Helen Barbour (nee Philip)
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Obituary of Helen Bernice Barbour (nee Philip)

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Helen Emiline Bernice “Bernie” Barbour passed away peacefully in Calgary, AB on June 27, 2023, at the age of 96.


Bernie was born on June 25, 1927 on the family farm in Tilston, MB. At sixteen, she moved to Winnipeg to live with her sister and go to secretarial school. She met Ken at the tennis club, and they were married in 1953. They lived for a time in Minneapolis, Salt Lake City, and Oakland, before returning to Canada and settling in Calgary. She worked at Pacific Petroleum, and later at the University of Calgary for twenty-five years in the payroll department. She was an enthusiastic member of the Cambrian Heights community, and was instrumental in the Brownie and Girl Guide programs for many years. She loved nature and gardening and took pride in her yard full of flowers. Bernie was a vital figure in the lives of her grandchildren, and spent countless hours with them at their various activities. In retirement, she was active in the Thornview seniors group, and belonged to several bridge clubs.


Bernie was predeceased by her husband Ken Barbour, her sisters Pauline Philip and Ona Graham, and her brother Glen Philip. She is survived by her daughter June Ballantyne (David), grandsons Gwynn, Owen (Elsemieke), and Ciaran; daughter Lori O’Connor (Bill), grandson Hayden (Katrina), granddaughter Shea (Graham Stark); and great-granddaughter Olivia Ballantyne.


The family thanks the staff at Brentwood Care Centre for the kind and compassionate care Bernie received while she was a resident there. A Celebration of Bernie’s Life will be held at the Silver Springs Community Centre (5720 Silver Ridge Drive, NW, Calgary, AB) on Thursday, August 3, 2023 at 2:00 p.m. Throughout her life, Bernie loved books and reading. If friends so desire, memorial tributes may be made directly to the Calgary Public Library. Bernie would be honoured to continue her legacy in support of literacy. Condolences, memories, and photos may be shared and viewed here.

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