Irvin Otto Heller

Irvin Otto Heller

Helen Holyk


Helen Holyk passed away on May 10, 2012 at the age of 88. Helen was a remarkable

woman who lived a rewarding life filled with challenges.

Helen is survived by her

beloved grandchildren Angela Bailey and James Bailey and son-in-law Geoff Bailey, who

all presently live in Edmonton. She was predeceased by her son, Glen, her daughter

Christine, her husband Walter, and her son Nick. Helen was a caring high achiever throughout her life. In 1947 she was named Woman of the Year at UBC for her work helping

servicemen integrate into university after WWII.

After marrying Walter and starting her family, Helen devoted her life to her family and to helping others deal with mental illness. While president of the Canadian Mental Health

Association, Helen founded the Kelowna Branch of the B.C. Schizophrenia Society. She helped advocate for rights and programs to support those suffering with mental illness and their families. She volunteered with the University Women’s Club, B.C. Schizophrenia Society, the Canadian Mental Health Association, and the Kelowna Mental Health Society. Helen was active at the Unitarian Fellowship of Kelowna

including serving as a long time chair of the

Social Justice Committee.

Helen’s gracious faith, optimism and wit were engaging, and her commitment to working for a more compassionate world inspired many to do likewise.  She truly lived her belief that everyone is worthy of respect and dignity. Just as Helen worked so hard serving others during her lifetime, during the last 3 years of her life after she suffered from a series of severely debilitating strokes she depended so much upon others for support . Through it all, Helen was never self pitying and she lived her life with courage and compassion for

others, to the end.

Special thanks go out to Helen’s good friends, Fae Shaw and Sterling Haynes who worked tirelessly assisting Helen after she became disabled. Additional thanks go out to:

Dr Robert Williams for his compassionate care when Helen was most vulnerable;  friend and paid companion Phyllis Cannell; private Care Aide Christie Balderson; and the staff and volunteers of Cadder Court unit in

Cottonwoods .” 

A celebration of Helen’s life will be held on Sunday, July 8, 2012 at 3:00 p.m. at the Unitarian Fellowship at 1310

Bertram St., Kelowna. If you wish to honour Helen’s life with a gift, please follow in Helen’s footsteps and make a

donation to the BC Schizophrenia Society at

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