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Publication: Globe and Mail, The add link
Issue: 15 September 2009, page R11
Title: FASKEN, Helen (Death Notice)
Web Link: link


Margaret Christina

May 13, 1910 - Sept. 12, 2009

Peacefully, surrounded by family and friends, at St. Joseph's Health Care, Guelph. Born on a farm in Nichol Township. Predeceased by beloved parents, Thomas Fasken and Mary Maude (Laird) and treasured sister Marion Hills. Survived by a close circle of extended family members and dear friends.

Helen graduated as a Registered Nurse from Hamilton General Hospital in 1935. She attended the International Congress of Nurses' first meeting after World War II, in Atlantic City, as President and representative of the Hamilton Registered Nurses Association.

Following graduation in 1942 from Public Health Nursing at the University of Western Ontario, Helen became a member of the Hamilton Health Department Staff, in charge of the Tuberculosis Clinic from 1943 to 1948. She was then seconded to do post-graduate studies at University of Toronto to prepare to work in newly-emerging provincial health unit programs. Helen held the position of Director of Public Health Nursing at the Wellington Dufferin Guelph Health Unit from its inception in 1949 to her retirement in 1975. Many programs, including Well-Baby Clinics, Mental Health services, Immunization programs, Public health Nursing visits and Home Care were developed in the early days in Wellington County with Helen's guidance.

Throughout Helen's career as a nurse, she had many rewards, including one accorded by the Registered Nurses Association of Ontario in 1974 on the occasion of its 75th anniversary, in which Helen was chosen by her colleagues as one of twelve nurses in Ontario considered ''The Most Caring Nurse'' in the province. She considered as one of her greatest rewards the privilege of being close to people and having them share their problems and needs with her. In 2004 Helen received the Florence Nightingale Award given by St. John's Church, Elora and the Elora Festival to a nurse who has made an outstanding contribution in the community.

Helen was an active member of professional and associated health organizations with some of her most active roles as President of the Ontario Public Health Association, Board Member on the first Board of what became the Waterloo Region Wellington Dufferin District Health Council, Life Member of the Victorian Order of Nurses and Member Emeritus of the Registered Nurses Association of Ontario.

In retirement, Helen continued to exercise her wisdom as a nurse, offering counsel and support to her many friends and relatives, and sharing her insights on health care needs of the elderly in particular. Helen lived her life consistent with her faith, enjoying extensive travel, stimulating conversation, good food and an amazing ability to connect with people.

Sincere appreciation is expressed to the Elliott Community in Guelph for many years of support and caring. Visitation will be held at Graham Giddy Funeral Home in Elora on Wednesday, Sept.16/09 from 2 to 4:00 PM and 7 to 9:00 PM., with funeral service at Knox Presbyterian Church, Elora on Thursday, Sept.17/09 at 11:00 AM. If desired, donations may be made to the CNIB or the Canadian Diabetes Association, cards available at the Funeral Home (519) 846-5352.