Helson; Florence Audrey(nee McCracken)
After a long life, Audrey passed peacefully on Sunday, December 9, 2018 at Providence Health Care in Scarborough in her 99th year. She is reunited with her beloved husband Donald George(1987). She is predeceased by her brothers Robert “Bob”, Edward “Ted”, Wesley ”Wes” and sisters Shirley Marshall and Jean McCracken. Survived by sister in-law Shirley McCracken, brother-in-law Fred Marshall and many nieces, nephews, great nieces and great nephews, her care-giver Linda Dean, and countless fond friends.
Audrey was born to Lawrence and Florence McCracken on Feb. 2, 1920 in Toronto, and grew
up in Flesherton. At 17 she returned Toronto where she worked at Bell Telephone, arriving
every day wearing gloves and a hat, as young ladies were required to do. From many suitors,
she chose the handsome Don Helson who came back from serving in WWII to open an auto
body shop on Kingston Road, for which Audrey kept the books. When they bought that new
house on Romana Drive in 1952, her co-workers teased her about moving out to the wilds of
the country. Over the years, she worked as a receptionist for a mining company, and as a
sales clerk for ladies’ lingerie at The Bay.
After retiring at 65, Audrey enjoyed spending more time with her bridge club, cooking, knitting,
quilting, crocheting, volunteering at Variety Village and at her United Church, St. Paul’s. She
was especially fond, in her later years, of knitting small, colourful dolls for children in distress.
Throughout her decades living alone on Romana Drive she shared her life with a succession of
chihuahuas, the Cindy’s. I, II, II, and IV. Neighbours helped her stay in her home during the
later years by walking Cindy IV and keeping careful eyes on Audrey. She depended on them,
and on Linda, her rock, the caregiver who was the daughter Audrey never had. Linda got her
out regularly for the small and big errands that drive a modern, independent life. Audrey
maintained her independence fiercely right up to that last perm on Thurs. She redefined
palliative care for all who looked on in awe.
The family wishes to extend gratitude for Audrey’s care to her neighbours, especially Norma
and Al Campbell, to the warm and wonderful staff at the Scarborough Retirement Residence
and at Providence Health Palliative Care, to her longtime GP Dr. McGarrigle, and of course, to
Linda, an honorary McCracken.
The family will receive friends at Fawcett Funeral Cremation Reception, 1 Highland Drive, Flesherton on Thursday, December 13 from 10:00am until the time of service at 11:00am. Audrey will be laid to rest with her husband Don at the Flesherton Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions to the Heart and Stroke Foundation or your local hospital would be gratefully appreciated. Online donations and condolences at www.fawcettfuneralhome.ca 888-924-2810