MARKS, HelenPosted: December 5th, 2020
1948 – 2020
It is with great sadness that we announce Helen Lydia Marks (Mercier) passed away suddenly on November 27th, 2020, at the age of 72 years. Helen is the beloved mother of Connie Parkinson (Kevin) and Sherry Laackmann (Russel), grandmother to Tyler Beninger (Shannon), Kylie Beninger (Dylan), Max Laackmann, Zane Laackmann and great grandmother to Wolf Beninger. Helen was predeceased by her father, Maurice Mercier, Mother in Law Grace Marks and Father in Law Stan Marks.
Helen was born April 18th, 1948 at the Holy Cross Hospital in Calgary, AB. Her beloved father, Maurice Mercier, raised her in the small community of Lomond, AB. Helen absolutely loved growing up in her small town, and the people who lived there. She often talked about her many adventures, and the special memories of her childhood. She loved her father dearly and riding the train to visit his family in Southern Alberta was one of her most treasured memories. From childhood onward, Helen always made true friendships that lasted a lifetime. In her younger years, she loved playing sports and going to school. She was always a ray of sunshine, brightening the lives of everyone she knew. She often shared her memories of her special times with her best friend Diane Pytlarz, especially dancing at the local community hall. Helen was described by many as a loyal friend, with a kind heart, fun loving spirit, and smile so contagious no one could ever resist smiling right along with her.
After graduating Grade 12, Helen worked in Calgary as a telephone operator with Alberta Government Telephones. She soon returned from city life to marry her high school sweetheart, Garry Marks, and begin her career as a farm wife in Armada. In later years she trained for and began her career in Travel and Tourism in Lethbridge. Helen’s sparkling personality, dedication to any task at hand, and genuine concern for customers and colleagues all made her very successful in that industry. After a lengthy career, she eventually retired from her final position with the Lethbridge Branch of Investors Financial Group. Throughout her career, Helen received many performance and praise awards.
Although Helen grew up in town, she loved farm life. She especially loved working alongside her in-laws, Stan and Grace Marks, helping with spring seeding, harvesting, and working with cattle. She was often teasingly referred to as the Cow Boss. When she married Garry, she not only gained a husband, but his four younger sisters who adored her. Throughout her whole life, Helen remained very close to all of them. With her 4 Marks sisters in tow (Delores, Darlene, Barb and Cindy) there were many, many fun times to be had, whether working on the farm, rushing to town for parts, caring for the babies or just living life to the fullest. Helen would often say the work was hard, but the laughter and love between them, as they all shared the load, made it seem easy. Helen, and her mother in law, Grace, had an extremely strong bond. They were not only mother and daughter, but best friends. Countless projects were accomplished by Grace and Helen. Many layers of wallpaper were hung, walls painted, curtains sewn, and recipes shared to make the old farmhouse a loving and cozy home for Garry and the girls.
Helen was an active community member playing sports with her friends, sister in laws, and daughters. She played on the Lomond Ladies Dusters Fastball Team and was an avid curler. She loved watching curling in her later years, and it was a known fact not to interrupt her if a special bonspiel was being televised. She was a longtime member of the Armada Ladies Community Club. Helen enjoyed ceramic and paper tooling classes. In later years, she enjoyed travelling to visit friends and shopping trips with her daughters. Many fond memories were made on these trips. Some of her most precious memories were travelling to Australia with one of her dearest friends, Faye Laackmann and attending country music concerts and comedy shows with another dear friend, Bina Kusnir. Helen also loved spending time with family at Thoroughbred Horse Track Meets in Alberta and Saskatchewan. She made many lifelong friends there. She enjoyed the competition of the races and studying her race program to select the winners. She took pride in being a member of the Marks Racing Stables. Helen loved the horses and all animals, but her favorite were small breed dogs. Throughout her life she always had a small fur baby with her for companionship.
Helen loved life, but Helen’s world was her family, especially her girls and grandchildren. She was a devoted and loving mother who spent many hours supporting her girls in their interests, sports, and clubs. She continued this love and support with her grandchildren attending countless numbers of hockey, baseball, and rugby games as well as art and music shows. She would also attend numerous events to support her many nieces and nephews. Helen cherished her family, and they cherished her.
Helen is lovingly remembered and will be forever missed.
Due to Covid Restrictions a Celebration of Helen’s Life will be held at a later date. Cremation has been entrusted to Martin Brothers Funeral Chapels. Family and friends are welcome to visit www.mbfunerals.com to send a condolence.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to Lomond Community Center Agricultural Society, Box 264 Lomond AB T0L 1G0 to support the construction of the new Center.