Helen Kathryn Foley of Coronach, SK, passed peacefully surrounded by family, on January 18, 2024, at the age of 94 years.
Helen was born in Regina, SK on July 5, 1929, the daughter of Marie Schuff. When Helen was 3 years old, her mother died and she was adopted by her Aunt Barbara and Uncle Jake Noll of Coronach. Her brother John (Jackie) Noll was born in 1936.
At age 7, Helen attended Highcrest School. She learned to read and books soon provided her with much enjoyment. Besides helping with the household chores, Helen soon learned to help with many farm chores like feeding the animals, milking the cows, and cleaning the barn and chicken coop. She finished her Grade 12 at Coronach School and then went to teachers’ college to become a teacher.
Helen taught school until she married Elmer Foley on November 8, 1951. They started cattle and grain farming, and then six children arrived to complete their family: John in 1953, Kevin in 1955, Jeannie in 1957, Gregory in 1961, Barbara in 1965, and Timothy in 1968. Without modern day conveniences, Helen cooked, baked and cleaned for her large family, and she also helped with outside chores and fieldwork.
In the 1970s, Elmer and Helen imported a Simmental heifer from Switzerland and began to build their own full blood herd. Helen was instrumental in keeping the paperwork done for selling their bulls near and far. All buyers who visited the farm would be treated to Helen’s fresh bread, buns and donuts.
In 1980, they built a new home on a farm closer to Coronach. Helen liked all the trees in the yard, especially the trees that lined both sides of the lane from the road to the house.
In 1992, Helen found out that she had a sister, Mary, that was born days before their birth mother passed in 1933. They were both overjoyed to find each other and they enjoyed learning about each other and their families over the years.
Helen was the secretary for the Coronach Agricultural Society for many years and worked hard to keep the annual agricultural fair running. She also was active in the rink world with hockey players and figure skaters. She served on the Coronach Museum board and loved bringing history to life for the young people. She wrote many stories for the Coronach History book. She was active in the church: reading at Mass, lay services, secretary of the parish council, and a CWL member for many years. She felt it was vital to volunteer in your community.
Helen’s retirement hobbies were tending to her garden, braiding rugs, bowling, playing Chinese checkers, cribbage and many other card games. She even dabbled with painting pictures again. She also continued making her famous bread and buns and pies, and hosting all our family gatherings every Easter, Thanksgiving and Christmas.
The family would like to thank the Coronach Health Centre Staff. Your compassion and exceptional care during Mom’s stay were deeply appreciated. Donations in Mom’s memory may be made to the Coronach Ladies Hospital Auxiliary or STARS Air Ambulance.