January 13, 1939 – September 2, 2020
With love and appreciation, the family of (Irene) Helen Gatzke sadly announce her passing.
Helen is survived by her devoted husband of 62 years, Bernie Gatzke; their 4 children; Diana (Rick), Cary (Cathy), Alan (Ingrid) and Brian; 7 grandchildren and 1 great-grandchild; a sister, Deanie Greenwood; numerous nieces and nephews and lifelong friends. She was predeceased by her brother, James Leonard.
Helen was born in Salmon Arm and met the love of her life in Kelowna. Together, Helen and Bernie raised a family on their orchard in Oyama. She was a hard worker, annually canning over a 1000 quarts of preserves. Her magic green thumb complimented her love of cooking whole foods, to the delight of guests and her growing family. Helen was a caring and nurturing soul, willing to take others under her wing, and quietly supported those in the community in their time of need.
Helen maintained a quick wit, possessed an obscure sense of humour and would catch many off guard with her fun-loving perspective. She loved to water ski, curl, scuba dive, and play the piano. Her signature song was, “Crackling Rosie”. Helen enjoyed her view of Kalamalka Lake, and said she never grew tired of it.
Helen was inducted into the B.C. Sports Hall of Fame, as a member of the Kelowna Teddy Bears basketball team, she was an Oyama Community Club chairperson, S.D.#23 trustee, Girl Guide leader and a founding member of the Lake Country Museum. She also volunteered in the Cook Islands. Bernie and Helen’s mutual love of travel to exotic locales, lead them to “The Cooks”.
They established lifelong friends there, many whom they consider to be family. You can rest now, mom. There will be a celebration of life held at a later date.
Funeral Arrangements have been entrusted to Pleasant Valley Funeral Home,
Condolences may be offered at www.pleasantvalleyfh.com
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