Helen Stakenas

Obituary of Helen Frances Stakenas

September 5, 1917 – Kursk, Russia

April 22, 2024 – Calgary, Alberta


Helen, beloved wife, mother, grandmother, and great-grandmother, passed away on Monday, April 22, 2024, at the age of 106 years. She was born to Lithuanian parents Kamelia and William Grey (Grabauskas) in 1917 in Kursk, Russia, during great upheaval in Europe. They returned to Kelme, Lithuania until Helen was nine years old. The family, which then included five children, immigrated to Sterling, AB, in 1926 to join Helen’s grandparents. Adapting to Canadian life was a challenge for the family, who changed their surname to Grey and Helen's name from Eliana to Helen for better integration. Later, they settled in Lethbridge. Through the Lithuanian community, Helen met Peter Stakenas, a handsome young farmer from the Carstairs area. They wed on October 28, 1940, and she became a wartime farmwife. Despite the transition, she embraced the role with dedication and resilience, becoming a successful teammate with Peter. In 1945, they moved to Calgary, and in 1953, to their long-time home in St. Andrews Heights.


Helen loved being a mother to Elaine, Marjorie, and Leonard, and later a grandmother to four grandchildren on whom she doted. A skilled cook and gardener, she prioritized health and fitness, revelled in artistic pursuits and crafting, and enjoyed her home and neighbours. Helen and Peter were devoted members of St. Bernard’s Catholic Church, where she contributed actively, alongside volunteering in various capacities within the community, at Church (CWL), Queen Elizabeth High School, and the Foothills Hospital Auxiliary. As enthusiasts of music and dancing, they were members of several square dance clubs, the Second Sixties outdoor club, Confederation Park Seniors, and RV camping groups. They travelled to Arizona in the winter and had several trips to Europe, Australia, New Zealand, and many parts of the USA. Helen and Peter were proud of their Lithuanian heritage and were active members of the Lithuanian community in Alberta.


Following Peter’s passing in 2010, Helen moved to the Edgemont Retirement Residence, where she met many new friends and enjoyed all the activities. More recently, she has been kindly cared for and made many friends at Cedars Villa Extendicare. We are very thankful to the dedicated staff at Cedars Villa.


Helen leaves her beloved children and their partners, Elaine (Doug) Bouey, Marjorie Stakenas (David Sweeney), and Leonard (Gayle); grandchildren, Jane, David (Nallely), Evan (Erin), and Eily; and great-grandchildren, Kian and Emilio. She also leaves her sister Amelia Coupland (Kamloops, BC), cousin George Thompson (Estevan, SK), and many dear nieces and nephews. She was predeceased by her parents, Kamelia and William Grey; our dad Peter, her sister Pat Finley, brothers, John, Walter, and Marvin Grey; and many good friends and treasured neighbours.


Helen led a full and gratifying life, navigating both joys and trials with resilience, kindness, and a positive spirit. Her strong faith sustained her. She passed peacefully, and with grace, surrounded by family.


Those wishing to pay their respects may do so at McInnis & Holloway (Chapel of the Bells, 2720 Centre Street N, Calgary, AB T2E 2V6) on Thursday May 2, 2024, from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.


Funeral Mass will be celebrated at St. Bernard’s Catholic Church (711 – 37th Street N.W., Calgary, AB) on Friday, May 3, 2024, at 11:30 a.m. Reception to follow in the Parish Hall.


Family and friends who are unable to attend in person are invited to join Mrs. Stakenas’ service streamed live (see link below) on the day of the service. For those who are unable to view live, a recording of the service will be posted.


If friends so desire, memorial tributes may be made directly to the Society of St. Vincent de Paul (St. Bernard’s Parish), Sunridge RPO, PO Box 49143, Calgary, AB T2C 3W5 Telephone: (403) 970-8107, email: svdp@st-peters.ca, the Canadian Cancer Society, 200 – 325 Manning Rd. N.E., Calgary, AB T2E 2P5 Telephone: (403) 205-3966, email: www.donorservices@cancer.ab.ca, or to the Confederation Park 55+ Activity Centre, 2244 Chicoutimi Drive NW, Calgary, AB T2L 0W1, (403) 289-4780, www.yycseniors.com.


Condolences, memories, and photos may be shared and viewed with Helen’s family here.


In living memory of Helen Stakenas, a tree will be planted in the Ann & Sandy Cross Conservation Area by McInnis & Holloway Funeral Homes, Chapel of the Bells, 2720 Centre Street North, Calgary, AB T2E 2V6, Telephone: 403-276-2296.



Click to Sign the Video Guest Book and Watch Helen's Funeral Mass



6:00 pm - 8:00 pm
Thursday, May 2, 2024
Chapel of the Bells
2720 Centre St N
Calgary, Alberta, Canada
(403) 276-2296

Funeral Mass

11:30 am
Friday, May 3, 2024
St. Bernard's Catholic Church
711 37 St NW
Caglary, Alberta, Canada
(403) 283-3746
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