Born November 30, 1923 in St.Catharines, Ontario.
Died peacefully April 21, 2021 at Humber River Hospital, Toronto.
A snappy dresser, a collector of friends of all ages, a proud member of the banking community, a devout Catholic, a Jays fan, a keen follower of current events, a lover of liver and onions, sticky toffee pudding, white tulips, half pints of beer, birthday lunches, Niagara-on-the-Lake picnics and a good potato salad. A proud aunt and great aunt and a friend to many, Helen Martin was not someone you could ever pigeon-hole. She worked with pride for 'The Royal Bank' for many years and at age 97 still maintained friends there, although most will be surprised that she attained that age. During this last difficult year, she tried hard to stay connected to the world during COVID-19 and to maintain her independence. She missed seeing her friends Mae, Dorothy and Julie and so many others from both the bank and her parish associations but she always stayed connected by phone and greeting cards, and she spoke to her sister Joanne almost daily. Helen was so grateful to dear family friend Tim Farlow for helping with medical appointments whenever needed, she missed his sister Sandy with whom she had a special bond and who passed before her in 2020. In fact the Farlow family was a second family for Helen. Her nephew John and his wife thelma were a wonderful help and source of support during this past year as was her niece Gayle who checked in almost every day with a bit of CNN news or a Jays' score.
In her heyday she loved the independence that driving afforded her and there was no highway or byway in Southern Ontario that she hadn’t driven. Helen knew how to get anywhere from anywhere, knew the best parking lot to use, and the best exit to take to get out of that lot. Never exceeding the speed limit, it didn’t matter if it was a small manual import or a large North American sedan, she could drive it and she always, always knew a shortcut. She maintained her licence well into her 90s.
Helen leaves her sister Joanne Fitzgerald, her cousin Annabelle (Franklin) Alesse of NY, her niece Suzanne, nephew John (thelma), nieces Lynne (Stephanie), Carole (Tom) and Gayle as well as great nieces Colette, Landrie, Lee, and great nephews Michael (Kim) and Aidan (Danielle). Helen was predeceased by her sister Elizabeth, and her brother Paul.
Her family knew her affectionately as Hoddy which was a name that stuck from a young niece’s mispronunciation of Aunt Helen. The Farlows knew her as Civile. Hoddy was tough and independent and could be stubborn at times but we loved her dearly. We will miss her and thank her for all her prayers on our behalf. She will be remembered always but particularly when we detect the scent of Clinique Elixir.
Arrangements are being handled by The Simple Alternative - Toronto, following all current Covid-19 protocols. A family Funeral Service is scheduled for Tuesday May 4, 10:30 am at Our Lady of Peace Church, 3914 Bloor St., Etobicoke, with interment directly following at Mount Hope Cemetery, Toronto. In lieu of flowers, please consider one of Helen's long supported charities: Good Shepherd Refuge Social Ministries, the National Catholic Broadcasting Council, and the World Wildlife Fund, among many others.