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CLARK – M. Helen

March 25, 1940 – June 26, 2010

Helen Clark beloved wife of Jim of Calgary, passed away peacefully at Southwood Hospice on Saturday, June 26, 2010 at the age of 70 years.

Helen taught school for thirty-six years in four different provinces. Her passions were math and music, both of which she pursued throughout the years. She played trombone with three different bands, her love of jazz being expressed through her choice of CDs and sheet music. After her retirement in 1996, Helen and Jim enjoyed travelling, visiting most of Europe, China, Costa Rica, Mexico and the Caribbean Islands. Helen’s upbeat personality and friendly smile will be missed by her family and many friends.

Helen is survived by her husband of fifty years, Jim, and son and daughter-in-law, Gord and Micheline all of Calgary, as well as numerous nieces, nephews and cousins.

Funeral Services will be held at McINNIS & HOLLOWAY’S Fish Creek Chapel (14441 Bannister Road S.E.) on Monday, July 5, 2010 at 2:30 p.m. Forward condolences through If friends so desire, memorial donations may be made directly to Pancreatic Cancer Canada, 2446 Bank Street, Suite 656, Ottawa, ON K1V 1A8 or on line at The family would like to extend their sincere appreciation to Dr. S. Dowden and the medical daycare staff at the Tom Baker Cancer Centre, the Palliative Home Care Team, the doctors and staff of Unit 47, Foothills Medical Centre and Dr. Susan Kinnie for the care provided to Helen during her illness.

In living memory of Helen Clark, a tree will be planted at Fish Creek Provincial Park by McINNIS & HOLLOWAY FUNERAL HOMES, Fish Creek Chapel, 14441 BANNISTER ROAD S.E. Telephone: (403) 256-9575.

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Condolence Messages

  1. Terry Lathangue :

    Helen was missed when she had to leave The Sentimental Journey Big Band due to her illness. In addition to being a sweet friendly lady, I found her to be a very accomplished trombone player and a joy to play alongside. I ask that her husband Jim and family accept my condolence for their tremendous loss.

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  2. Jackie Trowbridge :

    There was no one quite like our Helen…..between the two of us sitting in the trombone section we solved the worlds problems many times over!! She will be truly and deeply missed.

    Rest well my dear friend! Say “hi” to Chris for me 🙂

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  3. Christina and Stephen Holgate :

    Helen was a true and dear friend – always there with a laugh, a wisecrack, an eyeroll or a hug. I hope to be as good a person as she was.

    She will be missed and always remembered.

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  4. Pat and Cliff :

    Dear Jim, Gord and Micheline,
    We are absolutely heartbroken to lose our friend and mentor. However, there is no comparison to your loss of a wife and mother. Our deepest condolences to each of you.
    Helen and I taught together at David Livingstone School almost fifty years ago and we laughed about something regarding those times together each of the years thereafter. Helen had a brilliant mind, especially in math (your genetic inheritance, Gord)and music (for which Howard Gardner would now reflect the strong inter-relationship). She loved mental challenges and she loved to laugh and I shall hear her giggle for the rest of my life. Her love of her family and including her relatives and friends was foremeost in her life. In addition, her students and friends and her travels were tops and I fondly recall our time in Mazatlan cruising through the streets on the pulmonia singing and laughing while holding on for dear life. What wonderful memories which we gather up to offset this tragic loss and deep sadness. The world is a better place because of Helen. Thank you for sharing her.
    Much love,
    Pat and Cliff

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  5. I had the honour of playing trombone with Helen in the Sentimental Journey Band and getting to know her there. But it was far too brief a time and I really miss her. She helped me think in new ways. There will never be another Helen.

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  6. Phil Radomsky :

    Helen had great passion for the kids she taught. It was many years later when I realized the value of the gifts she had shared with me. I was a beginning teacher and she was a master teacher and great mentor. Helen inspired me to teach. She had a way of making kids proud of working hard. I still use some of her enrichment strategies and ideas that she shared with me so many years ago. You will always be remembered.

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  7. cousin Janet :

    As cousins, we are all spread far and wide but Helen never failed to keep in touch, and made us feel much closer. I will really miss her positive, encouraging words, and the cheerful way she shared her news of family, friends, travels, work and everyday life. So grateful for the way she cared, I know that it will warm our hearts, always.

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  8. Marie Wong- MS Society :

    Helen was an amazing lady and I am very glad to have had the opportunity to get to know her while she volunteered at the MS Society. She helped me learn the “ropes” around the Carnation Campaign, was a wealth of information and was always willing to share her knowledge in order to make others work easier. She volunteered in many capacities and always went above and beyond. She mentored many volunteers and me too! Helen was one in a million and will be sorely missed. Our condolences to all of you. Thank you for sharing her with us.

