Obituary of Helen Jane Grattidge
Helen Jane Grattidge
(May 5, 1931 - June 28, 2023)
Helen Grattidge of Camrose, Alberta passed away at her daughter’s home on June 28, 2023, at the age of 92, following a recent cancer diagnosis.
Helen was born to Mary (Polly) Phelps Enders Copeland and Morris Copeland on May 5, 1931, in Ann Arbor, Michigan. As the eldest child of two working parents, she learned to be independent and selfless, especially during WWII.
Growing up she spent summers at Sodus on Lake Ontario in a cabin her father built, learning to swim and canoe. Animals had a special place in Helen’s life, having various pets including cats, dogs, rabbits and a turtle. As a teen she attended horse riding camp which kindled her love of horses. She mastered various equestrian disciplines including jumping and dressage and also instructed both students and horses. These were among her happiest memories.
She traveled extensively, including to India with her parents by freighter in 1951-52, throughout Europe for a summer and enjoyed many of trips with her family. She studied Mathematics at Swarthmore College and took classes at Cornell University. In 1958 in Schenectady, New York she met and married Robert Elwyn Grattidge, originally from Manchester, England.
After graduating from Swarthmore College, she worked at General Electric tracking satellites when the space program was in its infancy, while Elwyn completed his Agricultural degree at Cornell University. In 1962, the couple immigrated to Canada, settling in Camrose. Here they established deep roots by starting a family, founding Camlot Feeders Ltd., and cultivating many enduring friendships.
In her quiet and steadfast way, Helen was dedicated to her community. She was a member of the Kinette Club of Camrose, K39 club and spearheaded the Camrose Festival of Trees in support of Citizen Advocacy. She was also a committed blood donor, having made an impressive 100 life-saving donations. Helen was an effortless host and enjoyed many summers with friends at Pine Lake.
In later years, she enjoyed playing bridge, exercise classes, Probus, birthday and coffee club get-togethers, and her family. She highly valued education, fostering her alma mater and Augustana, University of Alberta, both financially and as a member of Augustana’s Advisory Board. With her sharp intellect, Helen loved solving puzzles, especially crosswords.
A couple of weeks prior to her passing, Helen traveled to Schenectady, New York, to celebrate the life of her brother-in-law Walter Grattidge, in the very church where she was wed. She enjoyed a last visit with her sisters-in-laws, Liz Hicklin of Australia and Audrey Christanson of California, along with two of her nephews, John and Alan Grattidge and their families.
Helen is predeceased by her parents Morris and Polly Copeland; and husband Elwyn Grattidge.
She is survived by her brother Robert (Marian) Copeland of Venice, Florida; her children Kim Grattidge Rowe and Scott Grattidge (Lorelee) both of Cochrane, Alberta; her grandsons Graham Rowe of Menlo Park, California, Aiden Rowe of Kelowna, B.C. and their father Keith as well as Dawson and Clay Grattidge both of Cochrane; and extended family and friends.
A Funeral Service was held 11:00 a.m., Friday, August 11, 2023, at the CityLights Church, 4920 48 Street Camrose, officiated by Rev. Brian Hunter.
The service was livestreamed and can be viewed at the following link: Citylights Church .
If family and friends so desire, memorial contributions in Helen's memory may be made to the Battle River Community Foundation - Grattidge Family Fund or to the charity of one's choosing.