HELEN MAE (SCHIBLER) CLEMENTS
May 9, 1912 – February 11, 2010
Helen passed away peacefully at home in the early morning of February 11, 2010 where she lived with her two compassionate caregivers Linda Anderson and Maria Sawatsky. She has lived with them after moving from Nanaimo 4 years ago. She was born May 9, 1912 in Portland, Oregon to Logan Schibler and Gunhild Olsen but spent most of her adult life around Owen Bay on Sonora Island, Campbell River and then later in Nanaimo where she retired with her husband Gus Clements whom she lost on Oct. 3, 1993.
At the age of 7 & with her parents, Logan & Gunhild Schibler plus her two younger siblings, Jack & Jean, moved to BC living a vagabond life in many communities such as Prince Rupert, Princess Louisa Inlet, Raza Island and in 1926 they found their permanent residence in Owen Bay. For her schooling, she was sent to many friends and family in Washington, Oregon, California and Vancouver until she received her degree.
Helen met her handsome Swede-Finn, Gus Clements, on one of her many trips back to the homestead in Owen Bay and later married him there on December 31, 1932 and by all accounts it was some kind of shindig for the locals. Helen & Gus continued their nomadic life wherever the logging took Gus making their residence in Elk Bay, Squamish plus Vancouver where Helen opened a small ladies-wear store in Kerrisdale in 1937. They then returned to Owen Bay from 1939 to 1949 where they owned and operated the Owen Bay Co-Op Store & Post Office for several years. During this time in the early 1940’s, she was asked to teach school to the local Owen Bay children in a sinking converted bunkhouse and even boarded several children some of who became lifelong friends. Most notably was Gerd (Holmes) Evans whom she always referred to as her adopted daughter. While in Owen Bay, Gus built a small house on a float which they moved to Gowland Harbour on Quadra Island after selling their business to the Oppel family. It was from here that Helen then went to Normal School 1951-52 in Vancouver and received her teaching degree. She was offered a job at Campbellton Elementary School so Gus & Helen sold everything again built a wonderful home on Discovery Road in Campbell River next door to another life long friend, Donna (Stubbs) Hunter. Discovery Passage School was opened and she eventually became the principal of that small school and retired from this position. Upon retirement, Gus & Helen packed up again and moved to Nanaimo where they continued their many adventures to Finland, Sweden, and travelled extensively throughout the U.S. and Canada with their motor home. They found friends everywhere they went and kept in touch with many of them probably after having a few happy hours and lots of laughs. After Gus passed away, she made new memories travelling and cruising to many exotic places with her sister Jean Turner and niece Adele Turner. The consummate teacher, she was always teaching, learning and interested in all things around her. Her encyclopaedias were dog-eared. She loved her job as a teacher and told many fun stories of her students and kept many items that they had given her. Her hobbies were numerous which included all forms of the arts; ballet, painting water colours and oils, and all forms of handwork but her crewel-work with her own designs were spectacular and many hours were spent playing Scrabble until she lost her eyesight.
Helen was predeceased by Gus & his brother Verner Clements, her father Logan in October, 1957, her mother Gunhild in March 1984, sister Jean in September, 2005 and brother Jack in November 2006 and niece Rosalie Turner in July 1943. She leaves behind her sister-in-law Ella Schibler, brother-in-law Bob Turner, nephews Lorne Turner & family, Don Schibler & family, all of Campbell River, and nieces Tina Cray & family in Texas, Adele & Marcy Turner of North Vancouver and several grand nieces & nephews, Richelle & Amber Cray, Shane & Cody Schibler, Tyrel, Cade, Tamara Turner. She leaves behind many family in Norway, Sweden, Finland and U.S.A. Also, her life long friends: the Don Hunter family, the Ron Dawson family both of Campbell River, the Bob Wilsons, Florence Riley both of Nanaimo plus the many friends too numerous to name.
Helen’s ashes will be interred with Gus and her uncle Charles Greenberg in the old Campbell River Cemetery at a later date. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made at any charity of your choosing or to the National Institute for the Blind.
According to her wishes, a memorial service will be held in her honour at the home of her family in the Spring and will be announced in the local Campbell River newspaper.