It was with great sadness we said goodbye to my mother, Helen King, but we rejoice that she has moved on and is now resting in heaven, surrounded by so many of her loved ones. In her 100th year. She had always said she did not want to live that long and she slipped away quietly at Kingsway Care Centre, where she has lived for almost 5 years.
Helen was born November 8th, 1922, the 6th of 8 children to the late Estella (Appleby) and Ernest Davidson, in Saint John. Helen was predeceased by her husband of 52 years, Murray King, and daughter Linda (Murray) MacKenzie. The last surviving member of the Davidson family, she was predeceased by brothers; Ottis, Roy, Ernest, and Eric (Pete), and sisters; Ruth Murphy and Sue Dunphy, and sister Geraldine who died in infancy.
Helen is survived by her daughter Wendy (the late Harold) Steele and son in law Murray MacKenzie. She was a wonderful Mum to granddaughter Michelle (Charles) Doucet, and 3 grandsons, Scott MacKenzie, Rob (Amy) and Alex Steele, and she was MumMum to six much loved great grandchildren Kendall, Cohen, Kenzie, Leah, Natalie, and Blake, as well as many nieces and nephews.
Helen's father died when she was 14, and she left school at that time to help with family responsibilities, mainly care of her two younger brothers, Ernie and Pete. She worked at a number of jobs in Saint John's North End, but the one she enjoyed most was working as a Pharmacy Clerk at Mahoney's Drug Store. Between her work there and her husband Murray a firefighter at the Main Street Station, they knew most folks in the North End.
Helen was a woman with a strong faith. She was a member of Victoria Street Baptist Church, which she attended from infancy for 50 years, until the church merged with Main Street Baptist Church, just a block away. Murray and Helen lived in the North End until 1991, when they relocated to Quispamsis. We were apprehensive about their transition to suburbia, but they loved their new neighbourhood, and their home with Wendy, Harold, Alex and Rob. She found a new church home at Kennebecasis Baptist Church, and especially enjoyed the year her youngest brother served there as Interim Pastor. She also discovered a hidden passion there for Shuffleboard and enjoyed the competitive friendship with new friends.
Helen loved looking after others, and family were the most important thing to her. The years following Murray's death were hard on her, until she discovered how much fun great grandchildren could be. She loved them all, enjoying many visits from Kenzie and Leah and Natalie and Blake, sharing a special connection with Blake, who she entertained by making faces across the table during weekly Sunday lunches.
It was a difficult decision to see Helen enter a Nursing Home, but we found a wonderful home for her at Kingsway Care Centre. During the restrictions of Covid, it was a comfort to know she was there among staff who loved her and treated her with respect and affection. The family suggests those who wish make donations to Kingsway Care Centre – Kennebecasis Unit, in Helen's memory.
Helen always said she did not want a big funeral, a wish that is easily handled given the current Covid situation. Arrangements are under the care of Kennebecasis Community Funeral Home, 152 Pettingill Road, Quispamsis (506-849-2119). A private graveside service will be held for immediate family only at Cedar Hill Extension Cemetery, Saint John.