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  9. Barbara McLean (paul's sister) :

    Hi Jim, we remember you when you accompanied Cathy to Peyton’s 1st birthday party in Guelph. Cathy was so brave and lucky she had you for a brother, as well as Paul and the 3 boys. We share your loss. love, Barbara

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  10. Millie Hartviksen :

    I first met Helen when I was a ‘rookie’ teacher at Bob Edwards Junior High. Helen has just started at her first school in Calgary. I will always remember her dynamic way of teaching and engaging students in learning mathematics. Over the years, Helen hosted an annual reunion for those of us that became such good friends at Bob Edwards. She will be truly missed. I feel privileged to have known her and to have had her as a friend and a colleague. I am so sorry for your loss.

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  11. Sandra Duff :

    Ken and I are very sad for your loss, but also thank you for sharing Helen with us. Helen was an inspiration to me as a beginning Math teacher at Lindsay Place HS in Pointe Claire, and her encouragement and mentorship helped fuel the passion over the years. I have so many happy memories – of Friday after-school meetings (sometimes involving Dubonnet), of our educational trip to Cuba before it became a fashionable destination, our week all together on Paradise Island in 1979, of my spur-of-the-moment trip to Calgary for Helen’s retirement, and our more recent visit to Calgary in 2005 where we enjoyed your warm hospitality for a week before heading through the Rockies. We are honored to have known Helen and send our condolences to you, Gord and Micheline. May the memory of this special lady live on.

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  12. Linda and Doug Evasiuk :

    Dear Gord and Micheline,
    Though I only met your mother once she left such an impression. Our thoughts are with you during this time of loss. On behalf of Doug and myself, our condolences to you and your family.

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  13. Keith and Francine Morris :

    Dear Jim, Gord, Micheline,

    It is with a very heavy heart that I write you this note. First, let me give the family of Helen our deepst sympathy for your loss.

    Helen was a dear colleague that I had the privilege of working with while she was at Lindsay Place High School, in Montreal. We had so much fun working together that it was a joy to come to work. Helen was always deeply involved at the school and with the social life of the department. It was a great loss when she moved out West, but luckily for Francine and I, we were able to continue our frienship with Helen, Jim, Gord and later Micheline. We had many occaisons in the following years to meet up with Helen when we came to Calgary;which was quite often over the years. Oh how I remember those wonderful conversations we used to have over a bottle of wine and that continued well into the wee hours of the night.
    Helen was one of the joys of our lives and we will miss her laughter, passion and zest for life…but one thing that we will always have are those memories of her.
    Good bye Helen. Rest in peace. I look forward to the day when we will meet again.

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  14. I would like to offer my condolences to all who knew Helen, especially her family, at this time.
    As a fellow trombone player, I had the opportunity to play alongside Helen first in Westwinds and later in Razzama Jazz.
    I always appreciated and will greatly miss her sense of humour, advice and ready laugh.

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  15. Carole Dastous :

    Dear Jim,

    In 2007 I joined Westwinds Music Society in Green Band, on trombone. Helen was kind enough to volunteer to come and practice with me at EMHS (I had missed the first few weeks of class that year). Ours was a short friendship but I feel honored and priviledged to have known Helen.
    Dear Helen, you were a class act.
    You asked for ‘no long faces’…Ok my friend: Rock on, First Trombone!

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  16. Margaret Allison :

    Although I didn’t see her often I always knew she had a warm welcome for me, with or without my dog. Helen was a loyal friend for more than thirty years.
    It’s very hard to keep from having a long face.
    Condolences to Jim and Gord.

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  17. The Myden Family :

    Our family wishes to express our heartfelt condolences on your loved one. Mrs. Clark was a fabulous teacher and an extraordinary person; she touched the lives of each student who walked through her class room. She will be forever remembered for her respect for others, her smile, and the way she made everyone feel special. May the memories you have gathered over the years keep Helen close to your heart.

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  18. kimberly schuler (odo) :

    Mrs Clarke… an amazing lady, a great teacher. My grade 9 teacher, first year i lived in Calgary…. best year of my life

    Sorry i could not make the funeral, my wishes are with the family….

    Mrs clarke, you shall be terribly missed.xxoxoxoxo

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  19. Gordon Best :

    The one woman on the planet that could actually motivate me to do well in high school math. I actually took my report card back to show her because she said I couldn’t do it! Great teacher that affected so many lives during her career.
    Truly amazing.
    Thanks Helen.

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  20. Ron & Lorna Thompson :

    Dear Jim,

    We were saddened to hear of Helen’s passing. Please accept our deepest sympathy, our thoughts are with you at this time.

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  21. Jim, Gord and Micheline,
    I am sorry to hear of your great loss.
    Helen was my grade 8 teacher on the West Island of Montreal. She use to say we were her favorite class ever, she really was good at making us believe it.
    Many of life’s lessons that Helen examplified, made me a better man. She really knew how to bring out the best in those she taught.
    My thoughts and wishes are with you all as you move through these very tough times.
    Todd Cooper of Nanaimo, BC

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