Helen Patterson

Obituary of Helen Patterson

PATTERSON, Helen (Gwozd, née Dobrowolski)
April 1, 1930 - Semans, Saskatchewan
June 12, 2022 - Calgary, Alberta

Helen Patterson, beloved wife, mother, grandmother, great-grandmother, sister, and aunt (chocha) left this life on Sunday, June 12, 2022. 

Helen was born to Peter and Annie Dobrowolski on a farm near Semans, SK on April 1, 1930, the first of eleven children. Her family relocated to Melville for a few years then moved to Regina where she attended school and worked. A spirit of adventure took her to Vancouver, BC where she met handsome airman Bill Gwozd. They married in Regina on July 22, 1951 and went on to have nine children of their own, who were born in various location across Canada, before returning to Calgary to raise their family in 1968.   

She and Bill were avid square dancers, including at the Calgary 1988 Olympics, with mementos and awards shown off on family room walls.  Helen had a fine eye for detail so learned to decorate intricate wedding and other occasion cakes for family and friends and mastered the fine art of calligraphy.  

Sadly, Bill Gwozd predeceased her in October 1988 at the all too-young age of 63. Helen mused she would not marry again “unless I find another Bill!" A few months after meeting on a seniors’ bus tour, Helen and William (Bill) Patterson were married on February 17, 2001. Both men had served in the Canadian Armed Forces, were Catholic, had friends in common and were members of the Royal Canadian Legion. 

Helen volunteered with the Triwood Community and in her Parish at Canadian Martyrs (choir, CWL, Eucharistic Minister). As a member of the West Hillhurst Go-Getters, she sang in the choir and played in the ukulele and kazoo bands, entertaining seniors and shut-ins around Calgary. She also sang with the Canadian Badlands Passion Play choir for three summers in Rosebud, AB. 

Helen continued to volunteer with her husband Bill Patterson at the church where they were faithful members. Together they took mundane bus trips and more exotic vacations—Puerto Vallarta, Mexico was a favorite where she could take early morning walks on the beach, tan by the pool, and chat with people she met.

Helen loved her garden. Her backyard was an oasis and her home a welcoming gathering place for family and friends. She was extremely proud of her children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren. Her home was often a stopover for family traveling between Manitoba, Saskatchewan, and British Columbia. She was always happy to receive guests.

In addition to her beloved husband Bill Patterson, Helen is mourned by her five daughters and four sons: Anne Bouscal, Doris (Paul Mielke), Carol Gwozd (Dane Sutherland), Bill Gwozd (Vickie), Jim Gwozd (Debbie Nichvolodov), Philip Gwozd (Carole Levesque), and Helen Rowett (Randy Davis), all of Calgary, AB; Michael Gwozd (Joan) of Airdrie, AB; and Trish (Bill Cubitt) of Victoria, BC. She is also survived by Bill Patterson’s daughters, Lorraine (Paul McGinn) of Calgary, AB and Frances (Jim Malyk) of Guelph, ON and their families.

She leaves grandchildren, Tim, Cale, Jed, Casey, Ashley, Sydney, Virginia, Steve, David, Jeremy, Jason, Nadia, Leslie, Jenn, Holly, Brandon, Sean, and their partners and children; as well as many nieces, nephews, and cousins. Helen is survived by two brothers, Lorne Dobrowolski (Maria) of Regina, SK and Ed Dobrowolski (Sandra) of Calgary, AB; and her sisters-in-law Maxine Dobbs of Lethbridge, AB, Mary Kohut of Portage la Prairie, MB, and Marie Gwozd of Winnipeg, MB. 

In addition to her husband Bill Gwozd, Helen was predeceased by an infant daughter; her parents, Annie and Peter Dobrowolski; in-laws Mary and William Gwozd; brother Melvin; brother Nick Dobrowolski and wife Thelma; sister Agnes Hardy and husband Val; brother Joe Dobbs (Maxine); sister Rose Voakes and husband Dave; brother Adam Dobrowolski (Pat); sister Mary Mochoruk and husband Nick; and sister Frances Swystun and husband Gordon.

Funeral Mass will be celebrated at Canadian Martyrs Catholic Church (835 Northmount Drive N.W., Calgary, AB) on Tuesday, June 21, 2022 at 11:00 a.m. Graveside Service at Mountain View Cemetery with reception to follow. Family and friends who are unable to attend in person are invited to join Mom’s service streamed live (see below) on the day of the service. For those who are unable to view live, a recording of the service will be posted. Condolences, memories, and photos can also be shared and viewed here.

In living memory of Helen Patterson, a tree will be planted in the Ann & Sandy Cross Conservation Area by McInnis & Holloway Funeral Homes, Park Memorial, 5008 Elbow Drive SW, Calgary, AB T2S 2L5, Telephone: 403-243-8200.

Click Here to View Helen Patterson's Memorial Card


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