Passed away peacefully in her 95th year, on Sunday February 25, 2018. Beloved wife of Don. Cherished mother of Bob (Arly), Tom (Bobbe), Dave (Prudence), Rick (Pattie), Ed (Shannon) and Bill (Claudia – deceased). Loving grandmother of Aaron, Katie, Laura, Jennifer, Julie, Jeannie, Kali, Dan, Jill, Helen, Michelle, Jessica, Robyn, Lauren and Ryan and 18 great grandchildren.
Helen was born April 17, 1923 in Buffalo, New York the daughter of Eugene Forrestel and Viona (Coleman) Forrestel. She lived her early years in Akron and Medina, NY with siblings Marjorie, Richard and Thomas. She graduated from Akron High School in 1940 and attended Smith College, and the University of Michigan, graduating from Eastman School of Music at the University of Rochester, NY with a Bachelor of Music, majoring in piano, in May 1944. She was a talented flutist and pianist- the winner of several state and national music festival contests.
In her youth, Helen was quite an athlete. A natural “lefty”, she was always playing sports like baseball and football with her brothers and their friends. This came to an abrupt halt at 12 or so when her mother announced that young ladies were not to participate in such things! Different times! She did continue with her athletic endeavors, however; swimming, biking and skiing into her 80’s.
In 1946, Helen eloped with her brother Dick’s college roommate Don, who she met while visiting campus in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Don and Helen were happily married for 72 years this month. In 1969 she moved with her husband Donald to Waterloo, Ontario where he accepted a position as professor of chemical engineering at the University of Waterloo. Helen taught piano locally, was a member of the garden club and an avid supporter of the Kitchener-Waterloo Symphony. She attended Grace Mennonite Brethren Church and studied religion for years. Her love of learning included many summers at Chautauqua Institute with Don, attending lectures and concerts. Family members were the recipients of numerous books and CDs; her interests and passion were contagious.
Helen lived a full life filled with family, music, and travel. She and Don raised 6 sons who became professionals, raising families in Canada and the U.S., all who received educations and support in time of need. Everyone was a beneficiary of her loving generosity in some way.
A special thanks for the care given to Helen by the staff at the Village at University Gates and previously the staff at Luther Village.
Friends are invited to share their memories of Helen with her family during visitation at the Erb & Good Family Funeral Home, 171 King St. S., Waterloo, Ontario, Canada on Friday March 2, 2018 from 1-3 p.m. The funeral service will follow at 3 p.m. in the funeral home chapel. Reception will be held in the fireside room after the service. Cremation to follow.
You may leave a message for Helen's family using the form below. Please allow up to 24 hours for your comment to be posted.