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Helen Joyce Ritchie

Helen Joyce Ritchie

December 8, 2021

Helen Joyce Ritchie

RITCHIE, Helen Joyce - Our dear Mom and Grandma died peacefully on Wednesday, December 8, 2021 after a long and lovely life. Helen entered the world April 9, 1927 as the much-loved firstborn of Elmo King and his wife Edna (née Youen), on their farm at Creekbank, Ontario. She shared many tales of her adventures – climbing windmills, riding to Christmas dinner on a sleigh drawn by horses, winning prizes at the school fair. At a still-young age she moved with her family to Mount Forest, and the towns in Wellington North became her stomping ground. As many teens do, she worked part time at the post office and a local restaurant, and she hitched rides to dances in Neustadt, Pike Lake, and Harriston. At one of these dances she met the love of her life, Harold (Sliv) Ritchie. Though she had, perhaps unexpectedly, passed her high school departmentals and graduated from teacher’s college, she gave up that career in favour of marriage, raising her kids, making homes for the family, and helping Sliv at their service station, on the farm, and much later at the Arthur Legion.

Helen loved presentations and parties, chivarees and card games with her many friends and neighbours. She took a very active role in her community.  She collected for charities, worked on the township history book and served lunches at countless auction sales and funerals with her church group. Until late in her 80’s she regularly organized dinners and parties with the local Legion Auxiliary. 

Helen was a doting Grandma, and keeping up with the comings and goings of her many grandchildren kept her involved and amused even during the bleak days of covid lockdown. Though she accepted the vagaries of old age with grace (usually!), she did not give in or give up, and right to the end would gamely haul her weaker leg into the car so she could go for lunch or a drive or – three cheers! – shopping.

Helen outlived her husband Sliv (2008), her son Doug (2010) and his wife Margaret Brown (2004), and her brother Jack (2015). She mourned them deeply, but continued to live life fully and without complaint, just as her children Marg (the late John Reid), Dave and his wife Barb Tregunna, and Joyce Charman will try to do. Her eleven grandchildren and eight great-grandchildren will cherish memories of noisy family gatherings, grandma’s fudge, and riding on her walker.

A private funeral service will be held at the England Funeral Home, Mount Forest.  Extended family and friends are invited to view the service livestream on Tuesday, December 14th at 11:00 a.m. by visiting www.englandfuneralhome.com and clicking on the link below Helen’s obituary.

A come-and-go reception in Helen’s honour will take place at the Royal Canadian Legion, Mount Forest Branch 134, 140 King Street West, Mount Forest, on Tuesday, December 14th from 1:00-4:00 p.m. Proof of double vaccination and photo identification is required.  Donations to the Mount Forest Legion Ladies Auxiliary or the Louise Marshall Hospital Foundation would be appreciated. 

How lucky am I to have something that makes saying goodbye so hard. 

                                                                                        - A.A Milne

Funeral Service for Helen Joyce Ritchie


I was honoured to have the privilege of meeting Mrs. Helen Richie At the retirement home she resided in as I cared for her there. She was always so funny and witty and had always the greatest stories. I will always remember her and I’m thinking of the family during this time. Rest in peace Helen you will be greatly missed!

— Corinne Beare, December 14, 2021

— Corinne Beare, December 14, 2021

— Corinne Beare, December 14, 2021

To Helen's Family,
My deepest sympathy to you all. She will be greatly missed as I know she was quite a force to be reckoned with during her long and fulfilling lifetime. we were teachers in Arthur Township about the same time and I had taught her children at Kenilworth. You will all miss her so much! And as you say in the obituary, she was always prepared- even to something for you in her purse when travelling! Blessings to all of you.
Pauline Brown

— Pauline Brown, December 13, 2021

Best mother in law a guy could have
Treated me like a son
Loved our children
We spent many nights camping in the back yard with the whole family and Helen was always so caring
I've missed her for years and will continue to think of her always

— Dale charman, December 12, 2021

The Ritchie Family
I taught with your mom for many years at St John School in Arthur and recall so many good times that we exchanged stories of farm life and our families. Her laugh was wonderful and she was always ready to lend a hand and to share. Treasure her always.

— Betty boyd, December 12, 2021

To the Ritchie family
George @I loved going @ picking up Helen @taking her out to lunch at her favorite restaurants in the area.Helen kept our family (McRobb,Courtney) up to date on our heritage.Our last outing was with Helen,Margaret,George @I ,Jean @Cathy our niece at a lovely picnic in Grand Valley park,then Co Ved came along that ended our visits but we still could stay in touch by phone.Helen will be dearly missed.Jean,Dorothy,Shirley,Nancy @Bill

— George @Dorothy Bitker, December 11, 2021

Helen was a very nice lady that was very happy and cheerful. I always enjoyed seeing and talking to her at the Legion. May she rest in peace. My sincere condolences to her family and friends who will feel her loss.

— Bill Dineen, December 11, 2021

Marg Dave Joyce and families so very sorry to hear of your loss. Always enjoyed a great chat a catch-up and chuckle with Helen whenever we met. She certainly enjoyed life and will be truly missed. Sending our deepest condolences. Our thoughts and prayers are with you. Al and Ruth McEachern

— Ruth McEachern, December 11, 2021

Ritchie family, our deepest sympathy for the loss of a truly spirited woman. Helen will never be forgotten to those that knew her. There will be many a story and laughs told as we continue to cherish Helen's memory. Truly an honor to have known Helen and her family.
David MacArthur & Robyn Jackson

— David MacArthur & Robyn Jackson, December 11, 2021

Dave and Barb you have lost a lovely lady. Helen was a neighbor when the family moved to Mount Forest. We always had time to chat as the years went by and I have many memories of her and your Uncle Jack.

— Joan Eccles, December 10, 2021

To Helen's family, I have many great memories of your Mom. We worked together at luncheons and dinners with the Legion L.A. For a few years I helped Helen with housecleaning and some gardening. She was a strong willed lady and worked hard most of life! I will remember her fondly. God Bless and cherish your memories of your Mom!

— Patti Young, December 10, 2021

Sending my sympathies to Marg, Dave and Barb, and Joyce and families. Your Mom was a special person, a great Aunt to my family and a friend to many.
I remember the many trips my mother and I made to see Aunt Helen and Uncle Sliv, the many shops Mom, Aunt Helen and I made to antique shops, fabric stores, and farmers markets looking for a bargain. The trip that Aunt Helen and I went to Ireland with two of my friends. She was Grandmom to the girls and always made sure to have something to eat in her purse in case we were late for lunch. We had a great time. I will never forget her. Marg , Dec. 10, 2021.

— Margaret Karjalainen, December 10, 2021

So sorry for your loss. She was a great lady and she taught me alot with doing Legion dinners. I will sure miss her.

— Kathleen MacRobbie, December 10, 2021

Great-Aunt Helen was a force of nature to my young and impressionable mind. Visiting her and Uncle Sliv was always a great time and I have so many memories of the farm, of the family gatherings and of Auntie Helen. She always impressed me when she talked back to my dad when he was being, well, Dad. She will be missed but her memory will shine bright and her laugh will echo in those memories. I'm sorry I can't make it to the funeral, but you will see us this summer. Hugs all around.

— Marcia, December 10, 2021

Contact Info

294 Main Street South
P.O. Box 38, Mount Forest
Ontario, Canada N0G 2L0
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