to thank longtime friend Jeannine Thibault, the Westmount Retirement Home, and St. Joseph’s Villa in Sudbury for providing exemplary care that ensured Helen’s final days were safe, comfortable, and enjoyable.

In Helen’s memory, the family kindly requests donations to a charity of your choice. All arrangements have been entrusted to the Lougheed Funeral Home, and further details can be found at http://www.lougheedfuneralhomes.com.

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