Obituary for Helen Ames

By Eden’s Funeral Home
January 26, 2022
Helen Ames (Simpson) passed away peacefully on Jan. 11, 2022, at Vista Village in Pincher Creek at the age of 91.

Helen was born in Pincher Creek to William and Winnifred Jean Simpson (Hunter) on Jan. 30, 1930. She spent her early years on the family farm south of Pincher Creek, in the Twin Butte area, with her parents and siblings Ronald, Norma, Gwen and Leonard.

Helen moved to Calgary to train as a teacher and received her certification from the Southern Alberta Institute of Technology (SAIT). She returned to Pincher Creek and married Edward (Ted) Ames in 1952. They resided in Pincher Creek for several years and it was here that they began their family, which included three daughters and one son: Deborah (John; Nathan and Stevie); Kenneth (Christine; Erin, Chantelle, Kaylee and Dylan); Lynne (Les; Chelsey, Troy and Zachary); and Lorna (Alan; Lisa, Toni, Kelly and Cori). Helen and Ted moved to Edmonton in 1963 when Ted got a job with the Alberta government and this became their home for just over 10 years.

Helen was a dedicated and well-respected teacher, devoting her career to the education of young children. Her grandchildren can all attest to the value that Helen placed on education, which included everything from early lessons about the ABCs, the joy of poems and books, and the encouragement to be a lifelong learner. After their years in Edmonton, they moved south again, and she continued to teach in Vulcan and Champion until her retirement while Ted continued to work for the provincial parks department.

After a brief interlude in Lethbridge, Helen and Ted retired to Pincher Creek to be closer to friends and family. These were busy and happy years. Helen loved to meet her friends for coffee, head out of town for a day of fishing or berry-picking, work in her flower garden, and corral anyone she could into a game of crib. Perhaps most of all, Helen loved to spend time at “the farm,” the old Simpson homestead that was the base for many family gatherings and grandchildren visits over the years. For her family, which includes 13 grandchildren and 15 great-grandchildren, some of their most cherished memories of Helen will be of times spent at the farm.

After being widowed for 11 years, in 2012 Helen married Ted Gourley of Salt Lake City. This happy late-in-life union also meant that Helen gained five stepchildren, Robert (Sharon), Debbie (Ty), Robyn, Kelly (Sten) and Valerie (Rand), and many step-grand- and great-grandchildren.

Helen, ever the teacher, passed on many lessons in her life. Some were small (which grasshoppers made the best fish bait). Some were big (have a job and a plan before you get married). Some, we must admit, annoyed us a little (do you have a coupon for that?). Some were more important than we realized at the time (you’ll have to weather quite a few scratches to get the best raspberries). All of them were meaningful.

Helen, an independent and resilient woman, will be lovingly remembered by her family and many friends. She was predeceased by her first husband, Ted Ames, her son Ken, her brother Ron, her sister Norma and her stepdaughter Valerie.

Helen’s family would like to extend a warm thank you to her doctor, home-care nurses, and the staff at Vista Village.

Arrangements are in care of Eden’s Funeral Home. A memorial service will be held at a later date. If you wish, donations can be made in memory of Helen to the Canadian National Institute for the Blind (CNIB).


Funeral arrangements entrusted to Eden’s Funeral Home


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