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Helen Titherington
September 1, 1920 - January 2, 2016
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<div itemprop="description">Friends and neighbours of HelenTitherington would like to announce, with great sadness, her passing on January 2nd, 2016 at the age of 95 of cancer, peacefully in her home. <br /> <br />Helen was born on September 2, 1920 and lived in the same home since the age of 4. She had an excellent memory, which never failed her and she often shared interesting stories of her family, Canada and life in Toronto during the Second World War with close friends and neighbours. <br /> <br />Helen had life-long friends that also grew up on the street, some who have passed away and some who are still with us. She was a devoted friend who you always could count on, offering help before you even knew you needed it. <br /> <br />She grew with 5 sisters, Lilly, Margret, Eileen, Dora, Alice and her mother and father. Over the years she provided care for her older sister Lilly in the home, until her health deteriorated and she became a resident in the Runnymede Chronic Care Hospital, which was the former Strathcona Elementary School, where the girls had attended school. She also cared for her middle sister Margret, until she passed away and who returned to their home when she had cancer. Helen later provided loving care and support to her sister Eileen, who became ill at the age of 99 and had to be moved to <br />a nursing home. <br /> <br />As a young woman and up to her retirement, Helen worked as a Human Resources Administrator for a number of private companies. Her organizational and financial skills made her a valued employee. Her math skills were still sharp at the age of 95 and her uncanny ability to manage money and plan ahead, allowed her to remain financially independent and in her home until the end. <br /> <br />She was incredibly generous to her friends, neighbours and to the health care professionals who supported her in later years, so she could remain in her home. Helen was able to balance asking for help, always polite and grateful, when she need-ed it, with doing as much as possible for herself. Everyone who came to know her or work with her benefited from her big, generous heart. Helen was very close to her great, great nephew Jacob Robert Ackerman and his mother Kasia Blaszkiewicz, who saw Helen regularly. For Kasia, Helen was the closet thing she had for family in Cana-da, as all her family lives in Poland. For Jacob, Helen was a wonderful, wise woman who he knew, loved her, and who was a stand-in grandmother. <br /> <br />Helen volunteered at her church and donated to her church regularly, in addition to many other charities. She also maintained another life-long relationship, where she provided financial support to a Filipino family abroad. <br /> <br />She was a serious lover of neighbourhood squirrels, birds and cats. She provided only the best quality of nuts and bird seed for all the backyard creatures. As neighbours we were often sent on the errand of finding `good peanuts and walnuts&rsquo;. Stray cats always found their way to Helen&rsquo;s house. They were sure to find cat food, milk and a box with a blanket in it to help with the cold. Cats would seem to know if Helen was away in the hospital and would often return the day she would come home. <br /> <br />When Helen&rsquo;s majestic 150 year old Linden Tree had to be cut down due to disease (she could put her arms around the tree when she was four years old), she did not hesitate to plant a new Linden tree near the one that was cut. We remembered how it touched us that she looked to the future generations that would enjoy the seedling she planted. <br /> <br />Helen dealt with her illness with the same courage, determination, grace and organization, that she approached her life. She continued to inspire admiration and respect from all who cared for her and from her close friends and neighbours, up to her last moments. During her illness she remained independent and fully aware of her surroundings. She continued to show the same kindness she has always shown her neighbours and friends during the later stages of her illness even when she was in pain and discomfort. Even during the last stages she was planning Christmas gifts and deliveries for children on the street, some whom have known Helen their entire lives. Helen truly cared about the lives of the children and as they grew, their lives as young adults. She often inquired about their progress and would recognize their achieve-ments (university, travel etc.) with cards and some money to help them along their jour-ney. <br /> <br />Helen remembered the past but lived in the present. She watched the news daily and was an avid reader of the Toronto Star for her entire life and kept herself informed of important societal changes. She modelled the old values of what neighbours are supposed to be for each other. Helen has taught those around her how to age grace-fully and with dignity, remembering the past but always living in the present. She was an independent thinker who was progressive, strong willed and who lived each day selflessly, with courage, determination and love in her heart. <br /> <br />We will miss Helen and will carry her life lessons in our hearts. <br /> <br />Helen rests, with her mother, father and sisters, beneath a lovely oak tree housing many squirrels and birds, in St. Johns Anglican Cemetery. <br /> <br />Donations, if desired, can be made in her name to Toronto Cat Rescue. <br /></div>