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img_1156884757_15520_1258728837_mod_239_286.jpgHelen Peters (nee Harder)

Born: June 17, 1929

Died: November 14, 2009

On June 17 1929, Helen Harder was born to Helen and John Harder of the Mordon-Glencross district of Manitoba. She was the second of 16 children. When she was approx 10 years old, her family moved to the Roseisle area to farm.

Rumor has it that her mom sent her to the neighbourhood bachelor with a gift of a rooster, and that is where it all began. She married Cornelius A. Peters on March, 1949 at the age of 19 years old. He was a farmer living in the Roseisle area, and she became a farm wife. They carried on the tradition of a large family, beginning their family of 15 right away, with 8 girls and 7 boys. She had a good sense of humor and gave each child animal nicknames. She loved to make her children laugh.

She had a great sense of color and found a way to make our house a home by painting the rooms different colors and painting the floors – all 15 times. Whenever paint came on sale, she found it exciting to try a new color. At one point Dad was worried the bedroom was getting too small with the many layers of paint.

She was very creative, clean, and could cook up a storm. At the annual school picnic, they waited to eat potato salad until hers came, as it was the best. She had so many children to cook for that she devised a way to make it go faster. When she made pyroghys, she increased the size of each one, cutting down on the preparation time.

She came up on a plane to visit her children in Alberta. She loved to keep momentos from each exciting place she went to. If we gathered in a restaurant, she took the napkins and wrote names and dates on them and kept them as a momento. She even went so far as to take a whole frozen chicken back on the plane to Manitoba, as it was a gift from her kids in Alberta. One time, Cheri took her to a restaurant called JJ's. They each had 3 pieces of chocolate pie. Her favorite food was KFC. When she came for a visit, you could count on at least a few buckets of KFC. On one trip to Barrhead, Abe took her to the local KFC, and she came up with what she considered a wonderful idea. She would eat the skin and Abe could eat the rest of the chicken. The older children have fond, and maybe not so fond memories of picking saskatoons with their mom. One day Helen and Abe went picking Saskatoons and decided they didn't want to pick as many saskatoons, so they thought they would fool their mom by putting sand in part of the bucket and filling the rest with berries. Needless to say, she was not fooled. One day, when visiting Helen, her legs and feet were very swollen. She was not taking the medication prescribed. When questioned by Helen, she figured she had her own remedy – 2 tbsp peanut butter every day and the swelling would go down.

She loved to go the the Bay and Salisbury House for coffee. She spent many hours sitting there, as this was one of her favorite ways to spend her day. One day, when Abe was visiting from Alberta, she wanted to go to the Bay. She said she had to walk through this store, sit on a bench and rest a while as her legs were so swollen. Abe said he would just walk around and meet her there. As he walked, unknown to her, he could see her on her journey. She was so excited to get to the restaurant that she was just booting it across the yard. She beat him there.

She liked listening to Billy Graham, sending him regular donations. One day, she was so excited and showed Cheri this letter that Billy Graham had sent her, thanking her for helping support him. She believed he had personally written to her. Cheri did not have the heart to tell her any different. On about her 60th birthday, she was having trouble walking. Bill thought he would do her a favour and bought her a white folding cart, thinking it would make her life easier. She was very annoyed, and said "What! Do you think I'm getting OLD?"

Due to her intense love of food, especially greasy food, she ended up in the hospital with Pancreatitus. This ended her life of independance, forcing her to move to Calvary Place in Winnipeg. She spent the last 4 years of her life in and out of hospitals. She was near death many times, but rallied back and kept on going.

She loved to phone her children (and anyone else who listened). If she phoned, you needed to be prepared for approximately a one hour conversation. One time, when she had spent a lengthy time on a respirator, she was able to talk again. The first thing she asked for was KFC.

At the end, Mary was talking to her about dying, and she said, "I don't want to go away, but I have to. I'll miss all my kids." She didn't want anybody to leave the room, and she'd follow them sadly with her eyes when they did. She got to speak with each of her children in her last few days to let them know how much she loved them. She was talking about going to Heaven, but she was tired and going to sleep, and told Helen she was too tired to walk that far (to heaven). Helen told her she didn't have to walk, but would get a ride. She layed back on her bed and smiled. She passed away at Grace memorial Hospital on November 14, 2009.

Mom, we all miss you and are thankful that we will see you again one day.

You will be greatly missed by your children, Helen, Cornelius, Abram, Suzanne, Margaret, Mary, Bill, Liz, Henry, Cheri, Jake, Dave, Nancy, Darin, their spouses, your brothers and sisters, many grandchildren, great-grandchildren, nieces, and nephews.

She is predeceased by her husband, Cornelius, her daughter, Nadine, her granddaughter, Isabel, her great-grandson, Danton.

Memorial donations may be made to Calvary Place Care Home in Winnipeg.

The funeral service of Mrs. Helen Peters may be viewed by clicking the following link:  

http://come-together.ca/events/2009/nov/19/helen-peters/