CODE; Helen (Tkachuk)
It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of Helen Code on 14 November 2015 at the Christine Morrison Hospice. Helen was predeceased by her husband of 44 years, Verne, her daughter, Dianne, and her granddaughter, Heather. She leaves to mourn her son, Craig (Catherine) and his daughters, Carmen and Caitlin, her brother, Dan (Vi), her sister, Susan, her son-in-law, Gordie, her granddaughter, Kris (Jason), her great- randchildren, Melissa, Duncan, and Adam, and her great-great- granddaughter, Elly. Helen was born in Hafford, Saskatchewan in 1927, to Nick and Belle Tkachuk. A good student and an avid reader, she headed to Normal School in Saskatoon to begin teacher training in 1944. Given the nature of prairie classrooms, she taught multiple grades in one class. In her first assignment, as a 17 year old rookie, she had one student who was 16! He continued to visit over the course of her lifetime. Many of her students felt such a connection. She enjoyed a career that spanned more than 40 years. During this time she was very proud to have completed her Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in Education from UBC. She nurtured this love for higher learning in her descendants. Helen and Verne moved their young family to Abbotsford in the spring of 1963. Together they worked the land, raised a variety of livestock, and produced honey on their one acre parcel on Huntington Road. As was her wish, Helen was able to live in her home until the last few weeks of her life. Helen had strong ties to the Code family farm near Red Deer, Alberta. Upon the passing of her husband, she became the matriarch for a pioneering family dynasty that has roots back to the 1890s. She was a devoted steward of this legacy. A child of the Depression, coming from a family of limited means, financial independence was very important to Helen. She was generous in sharing her resources to allow family members to attend school, put down payments on homes, and take care of their responsibilities. Helen was a kind and loving person who never forgot a special occasion. Months ahead of time, she was prepared with cards, gifts, and well wishes that were always much appreciated. Helen was a thoughtful woman who believed in the power of public education. In addition to her teaching duties, she would tutor students ranging from primary to post-secondary studies. In her retirement, she spent many hours baking for friends and family; her cookies, pies, and cinnamon buns were legendary. She had a quick wit and a great sense of humour. She loved to share comics and retell jokes that she had heard. She was a dedicated member of Trinity Memorial United Church. Her faith brought her much comfort and solace as she fought a tireless and stoic battle against cancer. We are forever grateful to the kind personnel at the Abbotsford Regional Hospital and Cancer Centre, and the Christine Morrison Hospice. Their care and devotion to Helen was much appreciated. No service by request. A private interment will take place at a later date. Should you wish to honour Helen, read a book and be excited to learn something new.
“Education is not preparation for life; education is life itself.”
– John Dewey